You know the drill – you tell your kid the same thing over and over and over and over again. They don’t seem to get it. In this video, I’m going to give you some tips on how to get your child to listen to you.
I recently thought of writing a book called “1000 times” because that is how many times it feels that we need to say something to our kids before they “get it”. But, like so many issues we have with our children, what if it is actually our fault? NO it couldn’t be. Jason you are crazy, there is no possible way that our children not listening is our fault! I’m sorry, it is!
Usually listening means we want them to do something or act a certain way. We resort to repeating ourselves, nagging, or even getting mad. We do this over and over thinking that we are going to get a different result. But we don’t. I think they call that insanity. Let’s look at some ways we can improve our kid’s listening:
#1 – Monkey see monkey do – Check yourself and make sure you are listening to your kids when they ask you something. Do they have to repeat themselves before you answer them? Do they have to yell before you will acknowledge their question?
#2 – Use less words – In fact use one word if it’s possible. “upstairs” “eat”. We often confuse our kids with too many words and have too many commands. Think of them as cave people.
#3 – Create routines – Make a morning and evening schedule. We did a video about morning routines in Episode 27 and an evening schedule in Episode 26. This does help but will crumble quickly if you don’t refer and stick to the schedule or are the cause of the schedule to not be followed.
#4 – Ask questions – Instead of placing commands, ask your child questions …”What do we do when we finish eating? After your bath, what comes next? Questions provide them an opportunity to be engaged and solve problems so they are more likely to listen and follow through.
#5 – Positive re-inforcement – When they do it right, make a big deal about it!! “You were so helpful getting into the car on time this morning. It is really appreciated.”
#6 – Be Direct – Don’t say “Maybe you should clean up your room” or “I think it would be a good idea if you put your dishes away”. Instead say “Please clean your room” and “You need put away your dishes” Of course it would be better to ask questions here but if you don’t, be direct.
#7 – Make sure you have their attention first – If they are in the middle of a video game, they are not going to hear you. Usually eye contact helps indicate that you at least have some attention. Yelling upstairs or down the hall can also be a little difficult to get their full attention. If it’s important, go to them and say it directly.
#8 – Natural consequences – This is the most important one. Let the consequences happen if they don’t listen. For example, if they are consistently late for school, give them a warning the night before that the car is leaving at 7:30am. Let them know when they wake up as well. Then leave at 7:30 without them if they aren’t ready. You only want to do this if there is another parent at home for safety. If you have only one child, you could let them know that the car only leaves at 7:30. If there are not ready, the car will not go and they will miss school. Natural consequences need to happen. As long as the child is safe and there is no danger, natural consequences are a huge tool in development.
Getting your children to listen can feel like a monumental task. You have to look at the techniques you are using and check yourself. If you are doing the same things over and over and they are not working, you have to try something different. See how these work for you.