Family Activity

Ages 5-8

Title: Reflective Listening

Materials: Markers (optional)

When childrencome to us with physical hurt, it is easy to reach for the Band-Aids. With emotional hurts, however, it is not quite so simple. Unintentionally,we often react by ignoring, denying, or minimizing children" feelings. This reaction leaves children with the feeling that they are not being heard or understood. By responding with reflective statements, we let children know that we do care and that we are here if they need to talk. Reflective responses open the doors to good communication.


  1. For each of the following statements, parent and child write or discuss one "closed-door" statement and one "open-do or" statement.
    1. "I don't what to go to bed! I want to stay up with you and Mommy."
    2. "Justin and Jamie called me a baby and said I can't play with them."
    3. "I don't want to stay with a baby sitter. I want to go with you!"
    4. "Why can't I have a snack? I'm hungry!"
    5. "I don't want to go to the dentist. I'm scared I"
    6. "No! I don't want to pick up my toys!"
  1. Which did you find to be the easiest responses and why?

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