5 active listening examples in childcare


Author bio

Page last updated: 28/04/2022

5 active listening examples in childcare

The current blogpost will be based on the question “What are active listening examples in childcare ?”. We will enlist the various examples of using active listening in child care. 

What are active listening examples in childcare ?

Active listening in child care is a good way to develop a positive bond with your child. It makes the child feel heard and connected to the parents. Through active listening the emotional distance between the child and the parents gets minimized. Inorder to practice active listening in childcare, following strategies can be used :

  • Give your child undivided attention when you are with your child
  • Avoid being distracted while talking to your child
  • Try to come down to the level of your child
  • Maintain eye contact with your child
  • Reflect or repeat whatever your child shares with you.

The active listening in childcare can be achieved by using the core skills on which active listening is based. These active listening skills include :

  • Reflection of emotions
  • Empathic listening
  • Reflection of words
  • Clarification
  • Listen to attend
  • Be there
  • Use non verbal skills
  • Use affirmation
  • Use open ended questions
  • Content Response
  • Avoid jumping to conclusions

Example of reflection of emotions

Reflection of emotions is used for active listening in childcare. Reflection of emotions is used when parents observe the child’s behavior and describe the feelings they observe.This way the child seems to have a word for describing their emotions and rather sit and talk about feelings.

For example your child might be intensely crying and you might not know if the child is sad, irritable, hungry or scared. It is thus advised at these times that you let the child know that you are paying attention by saying “it seems that something is making you upset today”. Thus by talking things out you being a parent can help your child to understand whatever is going in his mind.

Example of Empathic listening

Empathic listening involves listening to the child and not judging or interrupting whatever the child says. It involves listening to the child without jumping to conclusions. 

For example the child shares about being bullied in school. As parents , empathic listening involves listening to whatever the child shares and paying undivided attention. Instead of telling the child that bullying is  a common experience or that he should appear strong against the bullies, listen to the child and explore his feelings.

Example of Reflection of words in childcare active listening

Childcare often involves reflection of words as a part of active listening, when a caregiver reflects the child’s words, they give attention to the words of the child. This encourages the child to share more and talk about their experience in detail. 

Reflection of words involves correcting or adding the words without prompting the child. 

For example, the child says “i drew some pictures of spaghetti”,

As a childcare adult you can say “you have drawn long spaghettis with manifolds, it seems they were boiled to perfection”.

Example of Clarification in childcare active listening

Clarification in childcare enables the parents and caregivers to remove any misunderstandings when talking with the children. Through this technique of active listening parents and caregivers are able to remove any uncertainties they might have related to their child’s queries.

For example a child says he doesn’t feel good about going to school. The child care respondent can further probe the child through clarification by asking “what makes you say so?”, “What bothers you about going to school today?”, “do you think there is something that can help to change your feelings?”.

Example of Listen to attend in childcare active listening

A strategy that is often helpful in childcare is listening to attend. Through the use of this strategy, the childcare respondents can make the child feel heard and attended well. Giving undivided attention to the child shows them that they are being heard and understood well.

For example a child says “I hate you for not making my favourite breakfast today”. Instead of just ignoring what the child just said, sit with the child and listen to whatever the child says. In this way the child will be able to feel valued by the parents or caregiver.

Example of Being there in childcare active listening

Childcare active listening involves being there for the child while the child gets involved with you. Being there for the child means that you are both physical and mentally present with your child. 

For example, while having evening snacks instead of replying to your child with “hmmm”, “mmhmm” or “okay” , get involved with your child in mindful conversations that are meaningful.

5 active listening examples in childcare

Example of Using affirmation in childcare active listening

Verbal affirmations are a good strategy to practice active listening with the children. Verbal affirmations involve reassuring the child and reaffirming the child that you are there for the child and are actively and intentionally involved in the listening process with the child. 

Examples of verbal affirmations involve “mmhmm”, “tell me more”, “i really appreciate” and other such phrases whereas the non verbal affirmations are based on nodding your head while listening, using a pleasant smile, sitting with an open posture and leaning forward towards the child.

Example of Using open ended questions in childcare active listening

Use of open ended questions is highly recommended in childcare active listening. The parents or caregivers instead of using the close ended questions that only yield yes or no responses can use open ended questions to obtain in detail the information related to the child’s unpleasant thoughts, feelings and behavior.

For example a child says he is not feeling good about being with a certain individual at home, instead of using close ended questions, the caregivers can instead use open ended questions and ask the child “ tell me more about your feelings, how long have you been feeling like that? What makes you feel like that now?”. 

Using these questions will enable the child to be more elaborative about his thoughts and feelings and would encourage the child to share deep details instead of shallowing their unpleasant experiences.

Example of Content Response in childcare active listening

Content response in active listening involves reflecting back to the child the content of what you heard through your child. Content responding does not mean repeating the child’s exact words like a parrot; instead it means that the parent or caregiver needs to paraphrase the child’s words. If a caregiver repeats the words of the child as it is, it might appear annoying and irritating to the child. 

For example a child says “I am afraid to sleep alone because  I think the monster night makes it impossible to sleep and teases or bug him throughout the night”. As a caregiver  you might use content responses with the child and say “ it seems your sleep is bothered by the monster that you think is under your bed”.

Avoid jumping to conclusions

Jumping to conclusions often tarnishes the active listening process. The childcare respondents need to be extra careful to ensure that they do not have any preconceived notions related to the child’s ideas or are not biased while listening to the child’s thoughts and feelings. Having a biased and judgemental attitude is a hindrance to the process of active listening. 

For example a child shares with you that he is upset because he is having trust issues with his friends. Instead of thinking that your child is less confident or shy just listen to the child’s  thoughts and feelings by probing his experiences in detail. 


The current blogpost was based on the question “What are active listening examples in childcare ?”. We enlisted and discussed the various examples of active listening in childcare.

Frequently asked questions : active listening examples in childcare

What are four examples of active listening?

Following are the four examples of active listening ;

  • nonjudgmental.
  • Patient (periods of silence are not “filled”)
  • Verbal and nonverbal feedback to show signs of listening (e.g., smiling, eye contact, leaning in, mirroring)
  • Asking questions.

Which is an example of an active listening answer?

A few examples of active listening answer are as below :

  • “So, you’re saying that the uncertainty about who will be your new supervisor is creating stress for you.” “So, you think that we need to build up our social media marketing efforts.”
  • “How do you think we can help you to clear your uncertainty related to the new supervisor?”.

What are 5 active listening techniques?

Following are the 5 active listening techniques :

  • Pay attention to the maximum level
  • Show that you’re listening both verbally and non verbally
  • Provide feedback actively
  • Defer judgment.
  • Respond appropriately

What activities are involved in active listening?

Following activities are involved in active listening :

  • Paying attention.
  • Withholding judgment.
  • Reflecting.
  • Clarifying.
  • Summarizing.
  • Sharing



https://www.cdc.gov/parents/essentials/communication/activelistening.html#:~:text=give%20your%20full%20attention%20to,to%20make%20for%20you%20 understand


What was missing from this post which could have made it better?