The Art of Active Listening: Strengthening Communication and Empathy in Parent-Child Relationships


Active listening is a powerful tool that can help improve communication and empathy in parent-child relationships. By giving children a chance to clarify their thoughts and feelings, and validating their perspective, parents can foster a stronger connection and better understand their child’s needs.

Active Listening in the Context of the Pandemic

The pandemic has had a significant impact on the mental health of kids and teens, with many experiencing poor mental health and a lack of access to mental health care. Active listening can be a valuable skill for parents to support their children during these challenging times, allowing them to express their emotions and concerns openly.

Understanding Your Child’s Perspective

Active listening involves seeking to understand your child’s perspective and allowing them independence and agency. This approach can be helpful in everyday situations as well as more serious ones, fostering a stronger bond and promoting open communication between parents and children.

Key Steps to Active Listening

Noticing when your child is stressed or emotional, letting them know you’re here to listen, and paraphrasing and validating their emotions are key steps to active listening. By practicing these techniques, parents can create a safe and supportive environment for their children to express themselves and feel heard.

Physicians’ Artistic Pursuits and Empathy

Physicians can benefit from engaging in artistic pursuits to improve empathy and connection with patients. The humanities offer opportunities for personal and professional growth, balancing the science of medicine and improving patient care. Empathy is an important attribute in the healing relationship, and the arts can provide physicians with the opportunity to develop empathy and humanity.