Are you getting the impression your kids ears are painted on? Do you keep repeating yourself and then end up exploding? There are plenty of parents out there that are asking the age old question… Why don’t my kids to listen to me?
Firstly, you need to be aware that humans are biologically programmed to listen out for quiet noises. It’s a survival mechanism that has kept us alive for generations. We also find loud, unpleasant noise uncomfortable and try to block it out when we can’t get rid of it. So, if you’ve found yourself screaming or nagging at the kids; sorry to say, but they’re probably blocking you out. By treating them like smaller humans who respond to yelling or nagging the same as adults, you will get much better results. Luckily, we have some great tips to save your lungs and your nerves.
- First up, stop yelling or nagging. You will find that as you lower your voice or cease repeating yourself, the kids will have a greater chance of listening to you. If you need to speak to your kids about anything, be sure you have their attention and limit any distractions.
- Secondly, organise time for family meetings or specific times to communicate. This time should be technology free for all members of the family. If you can’t eat a meal together, set aside some time during the week or month to provide a forum for effective communication. Remember to give everyone a chance to speak, be heard, acknowledged and respected. It will give you all an opportunity to express issues, thoughts and expectations, while helping the household function more effectively. If your child is too young to be involved in a family meeting, organise an appropriate time to communicate with them in much the same way.
- If you have an issue with a particular child’s behaviour, sit them down and discuss it with them. If you yell, rant and rave; they will zone out.
- If you find yourself nagging to have chores done, set up a roster during a family meeting. Ask for volunteers for particular chores rather than allocating them yourself. As long as everyone is contributing, it doesn’t matter what jobs they do. Make sure you establish consequences if chores are neglected and always follow through.
Finally, if your kids aren’t listening to you; getting your child’s attention is key and you won’t need to compete with other distractions. Providing a forum for effective communication is a practical way of discussing issues, voicing expectations and resolve grievances. Children can participate from an early age and you will be laying down a foundation of open communication and mutual respect within your family.
By Kim Chartres