Two and a half seems to be the magical age when my kids suddenly stop listening.
Suddenly Noah has joined the ranks of his brothers and sister and it seems I have to ask him three times and then resort to yelling before he will listen!
Or do I?
Here’s fifteen things I am going to do to help my kids to listen…
I’m going to talk less
I’m going to get up, go over to my child, make eye contact and then talk.
I am going to use positive language and tell them what they can do, not what they can’t do.
I’m going to have appropriate expectations.
I’m going to keep it short and to the point. The younger the child the shorter the message.
If my request is non-negotiable I will make sure my language reflects that. No asking ‘can you get in the bath please’.
If my request is negotiable I will offer simple choices to the toddler, more complex choices for the five year old and ask the nine year olds for their input.
I will say it again and again for the toddler, because it takes a lot of repetition before things sink into a two year old brain.
I will try not to yell.
If at all possible I will wait until my child is finished what they are doing.
I will stick around long enough to make sure they are following through… no yelling a request then walking off.
I will be a good listener and model the behaviour I’d like to see.
I will use written reminders, calendars and lists for the older kids so I don’t have to nag so much.
I will sing (possibly like an opera singer) or ask for co-operating in funny or creative ways… ‘Can you slither like a snake to the bath?’
If all else fails I will take a deep breath, realise this is totally normal, and start all over again.
How do you get your kids to listen?
I’ve decided I need to spend a bit of time intentionally working on becoming a better parent right now… so you’ll see a few more of these types of posts pop up on Thursdays.
If there is any parenting things you are struggling with, or questions you would like to ask please email me. I also share lots of interesting parenting links, blogs and articles over on my facebook page so make sure you do the new facebook sign up for notifications thingy if you don’t want to miss them
Read the comments or scroll down to add your own:
Beantown teacher says
Great tips especially talk less. Repeat short, clear expectations is such a great way to communicate with children. Even children who are five and six need clear, simple lanuage.
One trick I use in my classroom is to lower my voice when I need them to listen. Making eye contact and sometimes reminding them to make eye contact is also important.
jennifer capps says
What do you do when your wife refuses to make an effort to correct incorrect behavior?
I’d sit down and talk together, when things are quiet and calm, and work out a plan together on how you want to parent your children and how you will deal with certain situations…
You may not always agree on everything about parenting but agreeing to a plan of action makes things much easier for the parents and the kids.