Stop, Look, Listen

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Written by Dr. Rana Tayara

Communication skills is the base of any relationship, right?

I always though I had really good communication skills, after all, I teach it to counselling students almost every day and I practice it with my clients almost every day. 

Attentive listening, non judgmental, eye contact, no interruptions, use of silence, I had all the tools and skills that are needed.

Or did I?

You see I started questioning how much of a good listener I was when my son, my two year old son was telling me a story, my phone beeped and I looked away to see what it was and he suddenly grabbed my face and turned it towards him and said “mum, look at me”. 

You see in that second that I looked away, to my son, I was not listening anymore, I was not attending to him. One second was enough for him to feel that he was not listened to. 

Three steps that will show our kids that we are truly attending/listening:

  1. STOP. Stop what you are doing. Completely. Put down the phone. Turn away from the screen. Turn down the stove. 
  2. LOOK. Look at your child in the eyes. Go down to their eye level, hold their hands if you can.
  3. LISTEN. Just listen. Do not comment, do not give any opinion, just keep looking at your child and really pay attention.

These three simple steps will make them feel listened, but more importantly it will show them that they matter.