Parents - How Tuned in Are You

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By Melissa Ford

Coach - Personal & Business

JUST LISTEN, but not in the way you normally do as you multi-task or interrupt to correct your kid's faulty thinking.  Try a unique, attitudinal way of listening that let's your child feel respected, heard, and wanting to open up more and more. 

Here are the Core Listening Components:

Be Present:  Be really interested and curious in what your child has to say.  Stay focused - not thinking about the past or worrying about the future.

Be Non-judgmental:  Refrain from viewing what your child says, does, wants, or feels as "bad" or "wrong."  The minute you judge your child (by your facial expressions, your words, or your tone of voice) she knows it, which leads to defensiveness, anger, and disconnecting.

Be Accepting:  Of where you child is right now.  It's okay that she thinks, feels, acts, and wants the way she does.  You might want something different for her, but accept her for who she is right now.  DO NOT fix her, solve her problems, offer advice or solutions.  REMAIN QUIET and LISTEN. 

There are endless benefits to connecting with your child this way!  Mutual respect, trust, acceptance.  

Try this out and let me know what benefits you experience!


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Susan Lucci from River Forest IL  

Posted: November 1st, 2010 10:51 AM

Thanks, Melissa. I am reminded by the one piece of advice my mom gave me on parenting (well, besides the stop reading all those books, go with your gut tip!)....Listen more than you talk. It was her one regret. Thanks for the reminder!

Libbey Paul from Oak Park  

Posted: November 1st, 2010 5:46 AM

MelissaGreat reminder to listen without judgment. I find I'm often too quick to correct, and unthinkingly shut my kids down. Thanks and glad to see you posting on these important parenting topics!

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