5 Listening Habits We All Need to Break
If there are effective ways to listen, there are certainly ineffective ways to listen. Taking the time to listen to your child, and really hear them out is so important. Having worked firsthand with ASD youth, being heard is sometimes all they want. Here are 5 ineffective listening habits you should be aware of:
1) On-Off Listening
Parents, you can think about 4 times faster than your child can speak. This leaves you with 3⁄4 of every minute to think about yourself over who’s speaking. It’s a habit most of if not all of us are guilty of. Do your best to stay engaged in the conversation and really pay attention to what your child has to say.
2) Red Flag Listening
Oftentimes when we hear things that threaten us or “push our buttons” we stop listening. I imagine that your child has said or done things to annoy you or ask for something that they should know they can’t have. The best thing you can do is catch yourself pulling away and tune back in.
3) Open Ears – Closed Mind Listening
Sometimes we decide quickly we can predict what the subject is going to say, that they are boring, or that they make no sense. We stop listening. When this happens, just for a moment, I’d like you to humanize your child, instead of tuning out or getting frustrated, appreciate what they have accomplished and will eventually accomplish with your help.
Phub- what? Phubbing. It’s a fancy term that just means to ignore someone by taking a quick glance at the phone or respond to a text mid conversation. It’s a nasty habit that almost everyone has now, but you can be the exception. When your child or anyone else for that matter is talking to you, put that phone away!
5) I’ve Got Your Solution Listening
We already know what the solution is. Listening then becomes a formality to “get through” before we can give the subject our good advice or inspiring story. A word to the wise: Not everyone wants or need a solution. More times than not, people, your child, just need someone to talk to and someone to listen.
Remember, these are ineffective listening habits. Most all of us are guilty of them. Our intent is to not call you out and make you feel bad, our intent is to draw your attention to these common mistakes and empower you to be the best listener, caregiver, friend, and parent you can be!