Active Listening Skills for Parents

Using body language ·   Eye contact (in some cultures this is disrespectful)

·   Body “open” & facing speaker

·   Leaning forward

·   Nodding of head

·   Use tone and pitch of voice to show interest

Used to convey interest and to encourage the child to communicate.
      “Tell me more about what happened …”

“Can you tell me more?”

Used to help you clarify what was said, to gather more information and to help the child to explore her or his own meanings. Clarify who, what, where, when, why, how?
“When did you ask the teacher and how did you ask the question?”

“I am not sure I understand what you just said. Tell me more about why you think Rita did not invite you to her party.”

Used to try to understand what the child is saying by restating what you head in your own words.
“So you’re saying that you wanted to play with Ronald but he wanted to play basketball with his other friends. Is that right?”

“You think you left your jacket on the bus but you are not sure?”

Reflecting Feelings
Used to help you and your child identify the feelings that he or she is feeling at the moment and to validate those feelings.  These feelings may be voiced by the child or may be detected from the child’s body language.
“You’re feeling frustrated that you did not make the team?”

“Your face seems to say that you’re feeling proud that you made the team. Is that true?”


Use to clearly state the decision or agreement.  It can also be used if the speaker is going on and on and your attention is ebbing.
“This is what we agreed upon … you will finish your homework this morning and you can go to the party tomorrow. Is that right?”

“I want to make sure I understand what you told me thus far.  You saw the pencil on the floor and then you picked it up thinking it was yours. When Maria pulled it away from you she hurt your finger. You then….”