Listening Skills Development

Apr 29, 2020

Listening skills are a crucial part of a child’s development as they allow the child to function properly in society. When developing these skills, it is important that your child become an active listener. By setting a good example and working with your child to develop these skills, you can give him academic and social advantages in the future.

Children retain information through their interactions with others and this includes listening. The more your child listens to what others have to say, the better her vocabulary and communication become. By helping her to develop her listening and attention skills, you make it easier for her to communicate with others once she goes to school. Overall, listening and learning go hand in hand.

As the child develops, he will begin using his listening skills to improve his vocabulary, grammar, and reading ability. If he lacks listening skills or does not pay attention, he might struggle to pick up on mistakes he is making with his speech, since he will not hear what others have to say. Reading skills can also suffer if the child does not have adequate listening skills since he might not pay attention to the words when someone else is reading to him. 

When the child begins school, listening skills and attention span increase in importance. At this age, he will begin interacting with other children regularly and will have to retain information based on these interactions.  

If your child is struggling with his listening or attention skills, a few signals could arise. He could have issues with following directions, having conversations with others, or learning new words. He could also struggle with basic preschool concepts, like counting or learning different colors. Many children outgrow these problems over time, as they begin listening better once they realize that they do not know these things. In other children, however, intervention from a language specialist might become necessary.

Listening is important, but it’s not something that comes easily to many children, especially at a young age. but children’s listening skills do develop over time, and will always be better when they are interested and engaged with what they’re supposed to be listening to. At five to six years old, for example, they’re beginning to be able to filter out distractions, but can still only listen with a focus for five to 10 minutes. 

Parents can do their part to help develop listening skills by giving their child 100% attention when they talk to him/her. Put your phone aside and maintain eye contact with your offspring…

Encourage your child to talk, ask them questions about their day, and invite them into a conversation to help them get out of a shell that they might trap themselves in. And when they DO talk, hear them out. try not to cut them off or belittle them, regardless of your busy schedule.

 Children who are good listeners often grow up to become good communicators. It’s an important skill to develop at an early age and, like a muscle, it needs regular exercise to grow stronger. So help your child flex those muscles so that they can one day go out and take over the world.

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