Thanks to the Internet, there are lots of articles, videos and tutorials out there that can help us learn new languages, play an instrument or cook delicious meals. Thankfully, there are also plenty of resources that can help parents strengthen their relationships with their children by improving their listening skills. If you’re looking to become a better listener, check out the following resources.
Effective listening is a difficult skill to develop, even though many people believe they’re good listeners. This Harvard Business Review articlediscusses misconceptions about listening ability, obstacles to proper listening as well as ways to improve your skills. If you’re looking for information specifically on how to be an active listener for your teen, you may find this Center for Parenting Education article helpful; it includes scenarios, sentence starters and how to identify any underlying issues your teen may be facing.
Watching videos about body language, such as this Gestures and Body Language Tutorial video, can help you understand the non-verbal things your teen may be “saying” through their posture, expressions and actions. Although there are many articles about body language, you may find a visual demonstration to be more helpful as you’ll be able to see examples of the body language being discussed.
There are several books that focus on listening skills and how they can be improved. The Lost Art of Listening has helped over 100,000 readers work through conflict and transform relationships through examples, techniques and exercises. The Wisdom of Learning centers on the benefits of listening skills, how effective listening can bring peace and how it can help strengthen connections between people.
If you enjoy learning through the use of apps on your tablet or smartphone, there are several options that can help you improve your listening skills. SuperEars plays random words for you to test your memory recall and retain what you’ve heard. Elevate provides personalized games designed to help you train your listening and short-term memory abilities. Memory retention is important in listening; by remembering what your teen said after each conversation you have, you’ll make them feel heard and more likely turn to you again whenever they’re experiencing a problem.
If you’re a hands-on learner, consider taking a workshop to improve your listening skills. Many community centers and colleges offer workshops that focus specifically on communication and listening. If you prefer to learn online, Lynda.com offers online courses on effective listening. Engaging with other people and performing listening activities together can help you become a better listener for your teen.
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