By listening only half-heartedly, glancing at the television or running off to answer the telephone, we send the message that our child is not worthy of our time or that what they are saying is not important. Psychological literature suggests that children, who aren’t listened to or made to feel important report greater rates of tobacco and alcohol use, engage in high-risk sexual behavior and have higher levels of interpersonal conflict.
Through listening, a parent conveys the message that his child is deserving of his full, uninterrupted attention; that his child is lovable, appreciated and important. By actively listening, we provide an emotional presence and a sense of empathy, which can be more powerful than physical touch. As a result, the child learns that he is not alone with his feelings, ideals or thoughts. Being listened to stretches knowledge and emotional capacities. It helps a child feel confident, independent, safe, smart and supported.
'Please Won't You Listen to Me' is a reminder of how important listening is to our children’s overall well-being! While we are human and make mistakes, we have to stop being too busy for those whose lives we ultimately shape. “A child whose emotional tank is regularly filled is typically more resilient and less peer dependent, as well as more likely to become a confident and responsible adult.”