Developing listening skills is definitely one of the most important skills you can teach your child. You want your child to listen to you, to other adults, to teachers, be able to follow directions and develop healthy social skills and all that begins with active listening – which is much different than hearing. We can hear things but not actually listen to them – sounds are around us all the time but it’s easy to tune them out.
Teaching your child to engage in active listening is an important step in the process to listening skills and we do this all the time in our Kindermusik classes. Active listening is more than just listening, we listen, discuss, imitate, repeat… the parents are just as important in this process too because as you as parents model listening behaviour you are also teaching you child to do so too. I love this video from our Wiggle & Grow toddler class that really illustrates all of these points. You will see me showing the children a picture of a squirrel, discussing what squirrels do and acting it out, listening to squirrel sounds and imitating it. The parents in this class deserve ample credit too because they are all excellent models of being active listeners and are fabulous at engaging with their children and being the supportive, nurturing parents and teachers that they are!