Let’s say Luke won’t talk to his parents. When he comes home from school, he goes straight to his room without bothering to say, “hello.” His parents know nothing about is high school friends, and they have no idea what he does when he’s away from home His family never discusses problems and their dew talk usually end in shouting matches. Luke can’t remember the last time his parents really too the time to listen to him. They are always busy – his father with his job and his mother with her part-time work and various social activities. Even if they did make an attempt to listen to him, Luke wonders if they could understand his problems at school.
Luke’s family is typical of many families today. His parents do not realize it, but Luke doesn’t talk t them because they never listened. Even as a child he would not confide in his parents because they were always doing the talking. They never recognized the crucial role that listening plays in communication. Experts say that if you don’t want your children to talk to you – never listen to them. But parents who want open communication lines – who want their children to come to them rather than strangers in crisis, need to make listening a high priority. Here are some simple practices for developing listening skills:
First, desire to listen. To be a good listener, you must want to hear what your child has to say. You have to believe that your child’s thoughts and feelings are important and that he gains tremendous benefits from your listening. There was a church secretary who had a sign on her desk which read “I love you enough to listen”. Parents need to wear an invisible sign that conveys this message. And it’s best to start listening to a child when he is small – not when he is sixteen and communication barrier have become difficult to bridge.