In one ear, out the other?

by | Feb 1, 2024

Everyday tasks and parenting busy-ness can take its toll on our listening skills.

This means we’re sometimes distracted when our child or young person is trying to talk to us. 

Family hurly burly can sometimes (often!) get in the way of talking and connecting, even though we know it can support children’s mental health.

There are two key parts of the Connective Parenting NVR therapeutic approach that help children and young people to understand that their voice matters. These two points below can sometimes be difficult to hear (see what I did there?!), but there’s no denying that parents and carers face many daily distractions.

As we get ready for the school run, make dinner and generally spin plates, we may well be hearing but are we listening?

Here’s how we can try to see our way through those distractions and really hear what our children are telling us.

Be present

Increasing your physical and emotional presence with your child tells them you care. What you do isn’t the important thing, it’s that you’re giving them your full attention.

Show interest in them, in what they’re doing and what they enjoy and let them know you can see how they’re feeling.

Listen to hear

For all of us, being heard is often the important bit. Listening to hear (and not just to respond) is how we can form connections and strengthen relationships. 

By listening then repeating your child’s words, you’re checking you heard them correctly and they know you were listening. It helps them to understand that their voice matters.

Taking a moment, however brief that moment might be, to connect and listen, helps give a voice to our children and young people. And that, in turn, supports their mental health.

Ruthanne is one of the Connective Family Team