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We could put up ten-foot banners around the house reminding our children how much we love them or how special they are, and yet these will have far less impact than a simple act of truly listening.” – Steven W. Vannoy (1994, p. 109)

One of the most important things you can do for your children is to be a good listener. Not only does it make them feel valued, but studies show that being a good listener has a greater impact on people than being a good talker. Good listeners exert more of an influence on those around them and are more respected than those who are merely skilled with the tongue. So if you want a positive relationship with your children, good listening is as important as good talking.

Learning to be a better listener will also promote better behavior in your children. Think about an angry customer calling a customer service representative. When someone is upset, often the most important thing is that their complaint be heard. The simple act of actively listening to and sympathizing with the customer’s grievance can drain away that person’s negative emotional energy, even if nothing else is done.

Children are the same way. They’ll behave better and be more compliant when they feel as though their grievances are heard and their feelings understood, regardless of whether this results in them getting what they want each time. Therefore improving your listening skills will lead to a marked improvement in child behavior.

How to Listen

  • Being a receptive parent: Signs & signals that your child wants to talk to you
  • Active listening skills
  • Learning to listen without
  • Asking the right questions (ebook)
  • Searching for the speakers emotional truth (ebook)
  • Tips for becoming a better
  • Giving advice


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