4 Approaches to Better Listening

4 Approaches to Better Listening

by | Oct 26, 2020 | Parenting Adolescents, Trending, Tween Times

4 Approaches to Better Listening


Nothing feels as wonderful as when another human understands our perspective, experience, emotions, or dreams. We feel validated, honored, and linked to the person who created the safety and time for us to be heard.

In the spirit of building the connection between your teen and you, I offer four approaches to listening. You already know the purpose is not to lecture or chastise. It’s the opportunity for our child’s voice to be heard, so she feels our unconditional acceptance and positive regard.


1: Become curious. Approaching your child with wonder and fascination communicates your genuine interest, care, and concern. Eagerly and open-mindedly anticipate conversations and value spending precious time together. Visually and viscerally, your child senses your enthusiasm, inquisitiveness, and desire to be present and listen.

We must be eager to learn.


2: Quiet our brain. Create space and time to hear the words, notice tone, and observe body language. Rooted in desire and intention, we have to consciously clear our thoughts and disengage from our brain’s incessant barrage of reminders, ideas, to-dos, feelings and urges. Just as we turn down a device to listen or put on glasses to improve vision, mindfully, we can empty our mind to focus on listening to our child.

We must be silent to listen fully.


3: Listen to understand. Fully comprehending our child’s position, experience, perception, and emotions require purposeful concentration. Authentic listening disallows judging, correcting, or interrupting. Instead, our presence and posture create trust and safety that enables her to share her truths confidently.

We must be intentional to understand.


4: Respond from the heart. It’s essential to validate our child’s feelings and appreciate their experiences with compassion, empathy, sincerity and love. When our responses are heart-centered, not fear or anxiety-based, we honor and esteem our child. And lace your connection with trust, respect, and kindness.

We must be heart-centered to grow connections.

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