Topic 5 Active Listening

Through active listening we are encouraging the young person to be open and transparent about their emotions, by creating a safe and positive conversation.

Active Listening Techniques


Try paraphrasing what the child is telling you and offer them the opportunity to confirm or correct what you have understood.

  • If I/we have understood correctly, you say...
  • In other words...
  • By that, you mean that..?


Try to demonstrate your understanding for what they share with you and recognise their feelings.

  • I understand that you feel sad/angry/concerned…
  • That sure was scary…


Ask clarifying questions to receive more information about comments that seem unclear.

  • Can you tell me more...?
  • What happened then...?
  • How did you feel when..?

Active listening is considered an “open door” that fosters open, trusting communication.

Open door Closed door
I’m listening and I completely understand you Avoid orders – Stop yelling!
I know how you feel If you don't pass this test, I’m going to be very disappointed!
Let’s think this through together Only bad kids do that!
I’m sure you can do it, I believe in you You’re doing it wrong!
Together we will find the best solution Nothing is wrong, nothing happened (irony).
I know it’s difficult but we can do this! We won't talk about it now, go to your room.
Let's talk about it Oh you think you are clever!

Question 1

Your child comes home from school and says: “Today in math class I didn’t understand anything, I told the teacher in front of the whole class and everyone started making fun of me.”

Try answering by using active listening techniques (paraphrasing, reflecting, clarifying).

Question 2

A father is having a conflict with his 10-year old son about how much time he spends playing games on the computer. He listens carefully what his son is thinking about gaming and how it helps him relax after a challenging day at school and meet online with his friends, since meeting in person is not so safe due to COVID-19. He also explains to him that he is concerned about his health and would like him to engage more in his football practice, as it is something that the young boy loves. He proposes that it is acceptable to spend 1 hour ped day playing computer games, as he acknowledges his viewpoint.

The father’s method of dealing with conflict is __________.

Question 3

What is the meaning of each communication strategy?

creative response

explore the needs, fears, concerns of each one involved in the conflict.

mapping the conflict

brainstorm solutions and ideas, even the ones that only partially solve the conflict

development of options

explore possible solutions and focus on what you learn