Everyone has a need to be heard and understood. A great way to achieve this goal and understand the other person’s point of view is through active listening. There are a few requirements in order for active listening to work:
- It is important to want to hear what the other person has to say and to take the time to actually listen. This is the first step of active listening. If you aren’t really interested in listening to the other person, active listening won’t work.
- You need to want to be helpful. Working together is more important than being right.
- It is important to accept the other person’s feelings, whatever they are and however they may differ from your own feelings or ideas of what the other person’s feelings may be. Feelings are valid.
- You have to trust in your child’s capacity to handle those feelings, to work through them, and to have the ability to find solutions.
- Understand that these feelings are transitory rather than permanent. Feelings change. While certain feelings may make us uncomfortable, it is important to address them and work through the needs behind the feelings.
- Ever importantly, it is important to view your child as a separate person from yourself.