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More Effective Communication with Children - Part 4

By Robert Najemy

Active Listening
More Effective Communication with Children - Part 4

Robert Elias Najemy


Now the child himself obviously has a problem which is not allowing him or her to use his or her mental abilities to their full potential. The problem could have to do with conflicts within the family, conflicts with other children or with teachers at school, disappointments in love, lack of self-confidence, lack of proper nutrition, a disillusionment with society and the school system, as well as many other possibilities.

In such a case, the most effective method of communication is active listening. Let us look again at some brief guidelines for active listening.

1) Let the other talk without interruption. Do not break his or her flow with your need to project your own ideas. When we interrupt others, we cut off their flow. This flow may bring to the surface the cause of the problem, which they themselves have not yet discovered.

2) Look into the other's eyes and not away. Let your body be facing the person and not sideways. Show interest in what the other is saying, and in this way let him or her know that you are listening actively and carefully, and care about what he or she is saying.

3) Do not, in any case, criticize or start giving advice. It is extremely important not to criticize or disagree or reject during the active listening. At the end of the discussion we may state how we feel. After the discussion is completed, if we do not agree, we, of course, have the right to state so. But during the active listening do not stop the other's flow with criticism or rejection.

4) Ask questions which help you to understand more clearly what the other is feeling. These question will help both you and the other (in this case, the child) to understand what the problem is. You can imagine that you are the other. Imagine how he or she feels, and what is going on in his or her life and you will be guided to the right questions to ask. Asking questions rather than giving advice may be difficult for some of us in the beginning. It is not easy, but those who have tried it have found it very effective and have been surprised by the results.

In some cases where we might be performing this technique mechanically, the others may be surprised and react negatively, especially if they have learned to receive continual criticism. But if we persist to show interest, and stop criticizing, at some point the child will open up. We must also be sensitive about the correct time and place to approach the other. Also a child must never be pushed against his will into discussing something which he or she does not want to. Eventually the need to come close to us will help him or her to open to us.

5) We may also affirm whether or not what we have understood from the other's communication is correct. This technique is used by most psychologists to help a person open up and get clarity about what he or she is feeling. We simply repeat back to our children what they are telling us in our own words. This helps us to verify that we have understood what they are saying, and helps them to feel that we are accepting what they is saying. If they feel that we have not understood, they will try to explain to us in a different way. This will help all to become clearer about what is bothering each.

These techniques for effective communication can do much to bring harmony and love to our relationships with our children. It is important that parents get started with this system immediately. No child is too young to understand this type of communication.

Because these techniques require a whole new way of thinking and communicating, we suggest that parents and teachers or any individuals who want to master them, seek out seminars which teach these methods with practical workshops.

Remember that the basis for all successful communication is love. Below you will find various examples of effective communication for various situations with children.

If you would like to receive a free email course with 16 messages concerning how we can help our Children, Send in an email to the following address to get one message each week on Life's Lessons for 16 weeks.

* Robert Elias Najemy is the author of over 600 articles, 400 lecture cassettes on Human Harmony and 20 books; sold over 100,000 copies. His book The Psychology of Happiness is available at

About The Author
Robert Elias Najemy who is the author of 20 books which have sold over 100,000 copies. He is the founder and has been the director of the Center for Harmonious Living in Athens, Greece for the last 26 years. The center has a membership of 3000 clients and 600 students. He has lectured over 25,000 hours and has worked with around 20,000 persons through personal appointments, classes and seminars. He has produced over 500 cassettes and videocassettes with an abundance of information or human harmony. He is not a psychologist, nor a doctor but rather a chemical engineer who gave up his profession 35 years ago in order to study human nature and all aspects of human health, happiness, harmony and spiritual development. He has a certificate in Counseling from the Counseling & Psychotherapy Central Awarding Body (UK) and certificates as a practitioner of three forms of Energy Psychology; specifically Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), Tapas Acupuncture Techniques (TAT) and Thought Field Therapy (TFT). Robert has developed a six-year self-knowledge seminar which is taught at his school and has also been recorded on 200 acoustic and videocassettes and is thus available in other cities. He has trained more than 250 life coaches, 50 of whom now work with him in Athens, Greece and other affiliated centers around Greece and Cyprus.

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