Talking with Kids about Listening Filters

by Susanne M. Poulette, MS, CCC-SLP

Let’s talk about listening filters. We all know the signs, and no doubt we’ve been there. We may be in a public place and hear an announcement, and as soon as we identify that the message doesn’t pertain to us, we tune it right out. It could happen during a conversation or when listening to a speaker. We may drift off, not because we’re  tired or distracted, but because we’ve actively decided to block the message, for any number of reasons. We might be opposed to the speaker or the topic, we may think it doesn’t apply, or maybe we just don’t want to hear what we know is coming. 

What about our students? When we get exasperated with continually asking for attention, and redirecting them to listening…it might be worth exploring why they’re not listening and if they are filtering you out. 

Here’s my simple chart to help you get started in talking with your students about listening filters; what they are, and how to recognize and resolve them. I hope this is a good jumping off point for discussion and lots of problem solving with your students.

 Go ahead- click, download and print, it’s a freebie!


© S M Poulette 2017


8 thoughts on “Talking with Kids about Listening Filters

  1. Another wonderful post, Suzanne. I jumped over hoping to read your take on the DeVoss confirmation hearings or on her [lack of] suitability for the position of Sec. of Education — knowing that your context would be helpful without becoming incendiary. Do you plan to comment?
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
    – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”

    Liked by 1 person

      • Bummer! I already spend waaaay too much time online in the blogging community. I’d have no life at all if I were also a FaceBook addict. 🙂

        Seriously, I do have a presence there, and quite a large community of FB friends (my blog autoposts there also, and on several platforms), but I avoid visiting except VERY occasionally to check up on my nephews and approve friend requests before I skedaddle, hoping to avoid the tractor beam – lol. Truthfully, I haven’t liked FB platform changes (or policies) for quite some time now.

        Most of the “socials” don’t play nicely with my ADD Poster Girl brain, I’m afraid – and I’ve had to set some fairly stringent boundaries to cope with some time-consuming personal issues that must be addressed.

        Thanks for the invite – but we must each say no to some things to have the time to be able to say yes to others. Writing, blogs and blogging are my yes-es.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I totally understand. And for the record, I think Devos is completely unqualified for the job, and would be a danger to our educational system. Her deplorable responses at the senate hearings demonstrate her total ignorance of educational issues. I keep this website for practical resources for teachers, slps, and parents. I have a blog at if you would like to read any of my views of the world. I hope you’ll stop by. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Responses? As the Brits say, Pah!

        My interest is not politics per se but, with my focus on mental health (and lifelong learning), the very idea that the man America elected believes he can get away with installing a woman for Sec. of Ed. that *nobody* seems to dispute is completely unqualified couldn’t help but grab my attention (and scare me to death).

        I guess I’m hoping that I will find an op ed piece somewhere that might allow me look at things any way that will let me get to sleep at night.

        Thank’s for the link to your other site – I’ll follow it.


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