Parents, Know the Benefits of Listening to Children!

Why is it necessary to listen to children? Isn't it the child who needs to listen? Every individual has a need to be heard, both for children and adults. If the child's need to listen is not fulfilled, what will happen? Will this affect his psychological development when he grows up?

Just imagine, when the child is telling the experience on the first day of school. What situations often occur? Listening to children while doing other activities? Listening and listening to children's stories until they are finished? Listen for a while and then start advising him.

Psychological development in adult individuals is formed from childhood experiences. Adult individuals who have the experience of being heard will grow into different characters from individuals who have the experience of not being heard. The most prominent character formation from listening to children is the development of a positive self-concept in children. The self-concept here is the child's picture of himself, namely how he perceives, evaluates, and accepts himself. Thus, with a positive self-concept, children will grow up with confidence in their ability to do things to achieve goals and develop themselves. Character building through listening activities is important, especially for children.

Some of the benefits of listening to children are as follows:

  1. When listening to children, it will be easy to understand the child's point of view and their feelings, such as their joys, fears, and worries.
  2. When listening to children, children can also learn how to build relationships and communication that respect and respect each other.
  3. By listening to children, children's priorities and interests are easier to understand. Apart from that, it also makes it easier to provide proper access to children, so that they can grow and develop more openly.
  4. Listening can also help children to increase their self-confidence and feelings of worth (self-esteem) within themselves. When listened to, children feel their views are respected and valued by adults. In addition, children can also learn and practice communicating their ideas or views with limited experience.
  5. When self-confidence in children is built because they are listened to, it will be easier for children to acquire new skills, such as social skills and skills to reflect on their experiences and to explore themselves by communicating them in their own way and point of view.

What needs to be done to be able to listen to children?

Before practicing listening, it is necessary to know and understand what listening is. The word "hear" has a different meaning than the word "listen". Based on KBBI, "listening" is the occurrence of sensory activity, namely capturing sound. When capturing sound enters the ear and can feel the sound, passive activity occurs or does not take action. Thus no real effort is required to hear. Meanwhile the word "listen" means paying attention to sound. This makes the word "listen" an active action, because it pays attention to the sound, both the intonation and the content of the sound. In addition to listening, there is also an effort to concentrate and understand what you are listening to. Based on the explanation above, it can be concluded that it is possible to hear without listening, but it is impossible to listen without hearing.

Being a good listener is not something easy, it takes skills and attitudes that need to be trained continuously. Some attitudes and skills need to be trained to be able to listen well, especially listening to children.

  1. Practice being empathetic by placing yourself to be part of your child's everyday life, so you can listen specifically to your child's experiences and find out about their thoughts and feelings regarding these experiences.
  2. Show respect and appreciation when listening to children. One of them is to give time to take turns for children to talk, and avoid judging children's experiences or opinions.
  3. Trying to be more sensitive to the emotions and feelings displayed by children, by showing an open attitude and willingness to understand children's different points of view.
  4. Showing an honest attitude in communicating attitudes, reactions, and feedback on children's experiences, while still needing to adjust the way of communication to the child's age level.
  5. Showing patience and sensitivity to the right time, because listening takes a little time and readiness to be fully aware of being fully present so that listening can feel comfortable and can provide feedback according to the child's communication patterns.

The article was written by Ms. Melvi Rosilawati, M. Psi, Psychologist at EMC Sentul Hospital.