Listening: The key to better parent-child bonding.
Listen earnestly to anything your children want to tell you, no matter what. If you don't listen eagerly to the little stuff when they are little, they won't tell you the big stuff when they are big, because to them all of it has always been big stuff.' - Catherine M. Wallace, www.SpirituallyThinking.blogspot.com
Your child receives vital nutrients through breastfeeding and/or fortified formula during brain development. With the absorption of the right nutrients, they are then able to engage in their curiosities. At this stage, you can take the opportunity to explore the world with your child using simple cognitive exercises, such as looking for a fruit (like an apple) in a specific colour (like red) when you’re at the supermarket. That will also enable you to build unique bonds with your child.
Indeed, listening to your child begins the moment they learn to express themselves. However, listening always seems to be more difficult than talking - especially for a parent who assumes a figure of authority to their children. We're prone to use phrases like 'Listen to me when I'm talking,' or 'Did you hear what I just said?' when reprimanding our little ones, without listening to their side of the story.
Some children have difficulty expressing their emotions or articulating their needs. But simply by listening attentively and objectively, we open ourselves to understand them better and know how they feel about things or situations.
Why is listening so important? Listening is always the first step in solving problems; e.g. the reason why she is crying, the explanation why he is afraid, etc. Listening builds closer relationships and respect, because your child invests trust in you, and you give him or her confidence in return. Listening also establishes a common understanding through stories shared.
If you want your children to listen to you, you will first need to actively listen to them. By being attentive, you are better able to gather pieces of information on what is happening in your child's mind.
Here are some key listening skills for a parent: