Listening Skills

Listening with Ears of Children, Looking with Eyes Full of Wonder

By Neha P Nisarga, Psychologist

From the time she started with math, she realized it was not going to be easy for her. Consistently scoring a D on Math, no matter the amount of effort or time that was put in, made her feel silly. Teachers sometimes weren’t able to help either. The fear of the subject was directly proportionate to the strictness of the teacher. The stricter the teacher was, the more intimidating the subject appeared. Thus, she slowly got conditioned to have a certain amount of anxiety and fear for the subject. 

In a particular classroom instance, when the child was grade 1, she had misspelled a very common word ‘Tuesday’ when writing it on the blackboard. The teacher upon seeing the error, did correct her, but harshly in front of her peers, eventually making her a laughing stock, leaving the child ashamed of the mistake. This shook up the child a little, until now, she was just scared of a subject, but this incident made her question what was lacking in her. Growing up, her incidents with adults confused her further. She couldn’t understand why adults blamed or accused her for situations she wasn’t involved in. Despite her attempts to explain herself, no one ultimately listened to her. As she entered  adolescence, she started listening more. Her experiences as a child and an adult taught her to deal, but more importantly to listen to a person, especially children. Being a good listener might be a very minute thing amongst the several other personality traits a person possesses, but it plays a great deal of role growing up. Working in any field, listening is a key. As a friend, family member or even, a superior in a workplace, listening improves interpersonal relationships. She chose Behavioral sciences, despite being advised otherwise, because it wasn’t ‘realistic’ or ‘ a too emotional job’. But this job changed her perspective on lives, especially children, who she could see were sometimes undergoing the same circumstances that once upon a time she had. Listening helped her to understand the perspective of the adults and the meanings behind the actions of children. it has helped her to understand, accept and appreciate these differences. it has also helped her chronicle her journey as a young child living in the world of adults. It fills her with hope that the voices of children will be heard and their actions will be seen from the eyes of wonder not contempt. 

The above mentioned instances are those of my own. The time I have spent in Drishti along with my past experiences has helped me to be more confident in being me. Be it during counselling and remedial therapy sessions or dealing with concerns as well as complaints of parents and teachers.

Magic does happen! 

It has also made me realise that not every therapy session ends with a bright smile on the client’s face. But almost all the sessions guarantee some or the other kind of emotional growth for all the parties involved. The therapy sessions are just like the saying “There is light at the end of the tunnel”. The verbal and non-verbal feedback which I receive from my clients helps me to keep going; the satisfied smile on the parents face at the end of a therapy, the appreciative pats from school teachers after supporting them with strategies to manage class/a particular student, or a rating of 5 on the feedback form after a reporting session. Well of course there were times when I did realize that “the light at the end of the tunnel” was apparently a high-speed train! Any ways, jokes apart, call me silly & soppy, but I am a firm believer of magic.

 I have witnessed magic happening in this field of Behavior Science and I get to create it too with my students! 

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The author, Neha, is almost always enthused to work with children. She believes it helps her keep her inner child alive and active. She is dedicated to becoming a “go-to” person for all the children in the world. At the time of writing this story, Neha was Coordinator Client Engagement, Drishti & Impact Manager, Prabhav

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