Tips to Raising a Good Listener

Ask moms how to raise a good listener, and you’ll be met with a variety of responses.

Some will laugh out loud.

Others may tell you they have it all together and that their children always listen to them and do everything they say (don’t trust these women!).

So many of us are at a loss when it comes to teaching listening skills.

Parents are busier than ever, and that can sometimes make it difficult to just stop and listen to our children.

Yet making sure you raise your child to be a good listener is crucial for many reasons.

For example, he needs to be able to follow directions at school, in college and at a job.

He also needs the practiced skill of listening to make and keep friends, snag a spouse and deal with a variety of people in everyday life.

So how do you become one of those moms whose children don’t tune her out?

Be sure to check out even more of my helpful parenting tips, too!

How to Raise a Good Listener | Mommy Evolution

Tips to Raising a Good Listener

Humor works wonders.

One mom told me, “When I want to get my 4-year-old’s attention, I randomly insert the word ‘chocolate’ into whatever I’m saying.

As in, ‘put your chocolate shoes on, NOW, please’.

Sometimes he giggles at my misuse of the word; sometimes he makes me pay up with chocolate-covered raisins.”

Practice reading comprehension.

When you finish reading your child a story, ask her random questions about it.

You can also ask her to summarize the story for you.

If you’re reading a bedtime book that takes many nights to finish, ask your child what she thinks might happen the next night in the story.

It teaches your child how what they have to say is important.

And before you know it, your child will want to listen to what you might think will happen in the next story.

Listen to your child.

If you want your child to pay attention to what you are saying, practice listening.

Turn off the radio in the car and hear what your child wants to tell you about his day.

Most importantly, don’t interrupt.

Look him in the eye when he’s talking to you so he knows you are present and paying attention.

Parents, this is a hard one, so you have to practice often.

It’s easy to mumble a bunch of “mm, hmms” when your child is telling you about an artistic creation or about a kid at school, so put the dishes down and just listen.

Give directions in small steps.

For the younger set, general instructions like, “Please clean your room” can be overwhelming.

Instead, ask her first to put all of her stuffed animals in the box in the closet.

Then ask her to hang up her shirts.

Then have her put all the dolls on her bed.

Kids love that they can do something for themselves and please you at the same time.

Instead of saying, “pick up the living room,” ask your child to pick up 10 toys each and put them in the toy bin.

When he’s done, ask them how many more he thinks it will take to clear the floor.

The counting practice is invaluable, and the room is clean in no time.

Consistency counts.

If you are a parent who threatens and never follows through, watch out because your child is watching what you say and do.

If you say there will be no allowance for skipping chores, then don’t pay allowance that week.

Then make sure you have the same consequence if it happens again.

Show your appreciation.

Thanking your child for being a good listener when he does something you asked him to is a great way to show him that listening really does matter and that you notice what he does.

My kids are ages 7 and 9 and I still thank them sometimes for listening to me, especially when I know there are lot of things distracting them, making it hard to focus on what I’m asking.

What’s your best tip for raising a good listener?


  1. These are awesome points. I like listening to your child.

    1. Yes! I think sometimes grown-ups believe children should just listen. But we need to listen to them as well for them to learn how.

  2. Humor works wonders with so many of our parenting tasks! I love how you connected listening with literacy. Listening is so foundational to a child’s whole education! I found your post at the SHINE linkup. Our blogging community would be blessed if you shared this devotion at the Literacy Musing Mondays Linkup. #LMMLinkup

  3. Listening is such a valuable skill and it’s great to start early with our kids. I love that you emphasized the idea of listening to your kids as well. You’re right it’s very hard to do that, especially on a busy day, but it’s very important to teach by example…especially to smaller ids. They absorb everything–behavior included–like a sponge. Thanks so much for such an enlightening post to share with us on #shinebloghop. I’m so glad you were able to join us this week, Jennifer 🙂

  4. I love the idea of humor… my kids would crack up if I said to put on their chocolate shoes!

  5. These are great tips. I love the humor idea and I completely agree with the show appreciation point. Lots of parents expect kids to just listen to them while they are barking orders without saying please or thank you. If we expect our kids to have good manners, then we need to do the same to them.

    1. Exactly! Talk AT kids just isn’t the way to go. But talking to and WITH our kids will teach them how to be better listeners and communicators.

  6. Karren Haller says:

    HI Jenny, I love your post, what a great way to teach kids, love the humor, sounds like it would get a lot better response.
    I also wanted to let you know that your post is featured in a Slideshow this week on Oh My Heartsie Girls WW, stop by and take a look. Hope you have a great week!

    1. Humor is one of the best tools (weapons?) I have in our house, for sure 🙂 It quickly changes the game for everyone.

  7. Great tips! Listening to our children is really important. Sometimes it takes hard work to truly listen especially when we are in the middle of doing a million things. But I try to make a real effort now, because my kids now know when I’m truly listening or when I’m just saying ‘uh-huh’ (pretend listening).

  8. Really great tips. Something I can start implementing with my baby as he grows 🙂

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