Feeling connected to people is very important for our happiness – even if we feel we are shy! This doesn’t mean we have to get on with everyone, but having at least a few people that we can trust implicitly and can share things with matters for our happiness. This may include members of our family and our close friends. We can learn skills to help us build good connections, to help us feel cared for and be able to care for others too.
Quick start: Teaching our children to learn how to listen well to others is a great foundation to build good relationships. It is a quick skill that you can practice with them straight away.
When someone speaks to your child, encourage them to:
STOP what they are doing and give their full attention to the speaker.
LOOK at them and smile in a friendly way.
LISTEN carefully to what the speaker has said and how they say it.
WAIT until the speaker has finished before your child replies. When the speaker has spoken, your child should be encouraged to ask one or two questions to show that they are interested. This can be modelled by adults for the children to parrot talk initially.
Being a careful listener shows that you care! We practice these skills in school and the staff will continue to role-model this. Please can you encourage your children to practice this at home with you too.
I have popped this update alongside some curious conversations and interview a friend/family member questions activities below, for your children to ask someone visiting over the Christmas period.