Developing the Habit of Listening

HABIT-LISTENINGThe month of February’s habit is listening to what is being said. I have laid out one activity per day for the month, following roughly the 7 day plan I laid out in the Habits Intro. Listening falls under the parent category of “self discipline” as you can see in the Habits Intro post.

Listening is an essential life skill and one that we want to impress upon our children and help them develop at an early age.

intentionally nurturing good habits in our children

Activities for encouraging the habit of listening

1. Talk about what listening is and why listening is important.
2. Put a random selection of items in another room and give a description on which item they are to get.
3. Read Amelia Bedelia stories to the boys {humorous mishaps of not listening}
4. Play act silly scenarios that can happen if you don’t listen
5. At church tell the speaker something they heard him say during the meeting
6. Read 1 Samuel  20: 1- 44, the story of David and Jonathan and the arrows
7. Talk about listening/replay favorite games from the week
8. Have someone over for dinner *
9. Play Simon Says
10. Read What Was That! {A great children’s book about three brother bears who hear night noises of little critters getting ready for bed}
11. Give the boys instructions on how to build a lego creation to replicate a model I have already made, but that they cannot see until completion of their own. (The goal is that theirs should look identical to mine!)
12.  At church tell the speaker something they heard him say during the meeting
13. Read Jonah chapter 1 and 2, the story of Jonah and the big fish
14.  Talk about listening/replay favorite games from the week
15. Have someone over for dinner *
16. Play What Time is it Cpt Midnight?
17. Read Eric Liddell: Running for a Higher Prize (Heroes for Young Readers) {The story of a man who chose to listen to God rather than the crowds}
18. Let the boys be waiters at dinner time and take our orders for food prepared and waiting in the kitchen for them to serve.
19.  At church tell the speaker something they heard him say during the meeting
20. Read 1 Samuel 3, the story of Samuel being called by God
21.  Talk about listening/replay favorite games from the week
22. Have someone over for dinner *
23. Play Marco Polo
24. Read The King with Six Friends {I haven’t yet read this, but I have heard great things about it. A story of loyalty and teamwork. I love the illustrations in it!}
25. Set up an obstacle course and blindfold the boys. Give them verbal instructions to get through it
26. At church tell the speaker something they heard him say during the meeting
27. Read Acts 9, the story of Saul’s conversion
28. Talk about listening/replay favorite games from the week
29. Have people over for dinner *

*I have invited a selection of people over for dinner that have agreed to talk with the boys about the importance of listening within their realm of work. These guests aren’t likely to be coming over on Wednesdays, but to maintain the structure of my list I have kept it in order.
So far we have two nurses and a fireman coming on two different evenings to let the boys know how listening plays a part in their job.
I am also planning on having a small group of their friends over (7-12 year olds) who have agreed to tell them good stories about times they have listened or times when they should have listened. It was suppose to have been this Sunday but due to sickness in our family we’ve had to cancel and can hopefully reschedule that!!

~As with last month, this month of planning activities for encouraging the habit of listening came about from many dear friends contributing their thoughts and allowing me to hash out my ideas to them~

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2 Replies to “Developing the Habit of Listening”

  1. It seems like these are geared more towards older kids, 7 – 12 range is what I read above but I’m thinking I can tailor some of these activities for my 4 year old. I have been having a difficult time getting her to STOP and listen when I ask her to do something or to listen the first time to what I am saying. I know she is young but Mason speaks of cultivating these habits as young as possible. I’m wondering if you have any tips besides what you’ve written above? I definitely think at this age, the role-playing will be beneficial and I plan on trying this during neutral play times. I’ve read a lot about Grace & Courtesy lessons that Montessori created for her classroom which I think will be beneficial. Just curious any other advice! Thank you for the time 🙂

    1. Did you see this post on games to help teach the habit of listening? – http://www.wonderandwildness.com/habits/games-that-nurture-a-habit-of-listening/
      I also have copy work/memory work on the habit of listening – http://www.wonderandwildness.com/habits/memory-copy-work-on-the-habit-of-listening/ But at 4 that won’t be very helpful 🙂
      One of the biggest lessons I have learned through this (am learning!) is that if I want my children to immediately respond to me, I need to be careful in what I am asking of them so they can see (even if it takes them time!) that I am reasonable. Does that make sense? For example – if they are engaged in playing with friends and it is time to go, it is helpful to give them a warning “we will be leaving in a couple minutes, wind it down so you’re ready to go cheerfully when it’s time!” or if they are watching a movie or listening to an audio book or reading I will quickly say “pause it when you get to a spot you can rest for a moment. I have something I need you to do.”
      When they were younger and I had their attention I would say my piece and then ask them to repeat it.
      Over all though – it’s a habit that will take work to cultivate but will be SO worthwhile, so keep on through the hard times and frustrating moments and just keep working on it! <3

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