British statesmen Philip Stanhope once said, "Many a man would rather you heard his story than granted his request." To be heard. Isn't that what we're all looking for? Whether it's a small child intent on telling his side of the argument, or a spouse trying to share about their day, all we really want—and desperately need—is for someone to listen. And in this noise-filled world that we find ourselves living in, being heard is often a bigger challenge than we expected.
Learning to be a good listener at a young age creates a solid foundation for a critical life skill that will serve our children well in many aspects of life: educational advancement, personal relationships, conflict resolution, conveying expectations, and eventually professional success. Not only do listening skills benefit children, they benefit parents just as much. How many times (a day) do you give instructions to your child, knowing that you'll have to repeat them at least a dozen more times to actually stir them into action? Most of the time, our children have heard us talking, but they haven't listened to the actual words, which would be most helpful!
When you're in the car, on a walk, or sitting in the waiting room, run through this short list of favorite sing along songs that can help to improve listening skills:
But perhaps more than anything else, remember to unplug, turn off the noise, and spend quality time communicating with your family. Now that's some sound advice!
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