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Tda 2.7

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  • July 2011
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1.2. Actively listen to children and young people and value what they say, experience and feel 1.3 Check that children and young people understand what is communicated.

In a childcare setting we have to use a variety of techniques to encourage children’s communication, I actively listen to children not just hear them but actually pay them attention and listen; I also check with children that what is being communicated to them has been understood. Good listening is one of the most important skills we as carer or parent. We want to strengthen our relationships with children, and one of the best ways to do this is through our active, caring listening. Our undivided attention to what our children are saying tells them that they are important to us. It shows that we value them as individuals; we care about them and every part of their lives. Also, we can teach them to be good listeners by modelling good listening skills.

The Technique Active listening is really an extension of the Golden Rule. To know how to listen to someone else, think about how you would want to be listened to. While the ideas are largely intuitive, it might take some practice to develop (or re-develop) the skills. Here’s what good listeners know — and you should, too:

Face the speaker.
Sit up straight or lean forward slightly to show your attentiveness through body language.

Maintain eye contact,
to the degree that you all remain comfortable.

Minimize external distractions.
If the setting is too noisy, I ask the children to talk softly, I bend down to child’s level and talk to them..

Respond appropriately
to show that you understand. Murmur (“uh-huh” and “um-hmm”) and nod. Raise your eyebrows. Say words such as “Really,” “Interesting,” as well as more direct prompts: “What did you do then?” and “What did she say?”

Focus solely on what the speaker is saying.
Try not to think about what you are going to say next. The conversation will follow a logical flow after the...