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Why it is important to listen to our children with their eyes and not just with their ears

At Babies and More we have talked on several occasions about the importance of listening to our children when they speak to us. But we are not only referring to “opening your ears”, but to paying them all our attention so that our communication is fluid, positive, and respectful.

To do this, one of the keys is to “listen with your eyes” or with your gaze . But what does this really mean? How do you listen with your eyes and why is it so necessary to do so?

What does it mean to listen with the eyes?

Is it possible to “hear” with the eyes? Of course! Moreover, it is not only possible, but desirable when communicating with a person.

And if not, let’s think for a moment about how we feel when we’re talking to someone who doesn’t look us in the eye . Probably we do not like the sensation, and we may even feel uncomfortable, confused or notice a complete lack of connection.

And it is that, in general, it is not easy to feel comfortable talking to someone who does not cross his eyes with you while he speaks to you or you speak to him.

On the contrary, when the other person makes eye contact with you , looks at you while speaking to you and continues to do so while listening to you, it is easy to feel that what you are saying is of interest to your interlocutor and there is a predisposition to dialogue.

Parents do not always listen with our eyes to our children

Perhaps among adults we are more aware of the importance of looking each other in the eye while we speak (whether in a work environment or among friends), but the same does not usually happen when we address children.

We live in a society in which the rush and immediacy of the moment prevail, and in which the maelstrom of everyday life engulfs us in a resounding way. Swept along by this current, it’s easy to fall into so-called “distracted parenting,” pushing children to live faster than their own pace .

We show that “disconnection” every day with small gestures that distance us from them without even realizing it.

With so much rush and stress derived from work, housework, lack of conciliation, exhausting parenting… we parents usually end up emotionally disconnecting from the needs of our children.

A more than evident sign of this lack of connection is not looking them in the eye when they speak to us, because although we are apparently listening to them, the reality is that our minds are busy with other thoughts that worry or stress us, and they do not allow us to connect as they do. deserve.

But our children need to know that we are there to listen to them, that we understand their concerns, that we value and respect their emotions, and that they can trust us whenever they need it.

For this, it is essential to promote a climate of respectful, serene and positive dialogue , in which these “small” but enormous details are not lacking, which give the true meaning to communication.

How to listen with your eyes in three easy steps

  • Get down to your child’s height : Due to their size, children are forced to continually raise their heads to establish eye contact with an adult. Therefore, whenever possible or the situation requires it, kneel at your child’s height so that eye contact is more direct, deep and positive.

This method of listening, called “active listening”, has great emotional benefits for the child, and is one of the fundamental pillars of positive communication.

  • Look at him while he talks to you and you talk to him: What your son is telling you is important to him and so you must show him with your gestures. As we said above, there are a series of small, but very powerful gestures , capable of connecting two people emotionally.

The deep and sincere look, the smile if appropriate and physical contact through a caress, a pat or a hand on the shoulder, are the best allies in communication.

  • Do not interrupt the conversation: And finally, remember the importance of not interrupting your child when he speaks to you, avoid monopolizing the entire conversation with adult sermons and respect turns of speech.

Photos | Cover (Pexels – Tatiana Syrikova)

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