HOW TO GET KIDS TO LISTEN
When your children want your attention, what do you normally say or do?
A “I’ll be there in a minute”.
B “Hang on a sec”
C “tell them to be patient”
D Get annoyed at them for interrupting or being inconvenient.
Sometimes they may be reacting just the same way we react, they way we have taught them as they model our behaviors.
LEAD BY EXAMPLE
Actions really do speak louder than words when it comes to parenting. Our children look at what we do, and they do it.
For example; “NO SHOUTING IN THIS HOUSE” (in a loud voice) will not teach them to speak quietly.“
TIPS FOR GETTING THEM TO LISTEN
- Be reasonable in requests. Is what you are asking really necessary? Does it have to be done right now in the way you want it done? Is there room for flexibility?
- Try not to interrupt your children too much. They may be only ‘playing’, but play is some of the most important work they can do. They may be in the middle of their favorite TV show. Wait until the ads. Show them the same respect you expect of them toward you.
- Don’t demand everything NOW! Instead, get their attention, explain what you are after, and set a mutually agreeable timetable. It might be today, it might be within an hour, or it might be in the next five minutes. But don’t demand it now unless it needs to be done now.
- Use gentle reminders. Instead of being upset, making a commotion, and inviting resistance, simply say your child’s name and one or two words of what is required. E.g. ‘ Jane, please pack your lunch box’.
- Get your child’s attention, and speak softer and softer. The irony is that when we shout, people switch off. Its offensive. But when we speak softly they strain to take in every word we say. Your message will get across with focused soft speaking.
It is very often the little changes we can make on a daily basis, that can make our jobs as parents a little easier.
JUST TRY IT OUT FOR YOURSELF!