Friday, July 17, 2015

And from the backseat, I hear, "huh?"

I am putting dinner on the table and call my son to the meal. From upstairs, I hear him respond, "huh?"

We are in the pasta aisle at the store and I ask my son what type of noodles we should get. He looks up at me from the cart and says, "huh?"

I am driving my son to school and we are talking about his upcoming field trip. I ask him who he wants to be his buddy for the day. And from the backseat, I hear, "huh?"

The sane part of my brain knows that he has been sick and that his ears are probably clogged. The crazy part of my brain hopes that my son will one day hear me the first time that I speak.

Basically, I am tired of his automatic response to me being, "huh?" So I am working on communication skills - for both of us.
  • I wait until we are in the same room to talk. This sounds obvious, but think about how many times you are talking to someone who isn't in the same room as you.
  • Focus all my attention on him when he talks. No more distracted Mommy half paying attention as he tells me a story. This one is hard: I am really good about not using media devices while he is talking to me, but sometimes I am focused on cooking or something else.
  • Make sure I have his attention before I start talking to him. That includes getting down on his level and having him face me while we talk. Or, if we are in the car, asking him if he can hear me from his seat.
  • I've stopped repeating things. If we are having a conversation and all of the above steps have been followed and he still misses out what I've said the first time, then I am not going to repeat myself.
So far it seems to be working, which makes sense, since children mimic their parents behaviors. If we want our children to be good listeners than we need to be good listeners to them.

(Also: He is better and his ears have unclogged, so that definitely helps.)

What tips do you have to help create better listeners? Share them in the comments.

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