Being a parent means you’ve got a really important role to play in helping kids understand their feelings
and behavior. Children need to be shown how to manage their feelings in positive and constructive
ways. From the moment a child is born, they start learning the emotional skills they need to identify, express
and manage their feelings and they learn this most from their first relationships. Helping your child identify their feelings is the first step in helping them manage their
Be Accepting and Not Judgmental
Accepting without judgment is key and it is not the same as agreeing with whatever your children are
saying. Let them know that you are with them, you’re aware of what they are saying, you’re trying to
understand their situation and you’re accepting of their perspective. This is not the time to object or
discipline your children. Remember when feelings are minimized or dismissed, they will often be
expressed in unhealthy ways.
If you are non-judgmental and accepting of what is on their minds, they will feel more comfortable
opening up to you. They will turn to you whenever they feel they are in difficult situations. By being
open and non judgmental, we encourage our kids to be honest with us. When they do open up, it is
important to react with both compassion and strength.
Be Calm in Difficult Situations
Sometimes we parents can have our own underlying issues which effect how we respond to a situation.
We may over-react in a situation due to some underlying issue which we may not be aware of. Taking
care of our own mental health is a key factor in helping our kids feel happy.
Your child’s feelings of security and safety come from their interactions with you and the other people
who care for them. If you comfort and reassure your child when they’re frightened or anxious, they’ll
feel safe and secure with you.
Show That You Care
Parents should not feel that they have to always fix the situation, just by listening to their children, they
can show them that there’s at least one person in the world who cares about them and is on their side.
Children need at least one person in their lives that thinks the world rises and sets on them who
delights in their existence and loves them unconditionally. Pamela Leo
When a parent takes the time to pause and really listen to their child, they show their child that they
care about them, that they’re important, that they are worthy of their time and full attention and that
their feelings are justified.
Why Should You Listen?
Children whose parents actively listen, learn healthy ways to express and cope with their feelings. They
become empathetic and supportive of others and perform better in school and their career. They have
more positive and stable relationships and have a positive sense of self. They feel more capable and
confident and have good mental health and well being. They develop resilience and coping skills and
display less behavioral problems.
Improve Your Listening Skills
We can improve our listening skills by maintaining eye contact, not interrupting, asking questions and
repeating back what the speaker says. Just have to keep reminding ourselves to consciously focus on
the speaker. And always respect what they have to say because everybody is worthy of being both
heard and understood.
- Listening is always the first step in solving problems.
- Listening carefully is how you gather information about what’s going on in your child’s life and head.
- Listening effectively builds strong relationships.
- Listening thoughtfully shows respect.
- Listening to your child’s perspective will teach you a lot. Children are smarter than most grown-ups
think, and they generally know what they need. Listen to your children and they will teach you how to
We sometimes forget the basics skills of communication when we interact with children. Maybe
unconsciously we think that children should simply do what we say. But they are human too, and
humans don’t like to be ordered around. Even with kids, it’s give respect and take respect. And to make
someone listen to us, we need to connect first!