Habit 5 – Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood – Listen Before You Talk – Happy Kids

Human beings want to be heard. We act out in various ways to be heard, some cry, some scream, some tantrum, some hit or stomp, etc. but we act out. For sure, the deepest need of the human heart is to be understood. In school we’re taught how to read, write and speak. But we’re not taught how to listen, which is the most important communication skill of all. Listening with our ears isn’t good enough, because less than 10 % of communication is the words we use. The rest comes from body language and the tone and feelings reflected in our voice. Why not teach our kids how to listen while they’re young? The story about Jumper is a great example of how to really listen.

ACTIVITIES:

  1. After reading the story, ask the kids to retell the story in their own words (paraphrase) and express what they heard about the tone and feelings reflected by the characters. (Try this with other stories).
  2. Try to go a whole hour without talking. Instead watch the people around you and listen to what they are saying. Good Luck!
  3. Who is someone in your life who really listens. What do they do that makes you think they are good listeners?
  4. The next time someone you know is really sad, notice her eyes and the body language. Tell them you know they are sad and ask how you can help.

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