I said I was going to write a book called 1000 times because that is how many times it feels that we need to say something as parents before our child gets it.
In Episode 144 – we talked about 11 ways to improve your listening skills. But this is for us as adults. what about getting our kids to listen to us? It is a big problem. Like so many parenting issues, the problem might not be so much the child’s fault as it is our fault for not doing the right things.
Usually listening means we want them to do something they are supposed to do anyway. We resort to repeating oursevles, nagging, or even ignoring it.
If we are to do the opposite it means we don’t repeat ourselves, we take action quickly, and we allow natural consequences to happen.
This starts when they are toddlers and doesn’t happen overnight. Ifn fact for many it is a really long, drawn out process of pain.
Once they get into teen years, you hope you have trained them to take care of themselves.
Either way, here are some ways to improve their listening:
1) Monkey see monkey do – check yourself and make sure you are listening to your kids when they ask you something
2) Use less words – In fact use one word if you can. “upstairs” “eat” . We often confuse our kids with too many words and have too many commands.
3) Create a routine – Make a morning and evening schedule. This does help but begins to 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 – What do we do next? What do we do after we take a bath?
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” and instead say “Please clean your room” and “Your dishes need to be put away after dinner” Of course it would be better to ask questions here but if you don’t, be direct.
7) Make sure you have their attention – If they are in the middle of a video game, they are not going to hear you. Usually eye contact is also going to indicate at least you 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 – Let the consequences happen if they don’t listen. For example, if they are consistently late for school, if you have other children (and a spouse who will be home) then let them know the car is leaving at whatever time with our without them. And do it. If they are the only one going to school, then you indicate the leaving time and say if they are not ready, you are not taking them and stay home.
We just want our kids to be compliant. I know I personally struggle with my kids listening but it really can come down to not approaching the situation correctly. These are all activities that we need to consider doing to get our kids listening to us.