Hearing but not listening

Matthew 20 17-28


Have you ever given an instruction to someone – only to find the person hadn’t actually listened to what you had said?
Michelle bailey hearing but not listening


You asked "can you please go and get me your dirty towel", and the person comes back with his trousers?

When my grandad was alive I used to say he had selective hearing. He would only listen to those things which interested him.

Children quite often have selective hearing and they get easily distracted.

You call up the stairs, "can you get dressed and ready to go out"? Yet they only hear half the conversation. When you go up to check, yes they’re  dressed but no teeth or hair done. TV is on, and they are sitting watching it.

Perhaps they have given you a time to be home, and you come home half an hour later.

Those working or living with children have to learn to actively listen. It is a skill that you learn. But how is it different?

Active listening means you don’t interrupt, you don’t offer your experience, you don’t offer an explanation. You listen and then offer back what you have heard so they know you have heard them. When you actively listen to a child. It can validate how they feel.

Teaching children to listen isn’t as easy as it sounds.

But there are a few things that we can do to help them.

  • Don’t nag them. If you go on and on they will switch off.
  • Be clear – you expect them to listen.
  • Be consistent.
  • Look them in the eye at their level.
  • Get them to repeat the instruction back.
  • Actively listen to them. 

There are some fun ways in which you can teach them about listening.

  • Play Simon says or in my class it was Jesus says.
  • Chinese whispers.
  • Traffic lights – they have to listen to change direction or Red, Amber or Green or stop.
  • Set up an obstacle course blindfold one child and get another to give directions around the course.
  • The shopping game – I went to the market and I bought. They have to listen to what everyone says to repeat it.

Craft


My listening ears | DIY & Crafts | Pinterest

Jesus had the same problem with his disciples they were listening but not understanding or really hearing what he was saying.

He was trying to tell them about his death but they were more interested in their own position with Jesus. Than actually listening to what he was saying.

We need to listen carefully to Jesus words and follow his instructions for a full and happy life.

Jesus had the same problem with his disciples - they were listening but not understanding or really hearing what he was saying.

He was trying to tell them about his death but they were more interested in their own position with Jesus than actually listening to what he was saying.

We need to listen carefully to Jesus words and follow his instructions for a full and happy life.

Michelle
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About Michelle Bailey

Reverend Michelle Bailey is the Rural Officer for the Bishop of Brecon and Swansea  She previously worked in Children's Ministry and was ordained in the Church of England. Her blog includes ideas on presenting concepts of faith to young children to the age of eleven and furthering faith development in an educational context. Michelle currently lives in Wales and is also developing a rural ministry blog.
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