What is attentive listening in communication?
In communicating with one another, it is easy to assume that the other is not willing to communicate, especially among parents and teenagers. Most parents think their teen children are hesitant in talking, and teenagers mostly think their parents are not ready to listen or understand.
This is the role that attentive listening plays. It builds on the structure of forming an alliance and trust with each other, that when one person speaks, the other one is understanding and reacting to let them know they are being heard. This is what parent-teenager relationships need most.
As a parent, set aside all judgments and listen to your child when talking to each other. Let them speak and engage in attentive listening. This means establish eye contact, give them undivided attention, and focus exclusively on what they are saying. Sometimes, this may even mean you have to refrain from inputting your personal opinion as a parent.
Being listened to means being understood. Be patient and let them open up as much as they can without pressuring or persuading them, as this can make them feel that they are doing this on their own terms. Over time, the teen will feel more comfortable opening up and talking, rather than being afraid of saying things to you as their parent.