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Using Active Listening and “I” Statements

When you use active listening, you open up the possibility of learning, teaching, and problem solving.

Active listening…

  • Builds a strong parent-child connection
  • Helps children understand the messages behind words
  • Opens the door for problem solving
  • Encourages your child’s ability to express and recognize feelings
  • Shows understand and empathy


Making “I” statements

  • Describe your child’s behavior, “I see you dumped all of your crayons on the floor.”
  • Express how the behavior makes you feel, “When I give you time to finish your drawing and then ask you to come to dinner and instead you keep coloring, I get very frustrated.”
  • Place blame on the behavior, not your child. For example, “When you yell very loudly, it scares me.”
  • Are non-judgmental (don’t use negative labels)
  • Decrease tension by modeling a calm reaction and recognizing how your child is feeling.
Content created in partnership with
Seedlings Group