From The Family Coaches Painless Parenting Program
How to Listen so your child feels heard, understood and not judged.
1. Stop whatever else you may be doing.
2. Get comfortable and face them.
3. If they come to you to talk let them know they now have your full attention and you can, if needed, begin by asking something like ”What’s on your mind?”
4. If you see there is something and you chose to initiate start by asking something like “You seem to be preoccupied, what is going on?”
5. Listen to understand what they are saying, nothing else, no teaching, problem-solving or making a point, just try to understand. Your whole goal is to help them feel heard, understood and not judged.
6. Saying “I understand” does not work. Show them you do understand by reflecting what you think you heard them say. No worries here they will correct you if you are off and they know you are trying to understand.
7. When appropriate ask clarifying questions such as: “What do you mean?”
8. Keep listening and when possible reflect the importance and what the issue means to them. By saying words such as “This is really important to you.” Or “You feel ___________ . Whatever you believe they feel.”
9. Try for Compassionate Objectivity. Keep in mind that in this situation you are more listener than parent so suspend judgment and let go of trying to make it a teaching moment, giving advice or sharing your experience, thoughts or feelings.
10. Do not start solving their problem for them. Once they know you understand and are not judging them it may be time for problem-solving. If so ask them if they want your help or perhaps letting them know you have some ideas you will share if they want. If they say “no” let it go and let them solve it. Often talking it thru with someone who will listen is all they needed.
This can be very difficult if so call Coach Len by going to thefamilycoaches.com Scheduling page and sign up for a free consultation