The How To’s of Listening | Part 4


Using Siblings to Teach Listening 

One thing that as a culture we seem to be failing to teach our children is patience.  We are trained for instant gratification and if we are not careful our children will be no different. An area that can be used to teach both listening skills and patience is sibling communication.  Like we discussed yesterday active listening is something that is a choice.  It is also something that needs to be taught because most of us are born with the “me first” attitude.  As parents we can begin to teach active listening by having our children look at us when we are giving an instruction and then simply requiring a response.  This will begin to teach children that they need to look at the person that is speaking to them and answer.  The next step to teaching listening is with their siblings.  We need to train them that their siblings deserve the same kind of listening respect.  This is where the patience comes into play as we are helping them to wait their turn in talking.  Which means no interrupting.  As children get older we also need to train them to stay with the conversation until it has been completed before we bring up something new to talk about.  All of these things, that are seemingly simple, are listening skills that some adults have not mastered.  This small listening skill that can be practiced with siblings can be invaluable for a child later and help them in both adult relationships and jobs.  


Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on this topic.

The How To’s of Listening | Part 42011-08-15T10:57:06-04:00

What’s Your Focus?


It is inevitable that long breaks can cause some tension between siblings.  When we spend lots of time together it is easy to get on each other’s nerves.  As a parent, it is our responsibility to be prepared. If a parent is not prepared, the entire break may be spent in a constant state of time out.  Sometimes putting a positive spin on something that may be a potential problem and focusing on the rewards, may yield better results.

For example, focus your child not on the negative consequence of fighting, such as a time out, but on the positive reward of having a good attitude.  It is easy to make a game out of this but you as a parent must spend time watching to “catch them doing the right thing.”  It is so easy to get tunnel vision and focus our energies on the bad behaviors and not only forget to praise, but overlook the good.

So, all that said, put a poster board up with everyone’s name and put silly stickers by their names for good attitudes, kind words spoken, random acts of kindness, sharing with others, and any other positive behaviors.  At dinner each night “crown the winner.”  You can make this as fun as you want; use your families special plate, an actual crown, a prize, whatever else you can think of.  The point is to refocus your children’s behavior on doing right, then your days can be fun and silly rather then exhausting.

Remember that as parents we set the stage for what our family will focus on!

What’s Your Focus?2010-03-06T14:44:33-04:00