How to listen so kids get heard

Create an atmosphere where kids feel they can talk freely.
  • Make the time to listen.
  • Accept the child's thoughts and feelings.
  • Look at the child.
  • Pay attention.
  • Show that you are interested.  Respond with a word, a sound, or a nod.
Get the facts.
  • Ask questions if there's something you don't understand.
  • Repeat in your own words what the child says to be sure you really understand.
Respect feelings.
  • Pay attention to feelings. Acknowledge and reflect the child's feelings.
  • Give feelings a name. By identifying the child's feelings you free the child to begin to work things out.
Remember not to:
  • Interrupt.
  • Bombard the child with questions. It can put any child on the defensive.
  • Make up your mind before the child finishes speaking.


Funding for this program provided by the Department of Health and Human Services