While you love your kids with all your being, sometimes they make you crazy. One thing that many parents find difficult to deal with is when their children don’t listen to them either by choice or by selective deafness. If your child doesn’t have a legitimate hearing problem, there are things you can do that will help your child learn to listen to you and respond to the questions or instructions you’re giving. To spend less of your time talking without being heard, here are three ways you can start making your kids better listeners.
Get On Their Level
Imagine if you always had someone bigger and stronger than you barking orders down from above about tasks you didn’t want to do. It might be easy for you to disconnect with that person rather than actively listen and respond, don’t you think?
This is exactly what happens with kids and parents sometimes. Luckily, there is an easy fix for this issue. Stephanie Wood, a contributor to Parenting.com, states that parents will have more luck communicating with their kids if they get down on their level and can look them in the eye. This can help eliminate distractions for the child and help you to know that you’re actually being paid attention to rather than just speaking to non-listening ears.
Teach By Example
Unsurprisingly, a lot of the listening skills children pick up come from their parents. For this reason, Shannon Philpott, a contributor to Mom.me, recommends ensuring that you always model good listening behavior for your kids to emulate. This includes actively listening when others are talking to you—especially your children—as well as not interrupting or dominating conversations. If you can show your children that you respect others when they’re speaking, they’ll more easily learn to respect you when you speak, too.
Limit The Repetition
Although you may feel like the only way you can be heard by your children is to repeat the same things over and over again, Leslie Garisto, a contributor to Parents.com, claims that this may not be the best strategy for getting your kids to listen to you. Rather than getting frustrated by repeating the same information or request multiple times, try saying that you will say or ask something once and then your child will have to face certain consequences if they still choose to ignore you. For this to work effectively, you must execute on the consequences you set up or your child will see your threats as empty and continue to disregard you.
Getting your child to better listen comes down to setting up good listening habits. While it can be hard to break bad habits, if you’re determined, you can help your child learn to be a better listener. Use the tips mentioned above to get there.