Monday, February 28, 2011

Expressing LOVE to our Children

Several years ago, as I was preparing to teach a class on the "Five Love Languages of Children," written by Gary Chapman, I came up with my ownway of expressing love by turning the word, "Love" into an acronym. My next four posts will cover each letter of this most-important word.

L - Listen
O - Observe
V - Validate
E - Enjoy

What is "listening?" Listening is much more than hearing; it is an active way to communicate with another person. Active listening involves validating, confirming and rephrasing.

Parents and caregivers are so accustomed to guiding children, that we sometimes forget to listen to them. Below are some examples of ways to include active listening in your relationship with your child.

Child Says:  
Active Listening Response:

"She knocked down my tower!"  
You sound angry that your tower fell. What can you do? Would you like to talk to _________ about it?

"Me First!"  
Wow, you are really anxious to be the first one to have a snack. Let's think of a way to wait; do you have any ideas?

"You like him more"  
It sounds like you are feeling neglected. Would you like to tell me about it?

"I'm not bad"  
You spilled the paint. It sounds like you are feeling sad about that. Let's get it cleaned up together. We all make messes.

Active listening is an effective stabilizer of emotions and it also validates a person's feelings. We can teach our children how to be mature communicators as we actively listen to them.

Good luck working on this skill!

"It is the province of knowledge to speak, and it is the privilege of wisdom to listen."
Oliver Wendell Holmes

1 comment:

  1. I love Gary Chapman! My husband and I discovered Gary Chapman and then I found his book for children! I love how simple it is and how much sense it makes!