All about children!

Posts tagged ‘listening’

Music Benefits…

…language skills!!

I love this topic! I’m combining two loves: language and music! The best part is that one helps the other, which makes my job a lot easier and more fun!

Have you ever wondered why children enjoy singing the same song over and over and over again? Here’s why. Children are learning so manythings at the same time, that it can get frustrating, so when they learn to do something well, they like to practice and maybe show off a little! They are proud of their accomplishment! Which is perfect when they are developing because they learn to perfect their skills!

Here are some of the areas of language that children develop while singing: vocabulary, comprehension, listening, expression

Vocabulary: Children’s songs are highly thematic. They talk about a situation (Itsy Bitsy Spider) or about animals (Old MacDonald) or about our body parts (Head, shoulders, knees and toes). While singing these songs they are learning tons of vocabulary words. The more words they know, the longer and better sentences they make, and the better they can communicate their thoughts!

Comprehension: While singing songs, children start learning if the words are talking about an animal or a toy or a color. We might use a toy horse when singing Old MacDonald and they are now learning that the word horse goes with that toy they really like. Or we touch our body parts when singing Head, shoulders, knees and toes. That’s comprehension!

Listening: When children are learning new songs they have to pay attention to the words so they can imitate them. They have to be attentive to the intonation and pronunciation. And all that is required is to listen!

Expression: After they listen, they start imitating, practicing those words. When children know the songs completely, they transfer that knowledge to every day situations. Maybe after they learn to sing the Itsy Bitsy Spider, now they can talk about spiders if they see one! They might see one climbing up something and talk about how they are going up the water spout!

So when your children sing that song 20 times a day, just think that they are learning new words, learning pronunciation, using the correct intonation of the word and also practicing how to correctly articulate the sounds! Did you have any clue they are learning ALL these skills when they sing one song? (20 times a day)

Another benefit of singing is that children are able to memorize the words faster because the can chunk or divide in small parts the sentences and even the words. Some songs divide one word in syllbles and that helps children learn the word much better. Plus, repetition is the key to learn something new (hence the 20 times a day!). And how much more fun it is to sing all day! Wouldn’t you prefer to learn things by singing, than sitting in a boring office trying to memorize next week’s presentation?

Ahhhhh I love my job!

Are there any skills you’d love to practice 20 times a day?

Advertisements

11 ways to REALLY listen to your child

 A few days ago I read this (I can’t remember where!) “We were given two ears but only one mouth, because listening is twice as hard and important as talking”. Well, it’s true! And then I thought about children and kids have lot to say… a lot! Sometimes adults don’t think that children have anything important to say or that they can’t learn from children. So often times they do all the talking, they lecture, preach or, worst of all, ignore them!

Listening to your children will help them grow up to be adults with increased self-esteem because you will make them feel like what they have to say is important. However, children are not always sure how to communicate their feelings, so they might be saying or acting out completely different from how they actually feel. Active listening can help you, help them figure it out. So here are some tips to REALLY listen to your child when they have something important (or not) to say:

1.    Stop what you are doing– Don’t be distracted doing something else.

2.    Look at your child-Sit at his/her level.

3.    Pay attention to your child’s nonverbal language-Does the child look happy, sad, afraid?

4.    Be silent. It might be hard, but it is important that they have time to express themselves. It will also give you time to understand the situation before reacting.

5.    Use simple acknowledgement responses that show you are listening- For example, “I see”. “Oh”. “Uh-Huh”. Hmmm.”

6.    Use door-openers; phrases that encourage further talking- “Tell me more”, “Go on”, “How do you feel about that?”, “I know what you mean”, “Then what?”

7.    Listen for and name the feelings you think you hear from what your child is telling you-“That made you pretty mad, didn’t it?”, “You seem really happy about that!”

8.    Use problem-solving phrases when needed- “What do you wish you could do?”, “What do you want to happen?”, “What do you think will happen if you do that?”

9. Don’t feel that you must advise or help your child come up with a solution all the time- The value of listening is in the listening itself.

10.    Let them know you are available.

11.  Don’t try to deny, discount, or distract the child from the feelings they are expressing.

Listening helps parents and children avoid the power struggle cycle. Instead of arguing, listen. Show your understanding while maintaining your position. Listening builds stronger relationships,  shows respect and helps the child explore his/her own feelings and thoughts on a deeper level. It builds their sense of empathy.

Are you ready to listen to your child?