Hi everyone! I’m Mandy Bush and I am the online business manager for Cardinal Rule Press (Maria’s publishing company). I am a mother of 2 (son and daughter) and I will be blogging this month on Be the Difference and will be recapping some valuable tips from Maria’s new show, Empowering Kids With Character – The Show!

Four Steps on Empathetic Listening - mariadismondy.com

On March 15, Maria talked about how we can teach empathetic listening. You can watch the full video here. As a parent, it should be our goal to be empathetic listeners to our children. This creates connection to our children and they are more apt to lean into us for advice!

1st step – pay attention to your children.

  • Practicing empathetic listening could present itself in the forms of temper tantrums, anxiety, and/or jealousy. Watch their facial expressions, gestures and just listen. Imagine life from their perspective. Something that could be easy for us, could be hard for them. Look at the situation from their perspective.

2nd step – reporting back.

  • Say what you see. If your child looks distant, say something like “you look like you’re thinking about something else”,“something is heavy on your heart” or“you look like you’re really thinking about something else”. Don’t try and give them advice. Try to do it in a non-judgmental way.

3rd step – name those feelings.

  • Turn a light on for them. They are in the dark when they are upset and may not know how to name those feelings. So, give them some examples. “are you feeling lonely – are you feeling upset? Tell me”. Help them identify the feeling. This is where emotional awareness comes in.

4th step – be there for them. You don’t have to fix it for them.

  • Get down on their level. Build that relationship and that trust. It’s not about fixing anything or giving advice. It’s about acknowledging their feelings. Be in that moment with them. Hug them and love them!

This concept is not exclusive to your children. It is also effective with our co-workers, spouses and friends. We don’t have to fix everyone’s problems. If you’re a problem solver, it’s hard to just listen and not try to fix the problem. We have to learn that it’s ok to sit in our feelings and not always fix.

Maria shared that the 4 steps she references in this video are derived from Karen Sigmund’s blog post entitled “Empathetic Listening – How to Listen so Your Kids Will Too”.

Maria also announced her new book, Fruit Salad Friend is NOW AVAILABLE!!!!

Check out this amazing round up of 19 Bedtime Stories to Read to Your Children.

Join our private Facebook Group: Empowering Kids with Character. You don’t want to miss the amazing and awesome tips and tricks that is being shared by parents and educators alike!