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BellaOnline's Daughters Editor

Listen With Your Heart

When your daughter speaks from the heart do you hear her. Listening sounds easy but itís not. Contrary to what youíve been lead to believe this is a hard skill to master. Iíd like to give you some tips to help you. These tips will allow you to listen to your daughter intently. You are actually going to learn to listen without interruption. It also requires you to not pass judgment. To show know reaction and to not judge. These tips are to the point and not sugar coated.

You listen for unspoken fears, concerns and aspirations. You are listening for tell-tale signs of impending trouble. You will be listing to gain in-depth insight on her strengths and abilities. And last but not least, you have to listen without thinking how you are going to respond as sheís talking.
She needs your undivided attention. This attention requires observation and validation. Steps:

1. How do you listen without interrupting? As a parent we tend to want to interrupt and add important points. You canít. She needs that observe my body language attention. If you interrupt you will never know the true intent of the point she was trying to make. She will change it based on your interruption. You will then miss out on her true concerns.

2. How do you listen without passing judgment? We give the look of disapproval thinking she should have used better judgment. Because your daughter wonít come right out and tell you if she is either upset or scared, you have to listen for signs in her conversation.

3. How do you listen without wondering how you are going to respond? You do this by putting your thoughts and emotions to the side. Youíll miss out on the best part, her conclusion.

Now that you have observed and listened itís time to validate. Itís time to recognize the areas of her fears and concerns. Itís time to look back at the tale-tell signs of impending trouble. Itís also time to recognize your daughterís strengths and abilities. You can now validate her.

Validation does not necessarily mean that you like or agree with what she is doing, saying or feeling. It means that you understand where she is coming from.

Now, that youíve observed and validated. You didnít interrupt as she spoke. You did not judge and you understood her point of view. And you did not have a heart attack.

What did you gain in the process? You gained a better relationship with your daughter and anyone else. In listening to her you have of course made her feel better, but it has also done something for you. This something else has changed the way you listen to anyone and anything.

Itís not what you can do for her - itís what she can do for you.

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