Parents need to start by making sure children don’t ignore them.
Listening is vital in a world structured with language. One essential thing parents can do is help their children practice listening skills for greater success in the classroom.
Parents need to start by making sure children don’t ignore them. When calling children by name, parents shouldn’t repeat it to the point of frustration—instead, teach children to face them so children can both see and hear them. Acknowledge when children are paying attention and listening by verbally saying, “Thank you.”
It is equally important that children process and retain what is heard. Give children a single-step direction such as “put the toys in the box.” Once mastered, give a multiple-step direction: “Put the toys in the box and put the box in the closet.” A teacher’s directions can be confusing in a classroom setting if children haven’t mastered listening and following directions. Children have greater success when taught relative positions words such as before, after, behind, in front of, etc.
- Expanding vocabulary to include positional words can be as easy as asking about their favorite story: what happened at the beginning, the end, and the middle.
- Reinforce listening and following directions by playing the game “Simon Says.”
- Engage children at the grocery store by asking for help finding items, counting money, and interacting at the register will build concentration and listening skills.