Stephen Lauer, MD, PhD

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Episode: Listening

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Listening with Stephen Lauer, MD, PhD

Associate Chair- Department of KU Pediatrics and Interim Director of Pediatrics, Children’s Mercy Hospital

By: Brandon Clark

Brandon Clark is a current 5th-year senior and track athlete/scholar at UMKC. Brandon is a communications major with an emphasis in journalism.  In this final semester, he is interning with the RaisingKC Podcast project in radio/podcast production. “This has given me the wonderful opportunity of working with radio production and marketing communications professionals,” Brandon says. As a self-taught music producer, he brings his passion and background in music production to RasingKC. “You may hear some of my work in one of the RaisingKC Podcasts,” he adds.


Discover how listening helps build safe, stable nurturing relationships. And how a pediatrician defines LISTENING. Dr. Lauer challenges you to put yourself in your child’s shoes, so the child feels understood and respected. Try listening “beyond the ears”!

How does Listening help an adult connect with a child?

  • A child builds empathy, self-respect and compassion by being “heard” and listened to.

What to do: 

  • When you are faced with a child doing a behavior you want to change, it is important that you take the time to listen to the child and listen to yourself. You need to display these good listening skills to create an environment where the child feels heard. 
  • Parents can also utilize the Behavior Checker® for help.  

Why it matters: 

  • “Parenting is healthcare.” The way adults listen to children’s behavior can  improve the lifelong health and development of children

One big takeaway:

  • RaisingKC and Behavior Checker are not trying to tell parents how to raise their children. Rather, they provide resources and useful information for parents to help them listen and understand what their children are “telling” them through the way they behave.