Squatting while talking to children

What is meant by active listening in parenting?

Active listening in parenting became a topic of discussion among early childhood education experts about a year ago. This was brought about by the parenting style adopted by Prince William and Kate Middleton of England.

The future king and queen of England openly practice active listening with their eldest son, 3-year-old Prince George. They always talk to Prince George while squatting, to align his height with the little one’s.

According to many parenting experts, the active listening while squatting method allows parents and children to talk while making eye contact, making the child feel heard and valued for their opinions.

Active listening in parenting is the best way to convey a message to a child that says, ‘You are very important to me,'” explained Gill Connell, child development expert and author of the book “A Moving Child is a Learning Child”. from New Zealand.

According to Connell, this method is effective in increasing the child’s self-confidence and encouraging him to communicate more.

So what does active listening entail?

Active listening essentially involves trying to genuinely understand what the other person, in this case our child, wants to convey. As parents, we must free ourselves from assumptions or our own thoughts about the child.

Here’s how to do it:

Show that you are listening. Try to make eye contact and get closer to the speaker.
Concentrate. If necessary, pause what you are doing when the child begins to speak.
Listen, observe, feel. Use all your senses to understand, not just your cognizance. In addition to harkening to what they say, pay attention to their body language. occasionally its smell can also tell you what is really going on.
From time to time repeat a part of what they said to show interest. Do this unfeignedly. For illustration, if a child says, “I drew a veritably altitudinous coconut tree at academy, I suppose my coconut tree is the altitudinous among my musketeers,” you can say, “Oh, your coconut tree is the altitudinous?”
Ask questions. Don’t forget to ask what isn’t clear, or at least show that their story is interesting. For example, “What was your coconut tree drawing like?”
Rephrase in your own words. Once they finish telling their story, you can briefly summarize it in your own words. For example, “It seems like you were really excited about drawing a coconut tree at school. No wonder, your coconut tree is the tallest.”
By actively listening, parents do not have to give any advice. Just being heard makes the child happy. In time, you will become his confidant. This will be very important to help them face their adolescence in the future.

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Oleh Sinta

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