It’s a challenging time for most of us to be productive when being cooped up at home and it’s confusing when your attention is being demanded everywhere. For students, the distractions can come from social media notifications on their phone, the temptation to watch TV or having to put aside time to help their parents with chores to maintain household income.

Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

The same goes for parents and teachers.

Parents are having to multitask work and their role as the family guardian whereas teachers are at the mercy of conducting learning online without full control on their student’s attention span and discipline within the classroom.

With the pressure to be productive builds among parents and teachers, miscommunication within the household is bound to happen and tempers will run short.

Tension within the household

Miscommunication happens when there is a disconnect between what we say and how it’s perceived. Being away from school, Amir, a student may not be in the mindset to study even when it’s expected of them at home. His teacher texts him the third time to complete his homework. 

“Umm...no, I didn’t do it Cikgu Ros. Where do I find it? This chapter is hard lah cikgu.”

Amir’s mum gets a text from Cikgu Ros to ask for her help to teach her son. 

“Amir! Stop watching TV, you need to finish your homework NOW! Can’t you be more responsible like your brother? I’ve got a lot to do for work, I cook, I clean - I’ve been doing everything for this house!” 


These effects can take a huge toll on everyone involved and impacts the peace within the household.

The art of listening: listen to answer vs listen to understand

Photo by Ryan Franco on Unsplash

Misunderstandings happen for a number of reasons: assumptions, stress - the list goes on! Remember Amir? Secretly, he doesn’t want to deal with school because if he ignores his homework he can avoid feeling like he’s the only one in class that doesn’t understand.

Perhaps Amir should be more active expressing himself to ask for help? Maybe Cikgu Ros should prepare simpler questions for her class or Amir's mum asks Cikgu Ros for tips to coach her child through the lesson. 

The pandemic is a challenging situation for everyone and it’s no one’s fault. It’s just miscommunication.

When we listen to answer back, it’s easy to jump to conclusions because we have a response ready instead of focusing on what the other person’s needs are. However, when we listen to understand, we’re motivated to continue the conversation and not assume the actions of others.

Passive listening is not the same as actively listening. Don’t let your perception of how others think and feel influence the way you react to situations. The video below shares more about why miscommunications happens and we hope it can give everyone a perspective on how we as individuals can do to help to avoid it as best we can.

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