Getting the Kids to Listen

     First of all, maintain eye contact, looking at your child when you talk to him, Tina says. Talking over his shoulder while he watches TV or calling to him from another room is not conducive to communicating effectively. Turn off the TV for a minute and kneel down to your child’s level so that you’re facing each other, Tina advises, and then go ahead and talk to him.

     Be realistic in what you’re asking him to do. Sometimes I see parents who ask their children to do age-inappropriate things that they’re just not yet capable of, and it overwhelms them. You may just be asking too much of them.

     How do you get along when you’re starving or after a poor night’s sleep? If you suspect your kid is hungry, get him a high-protein snack to give him a blood sugar boost, and then go ahead and repeat your demands.

     Next, when you offer your child choices, only give him one or two at a time because too many choices can overwhelm him. Instead of asking, “What do you want to do?” ask “Would you rather help with the laundry or set the table?”

    Finally, be positive and supportive when your children do what you want. When they do listen, say thank you or tell them they did a good job. You’ll get more of what you support with positive remarks.

     Developing listening skills in your children isn’t usually an overnight task, but by following these tips, you’ll find that soon there will be a recognizable change in how your kids respond to what you say.

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