Listening is Respect

Listening is respect. I have often wondered why we have classes and awards for speaking skills but none for listening skills.

Speaking and listening are two sides of the same coin. Listening, in general, and particularly when communicating with children is neglected as speaking takes precedence. I know of schools that conduct lessons in communication skills that comprise completely on developing speaking skills (reflecting a common perception communication = speaking).

UN Convention on Children’s Rights lists listening as a part of the Child’s Right to Participate. By that logic, not listening to children is a violation of their rights. Since children communicate in a more than a hundred languages (Loris Malaguzzi), adults must learn to listen to these hundred languages.

Take a Moment to Listen

Take a moment to listen

To what your children are trying to say;

Listen today, whatever you do

Or they won’t be there to listen to you.

Listen to their problems. Listen for their needs,

Praise their smallest triumphs, praise their smallest deeds;

Tolerate their chatter, amplify their laughter.

Find out what’s the matter; find out what they’re after.

But tell them that you love them, every single night;

And though you scold them, be sure you hold them;

Tell them “Everything’s all right; tomorrow’s looking bright.”

Take a moment to listen today.

To what your children are trying to say;

Listen today, whatever you do.

And they will come back to listen to you!!

By Dr. Denis Waitley

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