How To Be A Good Listener

How To Be A Good Listener

Have you ever found yourself saying to your child ‘why aren’t you listening to me?’ ‘What did I just
say?’ or shaking your head in disbelief when your child has not understood a small task you have
asked them to complete (several times!)
Below are a few ideas that might help your child improve their listening skills, which may help at home
and also in school. But first let’s consider what it means to be a good listener.
What do we need to do to be a good listener?
• Prepare yourself for listening.
• Focus on what is being said.
• Listen to ideas not just words.
• Wait and watch for non-verbal communication.
• Maintain eye contact wherever possible.
• Listen to the words and try to picture what the speaker is saying.
• And most importantly … stop talking.
How can I help nurture good listening skills with my child?
• Ask your child to repeat what you have said, for example, after giving an instruction.
• Read stories – let your child predict the ending, retell the best part (make the story interactive).
• Audio stories – listen to the stories together with your child or as a family.
• Add-on stories – this can be done in a group where each person adds onto the story every 4 or
5 sentences.
• Identify sounds – play or make sounds while your child’s eyes are closed and they must try to
identify them.
• Copycat – play games like broken telephone, clapping a pattern or repeating silly made-up rhymes.
I hope that these ideas help you and your child work on their listening skills, and if you have any further
ideas please feel free to share them with me.

Rachel Perkins – Primary and Kindergarten Principal