Are you having trouble with your children listening and following your instructions? Here are a few quick and simple strategies on how to get kids to listen to you!
Getting kids to listen to you can be extremely frustrating, but you’re not alone. It’s common and even developmentally normal for a child to test their parent’s limits. Subsequently. this can translate into them ignoring your instructions. This may not make it any less frustrating, but it’s a good to remind ourselves that all children sometimes disobey. Even though you may have asked them clearly and calmly to do something. On the other hand, often children genuinely have too many other things on their mind. This is because their developing brains make it very difficult to ignore outside stimuli, causing you to get tuned out. Another reason your child may be ignoring you is because they might not share your priorities. Similarly, they may not understand why it’s so important to take action in the moment. Regardless of why your child is ignoring you, we’ve come up with a few helpful strategies. Read on to learn how to put your voice centre stage and get their attention!
Ask yourself what lesson you want to teach
Explaining why it’s not good to scream or jump up and down on the bed is a lot better than just saying not to. Reinforce your explanation by acting out a better way for your child to express themselves or using collaborative problem solving to come up with ideas about why their behaviour isn’t helpful and what they can do instead. Communicating and providing a reason to do or not do something allows your child to feel more understanding and respect, often causing them to come to the same conclusion as yourself.
State your expectations before a situation happens
Letting your child plan ahead of time by reinforcing an expectation to them before it plays out allows them to process a direction in a calm frame of mind, instead of acting out in the moment. If you don’t engage and remind them beforehand, they’ll likely forget and return to old behaviours. An example of this could be explaining to your child before they start playing that they have to put away a game before they get out another.
Set them up for success and acknowledge the good
Focusing on directing your child to achieve that which you know they can and then praising them for it positively reinforces this good behaviour and will likely elicit more. Don’t make rules way too strict or complicated, as they’ll be more likely to ignore and maybe even resent you. Treat and teach them with love and kindness and know when you’re being too controlling and need to step back, or entice the praise they need to keep going.
Be playful in your direction
Your child is much more likely to listen and cooperate if they’re actively engaged and having fun. There are so many ways to turn a mundane conversation into a creative way to connect with your little one. Just a few ideas include using a hand-puppet when talking or playing a fun family game together before they have to do something you’ve asked.
Little Lion Puppet
The WeDo Game | Family Edition