My Kid Won’t Listen to Me: What to Do?

To make your child heed what you say is a whale of a job, especially considering that you often have to do it many times per day every day! They won’t replace their toys in their proper places, they make noise, get at things they shouldn’t touch, and it’s up to you to put things right. But they turn a deaf ear to what you say and you have to work to make yourself heard. What guidelines can there be to successfully make the little one sit up and take notice?

Never resort to threats

You will be frequently induced to use threats on your kids because you were taken aback or you can’t think of what to say to them off the top of your head. You should curb this wish, threatening is apt to undermine your relationship. Besides, threats pale after a while, and the child learns to ignore them.

Avoid asking

In an attempt to be kind and considerate, many parents ask their children to do something. The wrongness of the approach lies in the fact that by asking you give the kid the option to choose. If the little one is in a recalcitrant mood, they will just answer you “No,” and it can easily lead to a confrontation. Use injunctions and tell them seriously what they should do.

Give them a time warning

If you can, speak to your kid about what they need to do beforehand. The kid will have a poorer possibility to argue if you say something like “You have ten more minutes to play, and then you will need to clean everything up.”

After the said ten minutes you come up and remind that the playing time is over and it is time to get down to cleaning. This will be considerate and not disruptive to the kid’s activities.

See that there is nothing to distract

You want to request something or organize doing some house chores? First, sweep aside all the distractions that are in the way. Tell the child to put down their telephone or mind that you attract their attention before starting to speak. Discuss their behavior if they are too slow to give you the attention and lay aside the gadget.

Eye contact is important

To ensure your gaining their undivided attention, remember to look them straight in the eye. It may happen that you will need more contact, especially if they are children with ADHD, so touch them on the arm or lay a hand around their shoulder.

Work on the same level

To have your kid’s attention properly and to establish eye contact, you had better be on the same eye level. Think of a convenient way to sit down or lower your head, this way you ascertain that your communication is deep and active, and he or she heeds and understands you.

By staying close you avoid unwelcome situations like hollering out orders from across the room in passing; you get quality communication.

Don’t pile up instructions

It may be easier for you to pour out all the day’s instructions in one heap, while you are at it. But your kid won’t respond to multiple tasks well. Hand out just one task and wait until it is completed before moving on to the next one.

If your child is older and is able to deal with two directions they can be arranged in lists that can be referred to later. So what is left to you is to tell the young one that he or she should do some chore from the list handing over to them the responsibility for getting the job done. In some cases, the child may be given the right to choose the chore from the list that he would like to do now.

Try to avoid using Don’t

Negative orders based on “don’t” are intellectually more difficult for the little one. They imply that children will have to decide two things simultaneously:

1) What they are NOT supposed to do;

2) What they are supposed to do if NOT the ordered thing.

In order not to have the kid thinking it all out, simply tell her what you want her to do! Exchange “don’t run so fast” for “walk carefully” and “don’t gobble your food” for “eat more slowly please.”

Have the kid repeat the command loudly and clearly

Having completed the instructions, ask the kid to repeat your words – especially if the instructions were more complicated than usual. This helps you ascertain that he or she understood you perfectly and avoid arguments about what was and what wasn’t said.

Then again, you may find that they need additional explanation. On the other hand, children often say “OK,” but that doesn’t mean they got your message heard. It may be necessary to repeat your instructions or make them more precise.

Don’t make your injunction too long

There are parents who mechanically speak in long harangues, using fifty words where five would have done the trick. They don’t think that it makes for an overdose for the young. If you want to secure your child’s attention, be very exact and short. Don’t give them time to space out and wander away in their thoughts.

Thank the children before they do the task

You can show your kid(s) straight away that you put your trust in them. When you are grateful to them for putting things in their places beforehand, it will sound much better than chiding them for strewing their things around afterward.

Other people, children even more so, subconsciously trying to live up to our perception of them – if they feel that our attitude towards them is positive. When you give out that you believe in them and entrust their tasks, it serves for better communication and sets the child positively tuned to the given task.

Promote positive attitude

Every time your kid accomplishes the task, offer something positive to them to reinforce their welcome behaviors. When you know that you are listened to, and obeyed, prepare surprise prizes from time to time to accentuate your appreciation. Better yet, arrange a system of rewards or tokens to provide incentives for sticking to the good behavior.