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  • Writer's pictureCarla Pahl

The importance of Active Listening

When parents practice active listening with their children, they create a supportive and nurturing environment that cultivates trust and understanding. By genuinely listening to their child's thoughts, concerns, and experiences, parents show that they value their child's perspective. This builds a strong foundation for open communication and helps children feel more comfortable expressing themselves. Additionally, active listening enables parents to respond thoughtfully, providing guidance and support that is tailored to their child's specific needs. Ultimately, parents who actively listen to their children strengthen their bond and empower their child to develop strong communication skills that will benefit them throughout their lives.


A parent actively listens while a child expresses
Active Listening involves not just hearing, but also observing. Notice your child's body language, their tone of voice, and their facial expressions.


Active Listening, is a powerful tool which builds strong bonds. Active Listening is more than just hearing the words your child says. It is about showing genuine interest in their thoughts and feelings, and understanding their perspective. It is about truly tuning in, eliminating distractions, and focusing on the conversation at hand. Active Listening involves not just hearing, but also observing. Notice your child's body language, their tone of voice, and their facial expressions.

These non-verbal cues can often communicate more than words themselves. When we actively listen, we encourage our children to express themselves freely. They feel safe, knowing they are in a non-judgmental space where they can share their thoughts, ideas, and feelings. They feel respected and valued, knowing that their opinions matter. Active Listening also involves responding appropriately. A nod, a smile, or a simple 'I understand' can go a long way in showing your child that you are engaged in the conversation.

Ask open-ended questions to encourage more dialogue. Reflect back what you've understood, to show your child that you're truly listening and understanding their point of view. The beauty of Active Listening is that it is a skill that can be developed and improved over time. The more you practice, the better you become. When we actively listen, we show our children that their voices matter, setting a strong foundation for open communication.



A parent communicating a safe place to express feelings with a
Parent and children Active Listening builds strong communication connections

Here are five phrases that parents can use to demonstrate active listening for children of different age groups:

Toddler (1-3 years old):

"I see that you're feeling sad. Can you tell me what's bothering you?"

"I hear you saying you want to play. What game would you like to play?"

"You look excited! Did something special happen today?"

"It seems like you're frustrated. Can you show me what's bothering you?"

"I understand that you don't want to go to bed yet. Let's find a book to read together."

Kindergartener (4-6 years old):

"I hear you saying you had a fun day at school. What was the best part?"

"It sounds like you're worried about the upcoming field trip. Can you tell me more about it?"

"I noticed you're feeling upset. Can you explain what happened?"

"You seem excited about your friend's birthday party. What are you looking forward to?"

"I understand that you're upset about sharing your toys. Can we talk through what happened?"

School-Age Child (7-11 years old):

"I can tell you're feeling proud of your accomplishment. What made you feel successful?"

"It seems like you're feeling anxious about the test. Can you tell me what's causing that worry?"

"I hear you saying you had a tough time with your group project. Can you walk me through what happened?"

"It sounds like you're frustrated with your homework. Can you explain what part is challenging?"

"I understand that you're upset about not being picked for the team. Let's talk about your feelings and find a solution together."

Teenager (12-18 years old):

"I can see that you're feeling proud of your artwork. What inspired you to create it?"

"It seems like you're anxious about the upcoming exams. Can you share your concerns with me?"

"I hear you saying you had a tough time with your friend. Can you tell me more about the situation?"

"It sounds like you're frustrated with the workload. Can you explain what's overwhelming you?"

"I understand that you're upset about the disagreement with your sibling. Let's discuss what happened and how we can resolve it."


Using these phrases can help parents actively listen to their children and show understanding and empathy for their thoughts and feelings. If you are looking for a progressive and supportive parenting tool to further enhance communication and strengthen connection, The Sleeptalk Process® is unparalelled. Find out more about this unique parenting tool which focuses on laying strong communication foundations ultimately contributing to a more harmonious and understanding relationship between you and your child.

Find out more and connect with Carla today







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