It’s frustrating when our children don’t seem to listen, isn't it?

And when they don’t pay attention to what you are saying at home, you have to wonder how much they are missing at school!

In 15+ years of teaching Martial Arts in our community, we’ve developed a 5 step approach to teach the skill of listening. You can easily teach these 5 steps to your child!

The Listening Posture. Teach your child that when it’s time to listen, they must sit or stand up straight. Shoulders back. Lift the chest a little. Chin high. This alone can double listening retention!

Direct Eye Contact is Essential. Insist on it when you are speaking to your child. She will then be able to focus on the words being said.

Repeat the Message Back to the Speaker, When Possible. For example, a child might say, “So, Mom, you’d like me to clean up my room and feed the cat before I play on the computer?” This lets the speaker know your child has understood!

Ask Questions! Coach your children to ask respectful questions. This shows that they are paying attention, and care about what the other person is saying!

Look For More Information. Especially with older children, train them to ask themselves, “How does the speaker feel about what they are saying?” Are they Angry? Bored? Interested? Concerned?

My friends, even the young children can be taught these steps. Begin by reading them to your kids, and then practicing each skill!

When you observe your child losing focus, just the simple reminder, “Remember...listening skills!” will refocus them.

And, of course, watch like a hawk for situations when your child does listen effectively. Catch them doing it right, and follow up with a huge dose of appreciation, like, “Honey, I was so proud of you for listening to what I was saying!”

If you have any questions about the 5 Skills of Listening, give me a call. I’d be happy to help!

Author's Bio: 

Denny Strecker has been teaching valuable "Life Skills" to children for over 15 years. He has worked with hundreds of families teaching parents better ways to help raise the self-esteem and self-confidence of their child. He is available for seminars and has several workshops on DVD. You can get more information at