“Hey! Are you listening to me?” Time and time again, every parent has found themselves talking to their little ones whose eyes have got that vacant look and whose thoughts seem elsewhere. Yes, children aren’t the best listeners because of their innate restlessness, and ever changing curiosity about the world around them. As parents, it is natural for us to get irritated and annoyed. However, if you take a deep breath and let the moment pass, you will be able to calm down and teach your little ones how to develop better listening skills.
Little ones are like sponges – soaking up everything in their environment. So this is the best time to teach your little one valuable skills and habits. Read on to find out how you can boost your child’s listening skills!
Children tend to observe, absorb from and imitate the people in their surroundings – be it care givers, teachers, peers or family. As parents, we are the biggest role models to our little ones. When at home, model listening skills by maintaining eye contact with your little ones as they speak. Paraphrase and ask them questions about what they’re saying to show them that they have your attention.
Help them build their listening skills and practice them at home. When you set a chore list, narrate it to them and ask them to repeat what you said. This builds their listening skills and ensures that they pay attention to what you say, and if they have any doubts or clarifications, they stop you and ask you to repeat what you said. This enables them to be more confident about asking for clarifications in the outside world as well.
Develop your little ones listening skills and have fun while you’re at it! Come up with innovative and interesting games of your own, or play one of the regular ones such as simon says or story building. You can also have them do fun tasks such as following your instructions and building a structure using blocks.
You and your child can listen to audio books together. Not only is this a great way to spend some quality time, but it also boosts your little one’s listening skills. At the end of the book, ask him questions or have him re-tell the story in his own words.
Come up with an exciting story for your little one – use different voices for different characters. You can even have him play a character and add to the story. In the end, both of you can spend time together re-telling each other’s parts in the story or can switch roles and re-tell the story.
Engage your little one in conversation about a topic that he or she is passionate about. That will help build his interest in the topic as well as his listening skills. If the topic chosen is something that he is passionate about, he will be more inclined to really listen and engage in conversation.
This is a great weekend activity that you can do at home or outside. Wherever you are, blindfold your little one and have him identify various sounds. This will help him tune into his listening skills as well as develop the ability to pick out different sounds and identify them.
With children out of school, physical distancing as the new norm, and children’s rights under threat, the new world order has “turned back the clock” on years of progress made on children’s well-being. However, it’s not all bad. As a human race, we’ve been built to adapt: we’ve seen a tipping point in technology-enabled education and the promise of a new education policy in our country.