Guide to Active Listening For Kids

It is quite frustrating when parents give little instructions to children and they just ignore or seem to not listen to what parents are saying. Whenever children ignore them, parents think that their kids may be having some type of communication disorder or communication problem. However, it is not the case with every kid.

While there are children who do have developmental delays. But understanding a child’s typical progression and listening skills can make the difference between unnecessary worry and something that needs attention. As a matter of fact, every child goes through the same stage during their developing years and it is quite normal.

Tips to improve active listening for kids

Be a listener

Parents often complain about the kids not listening to them. So, to know the reasons behind it, first they need to introspect. They should observe their own behaviour to know if they are listening to their kids properly. If no, then how can they expect small kids to follow their orders. 

As we know, kids imitate their parents. They reflect what they learn at home. So, to make them listen parents should adopt the skills of good listening. It is important to pay attention to your kid’s words. Even if they are not able to speak properly. 

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If you show your interest in their silly talks, they will automatically start behaving the same way. Not only with the kids, but to the other people when kids are around. Children are very good observers, they will observe your bad behaviour or ignorance quickly and will repeat the same. 

Talk! Talk! Talk!

Conversation is the easiest way to connect to your kid. And having conversation will improve their listening definitely. If they are spending most of their time sitting quietly or playing by themselves, howl they will get the ability to listen and respond. Even if you are busy or working in kitchen, keep talking to them. 

Make sure that you use simple words so that they can understand what you are saying. Furthermore, you can ask them about their day or tell about yours. You can also explain them what you are doing in the language they understand. In this way, they will get into the habit of having conversations.

Clarity in instructions

Parents often commit the common mistake of making explanations even more than the requirement. It makes the kid to lose interest, hence they don’t follow the directions. Firstly, there is need of getting child’s attention and then explain everything to them in short and easy way using fewer words. 

If there are set of instructions for them, you should ask them to repeat your words. In this way, you will be sure if they have listened to you or not. 

Interesting topics

Like adults, kids also like to talk about the things they find interesting. You need to find out their interest and make a conversation about that. It is the best way to make them talk and respond to your questions. 

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For instance, you can ask them about their friends in school, their favorite cartoon, or other interests. This conversation should not be out of the blue moon. Make it on regular basis so that your kid starts feeling comfortable with you. Therefore, it is the best way to bridge the communication gap between the kid and the parents. 

Feeling of importance

Giving them some freedom to choose their dress or the menu of lunch is a kind gesture to make your kid feel important. You are teaching them to give respect through your actions and they will do likewise. The decision-making helps the kid to have thinking abilities of their own.

Receptive language

Receptive language includes skills that go beyond simply listening to the other. While your child may have a great ability to look at you carefully and listen to you, they may not fully understand what you are saying.

A child’s receptive vocabulary includes the words he knows. For example, children between two and three years old can learn an average of two new words every day. It is likely that your child’s receptive vocabulary mainly includes the words of common objects and people that he sees and knows. So, to address the kid you will have to consider the vocabulary that he understands.

Look at the non-verbal language

Responding to your questions or requests with a verbal response is not the only way a child can communicate with you. Many parents overlook nonverbal responses and think that their child is not listening, but it needs to pay more attention to what your child is doing rather than making assumptions. 

Many children sometimes use gestures, whether facial or pointing, and this will show you that they are listening. When he uses gestures instead of words, you can verbally reinforce him to expand his vocabulary and gradually encourage him to use words.

How to make kids listen to us?

It is a million dollar question that arises in every parents mind. Here are some important things that can provide you possible solution.

First of all, addressing the kid by their name have an impact on them. While giving them any command, you should avoid that kid’s accent. The tone should be normal so that they can estimate the seriousness of the situation.

Using kind words make our conversations easy with anyone. So, why not use them with the kids. If we use the words like “thank you” and “please” with them, they will listen to us definitely. Also they will learn to speak kind language.

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Ordering is not always helpful. If we are making orders all the time, kids will develop a feeling of reluctance. Instead, show them that you will appreciate if they do the work. It is a matter of words only that can make the things better or worse.

Remember that kids focus on the negative remarks or instructions more. If you are asking them not to do something, they will definitely try doing the same thing to know the consequence. Therefore, negative sentences only increase their curiosity. So, try to avoid saying anything negative. Instead, tell them about the things in positive way so that their mind gets divert. 

Make sure that high volume talks do not become a routine at home. You should try to have conversations in normal tone. Even if the kid is throwing a tantrum, do not lose your cool. Instead, try to calm yourself to handle the situation rightly. If you yell at each and everything happening around, your kid will never take you seriously. Therefore, save the high volume tone for serious conversation with kid. In this way, they will take you more seriously.

Try to avoid the situation where you think, the child would nag definitely. It will save you from something that can go beyond your control.

Most of the troubles come from the duties of chores at home. So, to make this task easy you should use a professional manner. For instance, writing down the duties on a white board of the people with respect to the days. In this way, you can easily avoid the messy situation.

If you are trying to make your kid respond to your questions, then ask them in such a way that they have to leave an answer. For instance, if you are asking about their likes or dislikes, then be more specific. 

Activities to improve kids listening

Here are some of the activities that can help improving the active learning for kids 


In order to improve the child’s learning, you should indulge yourself in the process. Kids are more interested in the activities when parents accompany them. Thus, you can listen to the audiobooks with your kid. In addition to it, you can also ask them in between to explain what they heard. It will help you to know of they are actually listening 


Make story reading an interesting part of their part. You can make the kids interact to you while reading them a story. For instance, while reading the story, you can ask them to guess the ending. You can also create their interest by asking the next scenes.  Give the kid chance to think about the ending of their own choice or to recreate the story in their mind. It will not only increase their creative thinking but also their responsiveness towards you.


Playing game is the favourite part of kid’s day. You can add any game that can help improving their listening in this time. In this way, kids will get new game and improve their listening at the same time.

The bottom line

To conclude, we can say that communication with the kids is the most important aspect in their learning skill. We must understand that they will talk to us in the same way we talk to them. 

If we want our kids to respect and understand us, then we must show some respect and understanding towards them