natural family living, natural home,  natural home magazine, natural parenting, natural family

Featured Advertisers: A Healthy Bedroom | Diapering Handbook | Birthstone Jewelry

We're your "how-to" resource for natural family living, natural beauty, natural home, health & wellness, and natural parenting. No matter what your personal or parenting style, we offer tips, tools and information everyone can use!
Why do we have advertising on our site?
NFO Home
Bookmark us
NFO Chat Groups
Can't find what you need? Use our web search function near the bottom!
Subscribe to NFO's free eNewsletter!
Natural Living
Natural Living
Entertaining & Holidays
Natural Beauty
Natural Pets
Product Reviews
Book Reviews
Health & Wellness
Health & Wellness
Children's Health
Natural Soulooooo
Vegetarian Lifestyle
Attachment Parenting
Babies & Children<empty> 
Natural Family Living
Pregnancy & Birth
Free Baby Website - Affordable Baby Web Site
FREE safe and secure baby & toddler websites!
Buy Books!
Mountain Rose Herbs
FREE Baby or Child Website
Balter Catalogue Co.
Resource Links

Contact & Reprints
NFO Staff & Contributors
Advertise with us
Writer's guidelines
Google ads are not personally selected by our admin team.
Find out more.

Attachment Parenting Article
Join our newsletter for new article updates!

Listen With Your Heart

By Elizabeth Pantley

Think back to when you were growing up and all the times when you felt self-doubt, confusion and frustration. It’s tough growing up! You can help your children get through the bumps and bruises of childhood by simply being there for them. Children need to know that when the whole world feels like it’s crashing down around them, they have one safe, secure place to go and one bottomless source of unconditional love.

Listening is as much a skill as giving a speech is a skill. It’s not just a matter of picking up sounds. Active listening involves an array of behaviors that express your attention, empathy and respect. Listening to your children in this way will go far toward convincing them of your unconditional love. Keep these guidelines in mind when your child has something important to say to you.

Tips for effective listening

Put down your paper or dishtowel. Shut off the TV. Maintain as much eye contact as your child seems comfortable with. Make body contact, such as a hand to the shoulder, if that seems appropriate. Often, when children are trying to express a problem, thought or concern, their parents say they are listening, but half of their attention is somewhere else. You can’t con a child this way. Typically, a few minutes of sincere, attentive listening is worth more than an hour of letting your child talk while you carry on with another activity.

Don’t rush to jump in with solutions, ideas or lectures. Often, children just need a sounding board. They need another person listening to give them an opportunity to figure out exactly what they want to do. Solving your child’s problem may give you the relief of ending his or her discomfort, but, in the long term, it’s worth far more to them to get the support they need to formulate solutions on their own.

Demonstrate that you’re listening by asking appropriate questions and making “listening” sounds such as: “Hmmm,” “Oh,” “Really?” “Darn!” “Wow!”

When our children come to us with negative emotions, it’s far too tempting to minimize them: “Oh, don’t worry about it.” “There’s nothing to be afraid of.” These comments do much more harm than good. It’s important for children to learn to trust their own feelings and to listen to them. By brushing them off, you’re giving your child the message that his or her feelings are wrong or unimportant. You can validate your child’s feelings instead with such comments as, “That sounds embarrassing.” “It can hurt to feel left out.” “That must be frustrating.”

Help your child to focus on possible solutions, rather than getting mired in the problem. If the situation isn’t one that can be solved — if it’s a condition rather than a problem — encourage your child to express his or her feelings fully and then move on. Help your child use forward-thinking phrases like, “I bet you wish ...” or “Wouldn’t it be nice if …” or “What do you think you’ll do now?”

© Elizabeth Pantley; excerpted from Kid Cooperation, How to Stop Yelling, Nagging and Pleading and Get Kids to Cooperate, which can be found at

Parenting educator Elizabeth Pantley is the author of numerous parenting books, including the widely cited The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night. Buy her books at She is a regular radio show guest and is quoted frequently on the web and in national family and women’s publications. Elizabeth lives in Washington state with her husband, their four children and her mother. Visit her at


Google ads are not personally selected. Find out more.


Natural Family Online Home Baby Care Feeding Baby Solids Parenting Teens
FREE Baby or Child Website Baby & Kids' Teeth Flu Articles PMS Articles
Free NFO eNewsletter Baby Sleeping Gentle Child Discipline Positive Parenting
NFO Chat Groups Babywearing - Baby Slings Homeopathy Articles Potty - Infant
Balter Baby Breastfeeding Information How to Use Homeopathy Potty Learning - Potty Training
Balter Catalogue Company Breastfeeding Problems Homeschooling Articles Pregnancy Health
Balter Wholesale Company Breastfeeding Milk Supply Healthy Body Pregnancy Homeopathy
Balter Catalogue Blog Breastfeeding - Other Healthy Home Pregnancy Morning Sickness
NFO Shopping Pages Breastfeeding in Public Healthy Mind & Mental Health Pregnancy Nutrition
Natural Family Resource Links Breastfeeding & Thrush Health & Wellbeing Pregnancy Problems
Natural Family Online Blog Breastfeeding Weaning Herbalism Pregnancy & Relationships
Blame Mama Zine Children & Healthy Eating Internal Cleansing Pregnancy Articles
Blame Mama 411 Circumcision - Circumcise Kid's Education Reading to Kids
Disclaimer and user agreement Cloth Diapering Kids & War Sleep Articles
<empty> Co-sleeping & the Family Bed Natural Cleaning Stress Articles
<empty> Dad Articles Natural Family Lifestyles Unschool Articles
<empty> Diaper Rash Natural Family Meals Vacation Articles
Natural Family Article Index Do it Yourself Gardening Natural Family Planning Vaccination Articles
Alcoholism & Homeopathy Do it Yourself - Home Natural Labor & Delivery Vitamins & Minerals
ADD - ADHD Do it Yourself - Hygiene Natural Parenting Winter Health & Family Articles
Attachment Parenting articles Do it Yourself - Kid's Crafts Natural Soul - Home Articles Women's Health
What is Attachment Parenting? Emotional Intelligence in Kids Organic Food Articles Yoga Articles
Baby & Child Natural Remedies Exercise Articles Parenting Stress <empty>

© 2003, 2004, 2005 Blame Mama Media All Rights Reserved. Web Hosting by Blame Mama Media. Most Graphics by .