Love to Listen Day. This day is designed to raise awareness about the importance of listening to others. Proactive listening, especially with respect to children, is an extremely important technique when building relationships. It shows respect, develops good communication skills, and fosters a strong sense of empathy for others.
The global day isn’t all about perfecting listening skills, however. The I Love to Listen Day also encourages its participants to think of listening as a gift and to take the time to thank the good listeners they know. Whether it’s a family member, teacher, or neighbor, it’s important to let them know that you appreciate their efforts in paying attention to and caring for those in their lives.
Paying attention to other people and the environment is growing increasingly difficult with all the distractions that modern technology has introduced. Not only does active listening help foster relationships with others, but individuals who take time to pay attention and listen to those around them often experience a greater sense of relaxation and self-care. Cutting out unnecessary distractions, and focusing on the important conversations at hand, often reminds people how important their relationships actually are. “Communication is essential in developing and sustaining human relationships,” says Dr. Weymouth Spence, President of the Washington Adventist University. “Listening and the continual development of listening skills are the starting points to effective communication. That’s why the I Love to Listen Day is so important.”
The theme of the 2019 I Love to Listen Day is ‘Does Listening Run in Your Family?’ This theme is designed to encourage open conversations between family members regarding how they feel during communication with each other. This year’s I Love to Listen Day is a great opportunity for families to take the time to reflect on their relationships with each other and think of ways they can improve communication. Even families that already have great communication skills can take advantage of the upcoming I Love Listening Day by beginning new listening habits or traditions, such as listening to each other talk about their day while eating dinner.
To help promote healthy listening habits within families even further, I Love to Listen Day’s founder, Marva Shand-McIntosh, has created a listening kit to help children thank their mothers for always lending them an open ear. Here just in time for Mother’s Day, this kit gives children ideas on how to make or write a note, artwork, or a letter that shows their mother how much they appreciate her attention during communication. For older participants, Marva Shand-McIntosh has created ‘listening coupons’ that participants can send to their friends or loved ones. Both the listening kit and the listening coupons are free and available on the I Love to Listen website.
Making sure to actively listen is especially important when conversing with children. Active listening makes them feel like what they have to say is important and significant, and teaches them essential communication skills. Shand-McIntosh developed a list of listening tips that parents can use when talking to their young children. In the article, she explains that giving clear, easy directions to children is critical in developing good listening skills. Directions that are too complicated for their development level, or giving too many directions at once can confuse children and make it hard for them to focus. Creating a family listening tradition is also a great way to teach children early listening skills. The I Love to Listen Day founder suggests giving ‘good listening’ awards to children who demonstrate active listening, or for families to set aside specific times where they can talk about and listen to each other’s school and work days. Visit the I Love to Listen program’s website to view many more helpful listening tips for parents of young children.
Those interested in participating in the I Love to Listen Day on May 16th can visit the program’s website to learn more about the day and its goals. Popular activities that I Love to Listen participants often take part in are also posted on the website. This is a great resource for those who want to practice active listening, but are unsure about where to start. By making I Love to Listen Day an annual holiday, both families and individuals can benefit from improving communication skills and relationships.
SOURCE: Press Advantage [Link]
This is a global initiative that is designed to include citizen from every country. It is a day to inspire, inform, practice and create a heightened sense of awareness of the importance and power of listening in our lives.