“I call out to my kids many times in a day but they never listen.”
The frustration on this parent’s face was clear. We were part-way through a recent parenting workshop I was running when the issue arose.
The most common responses you get from the parents while asking the simple question, “When your children want your attention, what do you normally say or do?”
There was silence, then the light bulb moment occurred. Eyes were wide, mouths dropped open…
“I say I’ll be there in a minute, or hang on just a sec,” was one the most common responses.
“I usually just tell them to be patient,” secondly most used responses.
“I get annoyed at them for interrupting and being inconvenient,” as so on.
Most of the parents specially having younger kids realized that when they wanted their child’s attention, their kids were reacting exactly the way they had been taught to by them.
While the parents were making demands for action ‘NOW!’, their children were responding in the same way they had observed whenever they requested something of their parents.
You Have to Lead Your Kids 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” will not teach our children to use quiet voices.
“Stop hitting your sister when you’re angry” is not a command that will be followed by our children if it is accompanied by a parent slapping a child for hitting (or biting, or anything else physical).
Beyond example, are there any other ways that we can encourage our children to listen?
Tips for Getting Kids to Listen
- Be reasonable in requests. Is what you are asking really necessary? Does it really have to be done right now in the way you want it done? Is there room for flexibility offered to the kids ?
- 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 the same respect you expect of them toward you.I f you interrupt them frequently the will adopt as a habit
- Don’t demand everything NOW! Instead, get their attention, explain what you are after, and set a mutually agreeable time table. 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.Being demand ant is not good for the kids behavior
- Use gentle reminders. Instead of being upset, making a commotion, and inviting resistance, simply say your child’s name and one or two words about what is required. For example, “Josh, please pack your lunchbox.” ” Linda,Please put your dirty clothes in the washing machine.”
- Get your child’s attention, and speak softer and softer. The irony is that when we shout, people switch off. It’s offensive. But when we speak softly they strain to take in every word we say. Your message will get across with focused soft speaking.In Order to get your kids attention as the parent accent is more important then then the words,