Listen Up

Your Family|June 2020

Listen Up
EVER NOTICE HOW YOUR CHILD’S BIONIC EARS PICK UP EVERY WORD OF YOUR PRIVATE CONVERSATIONS, YET COMPLETELY TUNE OUT WHEN YOU REALLY NEED THEM TO LISTEN? OUR EXPERTS OFFER SOME CONSTRUCTIVE ADVICE ON HOW TO MAKE YOURSELF HEARD
LYNNE GIDISH

There’s nothing more frustrating than a child who zones out when you need them to pay attention to what you’re saying. ‘We can all relate to moments when our patience has run out and we’ve resorted to shouting or giving in and doing the requested task ourselves,’ says Joanna Kleovoulou, clinical psychologist and founder of PsychMatters Centre.

‘Not listening or co-operating can create much frustration and has a ripple effect on the sense of harmony at home. But before running off for professional guidance about your “naughty” child who refuses to listen, make sure they have a hearing test to rule out any physiological and/or neurological difficulties that may need to be addressed to enable them to hear,’ she says.

‘Glue ears, for example, can affect your child’s ability to hear and therefore their ability to listen and learn, as was the case with a little boy who came to see me for play therapy. He was experiencing low self-esteem and performance anxiety at school as he was labelled the “ADD kid who didn’t listen”. But once treated, he was a different child.’

HOW TO TALK TO YOUR CHILD

There’s no doubt that children of all ages do switch off or seem to have selective hearing, says Joanna, but the good news is that listening is a skill that can be harnessed.

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June 2020