What are listening skills and how are they linked to cooperating?

Children’s listening skills take time to develop. Listening is not just about hearing (but a child’s hearing may also need to be checked). It’s also about how the brain interprets information. Children also need to be able to follow instructions and cooperate with others. It’s important to be realistic. Young children often find it hard to follow an instruction, especially if it’s new or something they would rather not do (like tidy up their toys). They also need to be able to communicate their own emotions and ideas in socially appropriate ways. There are positive ways to help your child become better at listening, communicating, and cooperating.

Why are listening skills & cooperation important?

Being able to pay attention and get along well with others are important skills for children to learn. If kids find it hard to listen and follow instructions, and be cooperative, it can make school, friendships and life in general more difficult. But with loving, caring, positive support and a consistent approach, children and teenagers can get better at listening, following instructions, and developing the skills they need to succeed.

Read the blog on this hot topic:
Listening and cooperation are skills that take time to develop

Why do kids need help learning to listen, communicate and cooperate?

Most children need a lot of practice and encouragement to listen, pay attention, and follow instructions, and to learn new behaviors. Children may simply be tired, hungry or feeling unwell. They may also be trying to figure out what happens when they do or say something in a new way. Or they may be reacting a certain way because of something that happened previously. Maybe they just need more time to process what you’ve said. The timing of instructions is also important.

Most toddlers and young children are defiant at times. This is only a problem when it happens regularly—for example, if your child follows less than half the instructions you give them, especially if they are also doing the opposite of what you’ve asked, arguing, or demanding.

How can i help my child develop listening skills (and cooperate more)

  • Try to increase opportunities for positive encouragement of listening and communication skills. You might try listening to music or audio books with your child. Reading to children each day also has many benefits – even when they’re old enough to read themselves.
  • Find out what’s realistic to expect at your child’s age and stage of development. You may be using a parenting style that worked when your child was younger, or with one of your other children, but isn’t as helpful in this situation.
  • Give your child opportunities to be independent and feel good about themselves, and encourage them when they express their thoughts and ideas. Brief conversations where you take turns listening and talking about your day are simple, but effective, ways to encourage these skills.
  • Learn some new techniques if things aren’t going well. It can be frustrating or confusing for a parent or caregiver if a child doesn’t seem to listen or cooperate. Over time, if repeated, this can create a cycle of poor communication that doesn’t help improve a child’s listening skills. Positive strategies are needed to change the situation.

Read new research about this topic:

Help your child develop listening skills

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