It’s no secret that as adults and human beings, we often find it hard to actively listen without thinking of what we’ll say next. We listen to respond, but what we instead need to be doing is taking the time to listen, for the sake of listening, actively, not just to respond.
When it comes to communicating with your son, part of this entails active listening. No matter what age he is, listening creates a connection and lets him know that you’re interested in what he has to say, what’s happening in his world and his opinions. Whether it’s your toddler telling you about the sand castle he made at preschool, your primary schooler who got picked last during sport, or your teen who’s having girl troubles.
As a father and father-figure, it’s your role to lend a listening ear, empathise and let them know you’re always there. If you’re not able to see your son every day, make some time during the week to phone him up for a chat and ask him about his day.
Remember, you don’t always need to be the ‘fixer’ of everything. Just being there to listen is more than enough. You’ll make them feel heard, loved, and free to express themselves when communicating with you.
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