Form An Even Deeper Connection With Your Teenage Grandchild By Practicing These 17 Good Listening Techniques

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Giving your grandkids good, solid advice is essential, but do you know what is even better for building your relationship? Listening. I know this sounds simple and obvious, but believe it or not, there is an art to being a good listener.

Yes, staying silent and/or sharing your own experiences can be helpful, but there is even more to it than that. To help you along on this journey with your grand(s), I invite you to check out (and practice!) these 17 good listening techniques:

1. Keep your hands empty

It’s tempting to multitask, but you must stop (or set down) whatever you are doing to give your grandchild your full attention. Doing this – even if you’re in the middle of making dinner or doing something else – shows they have your undivided attention.

2. Make eye contact

The eyes, they say, are the windows to the soul – and whoever “they” are are correct. Gentle, consistent eye contact conveys you’re listening and suggests a deep level of engagement.

3. Lean in

You know those intimate, whispered tales you share with close friends? It also works wonders for your grands. Leaning in ever so slightly emulates that same keen interest, demonstrating that every word they say is valuable to you.

4. Nod and affirm

A nod is a universal sign of understanding. To make it even more affirming, mix it with soft sounds of agreement, like “hmm” or “I see.” These seemingly small gestures create a quiet bridge of connection, making them feel validated and truly heard.

5. Hush and hold

We all have been culprits of eagerly jumping into conversations, but reigning in that urge and letting your grandchild express fully can be a gift. That said, let them unravel their narrative thread completely without any interruptions.

6. Strut your memory

Little details, like recalling their friend’s name or a past event they shared, convey to your grandchild that you are listening and do care.

7. Ask open-ended questions

Closed questions can be conversation stoppers, so try asking open-ended ones like, “How did that make you feel?” to uncover layers of emotions and perspectives.

8. Body language is everything

Just like an open invitation to grandma’s house, having a relaxed and open posture is like an unspoken invitation that says, “Come in, I’m here for you.”

9. Mirror their emotion

Validating your grandkids’ feelings is a powerful way to connect and make them feel seen and heard. Say things like, “That sounds challenging,” to make them feel heard and reassured.

10. Be in the moment

Thinking ahead and planning your response is tempting, but authentic listening means being fully present. Before crafting your reply, immerse yourself in what they said and give yourself a moment to reflect.

11. Declutter your environment

Background noise can be a subtle disruptor. To combat it, consider dimming the TV volume or choosing a peaceful corner in your home that sets the stage for a real heart-to-heart.

12. Offer a patient, well-timed pause

Not all silences are awkward. In fact, they are sometimes spaces for reflection for both you and your grandchild.

13. Skip the judgment

No one likes feeling judged, so approach your conversations with an open heart and mind to ensure they’ll always feel safe sharing with you.

14. If the moment is right, share

While it’s great to relate with personal anecdotes, swiftly steering the focus back to them ensures they remain the protagonist of the chat.

15. Feelings are valid

Affirming their emotions with phrases like, “It’s okay to feel that way,” can be a soothing balm on their troubled hearts. It’s a hard time – let them know they are not alone and are allowed to feel how they feel!

16. Circle back

When the moment presents itself, return to your conversation to see how they are doing and if any progress has been made. Believe me when I say that this will make them feel seen and oh-so loved.

17. End with gratitude

While you’re wrapping up, thank your grand for including you in their life and trusting you with their problems. This will stick with them and make them feel comfortable enough to come back to you again and again.


In the end, it’s not about having all the answers but about giving them a platform to express themselves. By embodying these techniques, you’re telling them, “I’m here, I care, and most importantly, I’m listening.” And isn’t that what every grandchild – nay, every human – wants? You bet!

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