Parents Find Peace: 6 Strategies To Make Children Actually Listen And Pay Attention To You
One of the basic modern world struggles is difficulties in communication between people. This general issue might really stem from the gap in the fundamental understanding between parents and their children. Even though this problem might have existed when we were children as well and our parents still somehow managed to bring us up, applying the same old methods in a different time may be inadequate. Modern times require modern measures and it’s better to accept it and deal with it than to fight it and later face serious consequences.
1) Be open and honest
Children learn from watching and listening to adults. You putting on a brave, stoic face, never sharing your struggles with them and brushing them off when they sense something is wrong instead of confiding in them, is not what your child needs. If you see them exhibiting that behavior, first question yourself and check to see whether they may have picked it up from you. Of course, you shouldn’t burden them with things they have no control over, but if you’ve taught them compassion, it stands to reason they will have compassion towards you when you’re struggling. If you tell your child that you had a very difficult day at work and you really need to rest, they won’t make a fuss – they’ll curl up with you. And more importantly, when they are feeling bad, instead of ignoring and shutting you out, they will be honest and tell you what’s bothering them.
2) Don’t minimize their problems
Once you’ve built up the confidence in your child to confide in you – listen. A problem that might seem so small and unimportant to you could be the biggest thing in their life right now. And if you want them to pay attention to you when you are speaking to them, you have to show them the same courtesy. If they can’t confide in you with their problems, they might go to the other extreme and take out their anger and confusion on you, giving you the complete opposite effect of what you were hoping to achieve. Remember that healthy, two-way communication is the key to everything.
3) Help them when they ask
One of the things parents struggle with the most is determining how much they should help out their children. On the one hand, you don’t want them to struggle with a task they feel they can’t overcome, but on the other hand, you don’t want them to feel incompetent because you do everything for them. A good medium is to help by giving them the tools to help themselves. If they are struggling in school or need English tutoring, don’t get frustrated as there are a lot of very talented and professional tutors today that can help your child successfully overcome barriers in education and build their self-esteem. This dynamic ensures that you are both on the same page about helping each other, which includes listening and being obedient when necessary. Also, if your child faces difficulties at school
4) Show respect
Apart from showing respect for their interests, you need to try to understand their needs and reasons for wanting or not wanting something. If you ask your child to explain something and you really listen, you will get their attention. However, if you notice that your child doesn’t understand the importance of doing things on time or repeating some boring routines every day, you need to explain and tell them the consequences of inaction. In the end, setting a good example is everything when it comes to parenting, and it really isn’t that difficult. When your child is talking to you, leave everything you are doing and pay attention. It is very important to respect them as individuals in order for them to know how it feels to be respected later in life. Also, make sure to use praise rather than critique them when commenting on their behavior. Critique usually inhibits children’s potential, while pointing out the positives encourages them to be more persistent in trying harder and achieving more.
5) Be clear and direct
As a child’s attention span is very short, you can lose their attention if you beat around the bush or use an extensive explanation for your requests. Children are usually aware of their daily duties and tasks, the only thing they need is a reminder or a bit of encouragement. When it comes to making your child do something, a clear, one-word command can prove to be a very effective tool. For example, if you wait for them to help with the dishes, you can hurry them up by just making eye contact and saying “Dishes!” You might be surprised by the results. Also, make sure that you don’t repeat yourself. If your child attentively listened to what you had to say and still disobeyed, you can repeat your request once again, only this time more firmly. If your child still ignores your words, then remind them of the consequences they are about to face if they disobey. Here, when it comes to punishment, consistency is crucial. When children always face the same kind of punishment for the same type of misbehavior, they will get a clear message of what is not acceptable.
6) Stay calm and positive
Bear in mind your tone when talking to your child is the best way is to stay calm and cheerful. Even when asking for something to be done, use suggestive rather than an imperative tone. If you face your child with a problem rather than demanding a solution, you will pique their interest to really help you. So, instead of yelling at them to pick up the toys, say “When you leave all those beautiful toys scattered around, someone might step on them and destroy them!” It’s very important not to lose your temper, as while that happens, your child is able to see that you are not in control of the situation and feels unprotected. Also, you set a very bad example by raising your voice when things don’t go your way. Children often tend to question authority and test their parents’ patience, so in this kind of situations being patient and firm is the only way to retain their respect.
The key to successful communication is developing a close and affectionate relationship with your child. Remember what used to get on your nerves when communicating with your parents once and try to avoid repeating their mistakes. Finally, try not to be worried all the time, as when you are positive and in a good mood, your child will consider you as good company and confide in you more willingly. Good luck!
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