Getting kids to listen is not an easy thing. We may think that the mere sound of our voice should cause them to drop whatever they are doing and cause them to come running at our every beck and call. Sadly, this is not the case. We are left to figure out a better way to do this. The thing is, most of us don't go about it very well. I just saw a post over at A Fine Parent with a few tips for tuning up your conversations with your kids so that they actually listen to you.
1. Don’t Compete with a Screen
It’s unfair to your children to expect them to pay attention to you when a movie or video game already has their attention. No human can give their full attention to more than one thing at a time.
Let’s face it, we are really not interesting enough to trump whatever they are watching, especially if we’re telling them to do a chore.
Push pause. Make eye contact. Crouch down to their level and even maybe touch their shoulder. Then speak.
They will hear you because you have created the right environment for them to pay attention. And they will remember.
Image courtesy of: tvol
A study done by James P. Otteson found that students whose teacher made eye contact with them had better recall memory of the material that was discussed. If we can make eye contact with our kids the chances are they will actually remember the point we were trying to make!
We need to keep in mind that our kids may be busy with something else and simply aren't quite ready to have their attention drawn away. Plan accordingly. the best way to do this is make sure that distractions have been thoughtfully removed.
3. Give Them Time to Accept Your Request
Transitioning from one activity to the next is hard for kids. Most often, they will resist at first. Don’t get upset. Just give them a minute without giving reasons or ultimatums.
Once they’ve thought about what you’re saying, they are more likely to accept it and willingly do as you ask.
Image courtesy of: Images by Ophelia
No one likes to get pushed into doing something. Not only is it unfair to expect blind obedience, it doesn’t teach them to think for themselves and take responsibility for their own actions.
A little patience can go a long ways.
4. Use Humor
Act silly, sing a song, tell a joke.
When I was little, I hated to wake up in the morning. But my dad made it so much better when he woke me up in the morning singing a silly song about opening the windows and letting the sunshine in.
Using humor is a super parenting skill because it can set a positive tone for your whole day. Getting a child to see the humor in a potentially frustrating situation can diffuse all the negative emotions and keep stubbornness and hard feelings at bay. Laughter will draw you closer to your child instead of driving a wedge between you.
Image courtesy of: epredator
This can be a real gift. It shows you understand the situation and are choosing not to become frustrated by it but instead look for a funny way to deal with it. the lessons of doing this are manifold.
5. Be Specific
Did you say to your child, “Go clean your room,” and they gave you a blank look? They might be feeling overwhelmed by how huge a task that is!
Help them out by being more specific. Tell them, “Put your dirty clothes into the hamper.“ When that is done don’t forget to give them some positive reinforcement – “You put all your clothes into the hamper!” – and then give the next step.
Image courtesy of: Mountainbread
This is really practical. The more specific we are, the easier it is for kids to know exactly what you need done. General commands oftne don't end well because there is a disagreement about what you expected to be done versus what your child thought. This solves that issue.
To read the entire post, click below.
Photo By Wayan Vota
Learn practical tips for talking to your toddler. Free yourself from frustration and watch your toddler's behavior improve immediately!
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