Research says that good listeners usually have above average self-respect and very positive self-images. Teaching children good listening skills at an early age can help them to be effective listeners as adults. Kids up to the ages of 11 and 12 need constant reinforcement in order for listening skills to become second nature.
Here are a few listening skills you and your child can work on together.
~Eye Contact-eye contact lets the speaker know you are paying attention to what he is saying.
~Body Language-teach your child to avoid awkward body gestures that show he is bored or anxious--rolling his eyes, crossed arms, fidgeting…
~Gestures-Teach your child when to nod his head or make affirmative statements without interrupting the speaker.
~Focus-Train your child to focus on what the speaker is saying rather than planning his next answer.
~Paraphrase-Explain to your child how to paraphrase the main idea of what the speaker has said in order to show understanding and to be able to clarify any questions he might have.