The Science of Active Listening

Active listening is when a caregiver listens to their child with the intent to listen and not to jump in and respond. Active listening is important during times of stress and can reduce fear and anxieties.

What is the science behind it?
  • Kind active listening from adults is crucial for children’s brain and language development and well-being.

  • Active listening improves relationships and builds confidence and trust. It shows children that they are cared about and can help reduce conflicts.

  • Children who receive attention (especially at an early age) grow more confident, less anxious and are likely to achieve better health, relationships and education.

  • A child whose emotion is ignored or misunderstood can develop a state of stress that activates fear which can be toxic to psychological and motor health.

  • Active listening means to truly listen rather than talking and giving one’s view. It means engaging children on their terms.

  • Children learn more when their caregivers actively listen to them.

Science Sheet

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