Your Child Not Listening To You? Try This…
A question I get asked a lot from parents is: How can I get my child to listen to me?
Getting kids to listen is a challenge at the best of times but asking them to take action is even trickier.
Whilst your child may be listening to you speak, they aren’t always paying attention and computing what you’re saying.
Children are busy little bees and their minds are constantly turning thoughts over. Often they’re so engrossed in what they’re doing, they tune-out when their parents talk.
Kids also have different priorities to us. Whilst brushing their teeth is really important to you, your child would rather be playing with their toys.
So what can you do about it?
Here are 5 simple techniques that get results:
1) Only use single words
Children are often distracted when we talk to them. They zone out if we go on and on or use long sentences.
It’s always best to use single words to prompt them to do something.
So if you want your child to brush their teeth or take a bath, just say “teeth” or “bath”. This way you’ll jog their memory and get a much better response.
2) Give an explanation
Usually when we ask children to do to something, we don’t explain why.
Kids are curious little beings and love to know why.
Rather than just telling your child to do something, explain why they need to do it.
So if you want them to pick up their toys, say something like “if you leave your toys out, mummy may trip over them and hurt herself”.
Providing clarity and reason captures attention and motivates children into action.
3) Always offer choices
Nobody likes to be told what to do.
If we feel coerced into doing something, we usually rebel. It’s human nature.
Kids are exactly the same. If you offer your child a choice of doing X, Y or Z, they’ll feel empowered and will be more likely to do what you ask of them.
4) Express your expectations
You should always state your expectations ahead of time, so your kids know what they need to do and by when.
You can also add in a privilege or “treat” if they meet your expectations.
For example: “After you’ve finished this game, I need you to brush your teeth and have a bath. Once you’ve done that, we can read 2 stories instead of 1”.
5) Tune into their feelings
We all like to be heard and feel understood. Children are no different.
They want to know their feelings matter. By listening to and acknowledging their woes will get kids taking action far quicker than if you ignore what they’re saying.
By making a few small changes in the way you ask your child to do something goes a long way in getting them to listen and take action!
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