20 ways to encourage active listening in kids

In today's times, attention span are increasingly decreasing. So what can we, as parents or educators, do to enhance our children's attention spans? Active listening is one tool that can be built in children to enhance their attention span for better focus and concentration. Let's look at some ways in which it can be encouraged in kids.

Tue Feb 7, 2023

Active listening is a fundamental part of communication, and it is essential for having fruitful exchanges with other people in order to achieve success. It is not sufficient to simply receive the information; one must also comprehend it and respond to it in a manner that is understandable. Focus, attention, and a willingness to grasp the perspective of the person speaking are all the necessary components of effective listening. The ability to listen attentively can help strengthen relationships, enhance learning, and contribute to overall success in one's career and personal life. 

Here are a few ways to enhance active listening skills among children : 

1. Foster active listening by teaching children to pay undivided attention to the person who is speaking to them and to express interest in what is being communicated to them. 

2. Serve as a role model for attentive listening: Because children learn best from observing others, you should demonstrate attentive listening yourself. 

3. Create opportunities to practise: Playing games, reading stories, or having group conversations are all great ways to give children opportunities to practise listening. 

4. Repetition is key: When teaching kids how to improve their listening skills, it's crucial to emphasise the importance of reiterating crucial details. 

5. Encourage kids to ask questions and clarify facts by telling them that doing so demonstrates they are fully engaged in listening to what is being said. 

6. Provide kids with constructive feedback: Reward children for their efforts to listen and give them positive feedback in order to inspire them to continue developing their abilities. 

7. Reduce the amount of distractions: Make sure that the atmosphere is conducive to listening, with the level of distractions and clutter being reduced to a minimum. 

8. Foster empathy by teaching kids to put themselves in the position of the speaker and try to see things from their point of view in order to increase their listening skills. 

9. Teach them to listen with their whole body. Remind children to nod their heads, make eye contact and use other nonverbal cues to show that they are paying attention when someone is speaking to them. 

10. Develop listening skills in a fun way by including stories, rhymes and songs into activities. 

11. Encourage group activities: Plan activities for children to participate in as a group, such as group conversations or group games, to enable children to practise their skills and listen to one another. 

12. Instruct kids to look for specific data such as important phrases or details in order to help them to understand what is being said. 

13. Develop the ability to listen critically by encouraging your children to evaluate the information that is being presented and question it when appropriate. 

14. Engage in listening games: Participate in listening games with the children, such as "Simon Says" or "Follow the Leader," to assist them in honing their listening abilities and giving them training. 

15. Instruct children to compose their own summaries after listening to a story or a speaker. This serves to reinforce both their knowledge of the material and their memory of it. 

16. Train children to pay heed to not only the words being spoken but also to the tone and the emotions that are behind them. They may have a better understanding of the sentiments and viewpoint of the speaker as a result of this. 

17. Children may find that participating in role-playing games is a fun way to acquire active listening practise. Encourage them to pay close attention to what is being said and to modify their responses accordingly. 

18. Teach children to evaluate their own listening habits and think about ways in which they could make those habits better. They are better able to actively focus on increasing their listening skills when they have this level of self-awareness. 

19. Simply telling children to pay attention to patterns, such as repetitions or similarities in a speaker's words, will assist the children in understanding and memorising the information that is being presented to them. 

20. Children should be encouraged to listen to a variety of speakers, including people whose accents, speaking styles, and points of view are unique. They can improve their listening skills and become more receptive to new ideas as a result of this.

While all the above tips work at a superficial level, BodhiShishu's techniques work at the subconscious level of the child for lasting results. All our programs are age-appropriate, fun and engaging. Always keep in mind that every child is unique, and what works for one child may not work for another. It is important to be patient and try multiple methods to see what works best for your child. That's why all our programs have techniques for all learner types- Visual, Auditory and Kinaesthetic. Your child can learn the skills needed to be calm and stress-free with practise and encouragement.

Darshan Bawa

Founder- BodhiShishu, Social- Emotional Learning (SEL) and potential growth coach for kids. Passionate about helping children unleash their full potential.

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