Do you really know your child? Do you really know how his or her life is or what he or she deals with from day to day? How well do you listen? How much time do you spend every week looking into your child's eyes and hearing what she or he has to say?

Real listening means:
  • You are patient and relaxed.
  • You are facing your child and making eye contact.
  • You are nonjudgmental—sometimes it helps to pretend they are not your kid.
  • You are remembering there is nothing wrong. Your child is not broken or needing to be fixed, no matter how they are feeling or what they are sharing.
  • You are curious. Ask, "What else?" when they stop talking because you sincerely want to know.
Real listening also means:
  • You are not talking.
  • You are not coaching or giving advice.
  • You are not fixing it.
  • You are not comparing.
  • You are not relating, therefore bringing the attention back to you.


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