Active Listening to a Child

Active Listening

Active listening is a crucial part of effective communication and is essential in building strong relationships between parents and children. Here is a guide to help parents practice active listening with their child:

  1. Pay Attention: Give your full attention to your child and put aside any distractions, such as phones or televisions.
  2. Show Interest: Show interest in what your child is saying by nodding, making eye contact, and asking follow-up questions.
  3. Repeat Back: Repeat back what your child has said to show that you have understood their message.
  4. Validate Feelings: Acknowledge your child’s emotions and validate their feelings. Let them know that their feelings are important and that you are there to support them.
  5. Avoid Interruptions: Avoid interrupting your child and allow them to express their thoughts and feelings without judgment.
  6. Practice Empathy: Put yourself in your child’s shoes and try to understand their perspective. This helps to build trust and strengthen your relationship.

By using these active listening techniques, parents can create a supportive and understanding environment for their children, which can have a significant impact on their well-being and development.


A child comes home from school and starts talking to their parent about a difficult math test they took that day.

Active Listening Parent: “I can see that you’re feeling frustrated about your math test. Can you tell me more about what happened?”

Child: “Yeah, I didn’t understand the questions, and I got a lot of them wrong.”

Active Listening Parent: “I understand that it can be discouraging to get a lot of answers wrong. But it’s important to remember that everyone makes mistakes, and it’s a great opportunity to learn and improve.”

Child: “I guess you’re right. I just don’t want to get a bad grade.”

Active Listening Parent: “I understand how you feel. Let’s talk about some ways you can study and improve for your next test. I’m here to support you, and we’ll work on it together.”