The Five Tools

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1. What is Staylistening? 

Staylistening is the art of listening to our child's upset feelings. It is more than listening to words, it is also listening to the expression of feelings. This could be verbal, and it could also be tears, stomping, thrashing, etc. When we're Staylistening, we are "listening" with our ears, eyes, and hearts. We are taking time to tune in to our child and what they want to share with us, both verbal and non-verbal.

Why do this?

As soon as feelings of upset appear your child has likely lost their reason and ability to think well. Taking time to Staylisten can save time in the long run as you get to stop trying to explain or reason with an upset child. Listening to our children in this way gives them a safe space to unload the hard feelings that drive off-track behavior so their good-thinking can return.  

 

An added bonus: When we are truly listened to we naturally feel closer to the person who listened to us. The more your child feels you really listening, the more trust and safety builds. With a strong connection they are more likely to reach out to you when they need support. This is a wonderful inoculation against the disconnection that so often happens as children become teenagers and feel they cannot turn to their parents. 

A strong parent-child relationship begins with listening.