What can you do to help your child listen better?
Encouragement for kids is key. Don’t underestimate the importance of successful parent – child communication!
- Gain your child’s attention before speaking. Call your child’s name or signal to your child. Make sure that you have your child’s attention (e.g. eye contact) before speaking.
- Stand close and keep still when speaking. Standing near and keeping still at the child’s eye level helps him or her hear better and be less distracted by movements.
- Face your child. Stand close and face your child when speaking. Looking at your facial expressions and lip movements can help your child understand better. Visual cues for children are very important.
- Speak in a clear and audible tone of voice. Speak slowly and use simple words and sentences to your child. Gesturing may be helpful.
- Give clear, unambiguous instructions. Use simple sentences and make all instructions clear and concise.
- Check for understanding. Make sure that your child understands what is being said. Observe his or her facial expression. Alternatively, ask your child to rephrase or repeat given instructions.
- Allow your child some time before responding to your questions. Be patient and positive: an anxious and self-conscious child will experience even more difficulties thinking of replies to questions.
- Be positive and encouraging. Be sensitive to your child’s feelings and give praise generously. Be positive about your child’s learning and celebrate all progress made, no matter how small.
Compensatory strategies to improve hearing.
Older children can be taught to self-monitor and regulate their own listening.
- Face the speaker. Encourage your child to face the person speaking, maintain eye contact, and keep attention on the speaker.
- Problem solving. Encourage your child to identify situations where he/she has difficulties listening (e.g. in the school cafeteria) and think of possible solutions to improve listening ability (e.g. move to a quieter corner).