Why listening to your child is important

"But mom/dad, weren't you listening? I just told you!"

How often has this been your child's indignant response when you ask them a question?

In the busy families of today, multi-tasking parents sometimes forget how important it is to _really _listen to their kids, says parenting expert Nikki Bush.

She lists three fundamentally important questions children ask their parents non-verbally every single day:

  • Do you see me?

  • Do you hear me?

  • Am I important to you?

Aside from being distracted by the need to multi-task, there's another habit that affects the quality of an interchange - thinking of what your reply is going to be, instead of listening to what's being said with your full attention.

Bush quotes from the book "25 Ways to Win with People":

'The fundamental cause of nearly all communication problems is that people don't listen to understand, they listen to reply.'

Nikki Bush, Parenting expert

This happens not only with our children, but in all our relationships.

Nikki Bush, Parenting expert

Bush says when it comes to young children particularly, vocalising a thought is a slow process because the brain is learning a new skill.

She advises guarding against the temptation to cut them off, or finish their sentences.

It short-circuits that communication loop and they start feeling like we're not listening to them, or that their ideas are not good enough.

Nikki Bush, Parenting expert

This can affect self-esteem and confidence. In families with more than one child, it can also result in an older or more articulate sibling talking for the other.

For more on this important topic, take a listen:


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
Investigating SA's captive lion breeding industry and the lion bone trade

Investigating SA's captive lion breeding industry and the lion bone trade

Richard Peirce discusses his documentary 'Lions, Bones & Bullets', which follows the trade to the Far East.

'I think govt exists for the most vulnerable' - Midvaal mayor Bongani Baloyi

'I think govt exists for the most vulnerable' - Midvaal mayor Bongani Baloyi

Baloyi became SA's youngest mayor in 2013. He talks about 'being born into politics' and the principles that guide him.

Open day season: How to choose the best school for your child

Open day season: How to choose the best school for your child

Parenting expert Nikki Bush has valuable pointers on what to keep in mind when matching your child to a school.

Africa needs activists, not leaders: Meet SA's AU youth council member

Africa needs activists, not leaders: Meet SA's AU youth council member

Listen to insights from Shakira Choonara - award-winning, internationally recognised youth and healthcare activist.

Me-time, partner time and parenting - finding the right balance

Me-time, partner time and parenting - finding the right balance

Parenting expert Nikki Bush has advice on balancing everyone's needs amid the demands of busy family lives.

The secret to coaching pageant winners: 'I help them realise their own power'

The secret to coaching pageant winners: 'I help them realise their own power'

Miss SA creative director Werner Wessels has coached five entrants to Miss South Africa success. He shares his secrets.

Popular articles
It is not our place to question where Duduzane's pledge comes from - UKZN SRC

It is not our place to question where Duduzane's pledge comes from - UKZN SRC

Zuma has pledged an undisclosed amount of money in order to cover some of the historic debt of students at the university.

Regulator to take action against manufacturers of recalled tinned pilchards

Regulator to take action against manufacturers of recalled tinned pilchards

Eyewitness News reporter Veronica Makhoali says the NRCS urges consumers to look out for leaking cans.

Eskom cuts power but shuns Brian Molefe and others who looted - Seth Mazibuko

Eskom cuts power but shuns Brian Molefe and others who looted - Seth Mazibuko

The Gauteng Housing Crisis Committee spokesperson says the protest is not about Soweto, but is a national issue.

History for the Future: "The trial that changed South Africa”

History for the Future: "The trial that changed South Africa”

In this episode, Andrew Mlangeni recounts how he travelled back to South Africa in the face of mounting tensions.

[LISTEN] Robert McBride reflects on his upbringing and political life

[LISTEN] Robert McBride reflects on his upbringing and political life

The former Ipid head sat down with Eusebius McKaiser for a profile interview.

'Stop pointing fingers and offer practical solutions in fight against crime'

'Stop pointing fingers and offer practical solutions in fight against crime'

Eusebius McKaiser has a frank conversation about crime in South Africa with anti-crime activist Yusuf Abramjee.

Police keeping an eye on Soweto residents' protest over Eskom power cuts

Police keeping an eye on Soweto residents' protest over Eskom power cuts

The organisers of the shutdown have called on residents to abstain from work and take to the streets, wearing black clothing.

[WATCH] Hippo taking a casual stroll to St Lucia garage goes viral

[WATCH] Hippo taking a casual stroll to St Lucia garage goes viral

Khabazela shares some of the videos that went viral on Twitter and Facebook.

[WATCH] Mother playing on swing with child from fourth-floor window goes viral

[WATCH] Mother playing on swing with child from fourth-floor window goes viral

Khabazela shares some of the videos that went viral on Twitter and Facebook.

'Forced sterilisations make me ashamed of being a health professional'

'Forced sterilisations make me ashamed of being a health professional'

HPCSA president Dr Kgosi Letlape and Hopeville Foundation Support Group founder Bongekile Msibi weigh in on the report by CGE.