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How to be an active listener for your kids: Includes checklist

How to be an active listener as a parent is extremely important in showing our children that we are both present for them and understanding and empathising with how they feel. With this in mind we are trying to help you become a more active listener for your kids, and have developed this checklist, in conjunction with psychotherapist and author, Joanna Fortune and her 15-minute parenting series. This advice is adapted from her book covering ages 0-7 years in the series. Her book aims to give you strategies for building constructive playful time together in little 15-minute games that can be fit into existing daily routines.

This post includes Amazon affiliate links.

Active Listener

Being present for our kids can be rather tough in current society; we are expected to be highly productive, yet attentive to all. Understanding and adapting our behaviour so we are more conscious of our actions when we talk to, and respond to our kids can have a significant impact on their behaviour. Becoming a more active listener with our kids can help improve the relationship that we have with them.

As Joanna says in her book:

“It is important that you attune to your child in other ways by using your active listening skills. How do you know if you are actively listening or partially listening to your child? Add the quiz below to your parental self-audit and stay on top of it.”

15-Minute Parenting 0-7 Years: Quick and easy ways to connect with your child (The Language of Play), Joanna Fortune

So stop, and double check our list for the book – download it by clicking on the circular image at the end for the full experience as well:

Active Listener Check List

How to be an active listener for your child: The checklist

  1. When your child is talking to you, do you stop what you are doing?
  2. Do you give your child your full attention when they are talking?
  3. Do you interrupt when your child is speaking?
  4. Do you repeat what you think you heard your child say, just to be clear
  5. When your child is asking you about a problem, are you already thinking of the solution before they have finished speaking?
  6. Do you fold your arms in front of you when you are upset or angry while listening to your child’s explanations?
  7. Do you look your child in the eye when they are speaking to you?
  8. Do you ask questions to keep the conversation going or when you don’t understand something your child is saying?
  9. Do you offer other ways for your child to ‘talk’ to you, like playing together or drawing a picture of what happened?
  10. Do you encourage your child to talk again later by telling them you are there to listen if they need you?

Yes, there IS a lot to remember but learning how to be an active listener for your child is well worth the effort.

Without further ado – here is the checklist for you….

Active Listener Parent Checklist

We hope you find this resource useful do check out the other 15-minute ideas from Joanna Fortune in her book. If you are looking for other advice on parenting, or just some great resources, do sign up to our newsletter:

Do check out some of other resources on and off site too relating to parenting that we have found useful.

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How to be an active listener

Helen is a mum to two, social media consultant, and website editor; and this site is (we think) the only Social Enterprise parenting magazine! Since giving up being a business analyst when juggling travel, work and kids proved too complicated, she founded KiddyCharts so she could be with her kids, and use those grey cells at the same time. KiddyCharts has reach of over 1.1million across social and the site. The blog works with big family brands (including travel) to help promote their services, as well as offering free resources to parents of kids under 10. It gives 51%+ profits to Reverence for Life, who fund a number of important initiatives in Africa, including bringing running water and basic equipment to a school in Tanzania. Helen has worked as a digital marketing consultant (IDM qualified) with various organisations, including Channel Mum, Truprint, Talk to Mums, and Micro Scooters. She loves to be creative in the brand campaigns she works on. Get in touch TODAY!

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