Do you explicitly teach your children skills like active listening? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 09-20-2012, 07:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My DC and I are having some issues with communication and it occurred to me that while I'm brushing up on my listening skills that I may want to teach her some of these ideas as well. I'd love to hear some of your thoughts and experiences with this. (DC is 11, btw). Thanks! 


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#2 of 13 Old 09-20-2012, 08:20 AM
 
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Hmm, well I don't use the specific words, but I will suggest other ways to say things to both my 3-year-old and 10-year-old. Like, "If you say it in this way, I'll respond better," and then give her an example. I took a class in active listening a long long time ago but I haven't specifically looked into it lately. I can imagine if I were to read up on it again, I might discuss it with my daughter and ask if she'd like to work on it as well. I'm not sure if she'd want to and I don't think I'd force it though as I don't think it would really affect her as I'd like if it were forced upon her.
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#3 of 13 Old 09-21-2012, 06:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I think I'm going to revisit some active listening type skills this month and ask for DC to join me. I will post here to give some feedback about how it goes. 


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#4 of 13 Old 10-01-2012, 11:09 PM
 
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dd responds better to following rather than being taught.

 

for me actively listening works (by the way it is a HARD skill to learn, and it took me YEARS to perfect - to really be able to listen without bringing our own thing into it) by repeating. so i heard you say ------ is that correct? that makes it so much easier to communicate. 

 

i came here from your other thread. 

 

i dont do the gratitude thing. it feels v. contrived to me. instead i work it into my conversation when i feel it. i make sure i speak it out loud instead of just thinking it. 

 

for me active listening is - actually listening to the exact words dd is using - rather than me interpreting what she is saying and not ending it for her. 

 

dd is 10. i have discovered nowadays - dd talks more - like she needs to get stuff off her chest, but she wants me to listen more than talk more. so i have to bite my tongue very often and just stay silent. 

 

i have found silence truly does speak louder than words. 

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#5 of 13 Old 10-02-2012, 04:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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i dont do the gratitude thing. it feels v. contrived to me. 

What do you mean by this? If you mean forced gratitude, we don't do that either. 


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i have found silence truly does speak louder than words. 

 

Isn't that the truth! Though, maybe that's not working for DC anymore and it's causing us problems. 

 

Either way, things are going better. I still want to do an active listening lesson with her (maybe even read a chapter of TCS or something). I loved the simple line in Wikipedia - "most people listen for when it's their turn to talk". That hit home (probably for both of us!). 


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#6 of 13 Old 10-02-2012, 11:27 AM
 
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Great thread! As a family, we have been working on active listening since the kiddos were just wee babes.  We talk about taking turns when talking and then repeating what they hear.  Both my husband and I try to model this for them as well.  "So what I hear you saying is..."  We then ask if that's correct.  As a therapist, the first place I start with any client in my office, is active listening.  I work with kids and parents.  What I observe the most is that our own emotions (as adults) floods our ability to listen to our kiddos.  So, we have to work through our feelings first and then communicate.  Kids don't get their ability to actively listen right the first few times.  With continued support and modeling as well as not putting our emotions in the way, they will get it.  Sounds like you are doing a great job!


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Mother of 2 Kiddos, Wife, LCSW

www.bewhatsright.com

 

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#7 of 13 Old 10-02-2012, 01:22 PM
 
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What do you mean by this? If you mean forced gratitude, we don't do that either. 

 

yeah i think i mean forced gratitude. like taking out a time in your day and saying thank you for what you have. i'd rather do it right when it happens. like saying ty to the cool breeze on a hot summers day. 

 

sometimes though it just comes up in conversation. arent you glad that ____ and then you answer yeah oh boy. arent i glad that ____ bringing up a different scenario and we go back and forth on it. eg arent u glad we have a 99 cents store just round the corner. yeah i know. i'm so glad we can just walk over and get your art supplies. oooh arent u grateful they had toblerone this time. i was really craving chocolate... etc.

 

we have always been a family of talkers. talkign helped dd calm down from tantrums even as a two year old. nowadays i have to sit quietly. somedays she yells out a storm - like vocal diahrrhea. i see it as her needing space to vent. 


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#8 of 13 Old 10-02-2012, 01:53 PM
 
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Gratitude is an emotional response to an event. By expressing your gratitude when you feel it, you will demonstrate an awareness of gratitude which your children may imitate.

As far as listening goes, I dislike the parroting of a remark. By parroting, I mean using the same words. It must be reworded to ensure that the meaning is understood.

For example, this is a poor use of the technique.
Me : 'I dislike the parroting of a remark.'
Other : 'You dislike parroting remarks?'

A better use would be these.
Me : 'I dislike the parroting of a remark.'
Other : 'You don't like the repeating of a remark using the same words?' (Same meaning)
Or
Me : 'I dislike the parroting of a remark.'
Other : 'You don't want to waste time repeating remarks?' (Different meaning)
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#9 of 13 Old 10-02-2012, 02:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Gratitude is an emotional response to an event. By expressing your gratitude when you feel it, you will demonstrate an awareness of gratitude which your children may imitate.
As far as listening goes, I dislike the parroting of a remark. By parroting, I mean using the same words. It must be reworded to ensure that the meaning is understood.

Yes, this is how I learned active listening. I don't think repeating what a person said conveys understanding well. 

 

---------------------------------

 

Gratitude - is this a subject because of my other thread or does gratitude play a role in active listening? I'm getting confused. dizzy.gif


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#10 of 13 Old 10-02-2012, 04:32 PM
 
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Yes, this is how I learned active listening. I don't think repeating what a person said conveys understanding well. 


Gratitude - is this a subject because of my other thread or does gratitude play a role in active listening? I'm getting confused. dizzy.gif

Other posters have been mentioning gratitude here. I was responding to that. Maybe we are all getting confused and mixing the two threads. Sorry if that's bothersome.
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#11 of 13 Old 10-02-2012, 04:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Other posters have been mentioning gratitude here. I was responding to that. Maybe we are all getting confused and mixing the two threads. Sorry if that's bothersome.

 

Yea, I know you were responding to the on-going discussion and I know I joined by asking questions. I just started to wonder why it was a topic in a thread about Active Listening so I thought I'd ask. It must be because of the other thread. No worries. 


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#12 of 13 Old 10-03-2012, 07:03 PM
 
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I have a child with Asperger's Syndrome so yes, I definitely teach active listening (and other social and behavioral things) explicitly.  I highly recommend it. Role playing, home made social story books, practice exercises are all good. However, some kids will probably pick up a lot from observation and gentle nudging from parents and won't need as much.

 

My son was part of a "friendship group" with the school counselor and he brought home a good way to practice it. Child talks for a timed one minute, parent rephrases back for understanding. Then parent talks for one minute and child rephrases back. Without practice like this, my child will NOT learn how to have a normal conversation with people and will NOT learn to politely listen when someone is talking about something that isn't his favorite subject. I'm sure we will continue to work on this in various ways for years.

 

After starting this with my oldest child, I know that I will definitely do some explicit teaching with my younger two, but much less because they don't have such a difficult time with it.
 

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#13 of 13 Old 10-03-2012, 07:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Somethings been coming back to me since we started talking about this. DC went to another school for kindergarten and that school had this discipline strategy that all the teachers, all the parents (it was a co-op) and all the kids had to learn. IT was mostly active listening as I recall. What I love about it, especially looking back, is that it wasn't put forth as something to "teach kids" nor was it something that adults did to kids or vise versa but as something we would all learn together. And, the most beautiful thing was that the kids in the upper classes would problem solve using active listening with each other. I'm going to get in touch with them and ask them what system they used. Great story, K-mom! 

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