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How to Effectively Talk and Get Your Kids to Listen to You

How to Effectively Talk and Get Your Kids to Listen to You

Subrata Sharma January 11, 2023

How to Effectively Talk and Get Your Kids to Listen to You

More than often you can find your little ones busy in their worlds. If you want to connect with them while they are doing something they are so engaged in, it is a task as big as a mountain. Effectively talking to children and getting them to listen is a big challenge that parents face. This is why we are bringing a section of 'Speak Up!' in all our Be Kind blogs for this month. A parenting guide to talking to your children the right way. 

If you face this same problem, don't worry, you're not alone! To solve this, we have brought a list of ways to effectively talk and get your kids to listen to you but first let's understand the reason behind this. 

Why Do Kids 'Not listen'? 

First of all, don't generalize everything under the 'Kids don't listen' umbrella. It is a broad term and parents often use it for a variety of reasons starting from a child just not listening to an instruction they said to a child not behaving or back talking. Let's understand why this happens. 

In many ways, kids don't feel like they have their freedom. When they can't control a lot of things, they try to control the ones that they can. Thus, exhibiting some little expression of freedom and control that they have. So even if you are instructing something children may think 'I can choose not to listen to this' and all of this happens subconsciously. 

Although this is the primary reason why children don't listen to their parents, there might be some other underlying psychological or physical factors behind that too such as illness, hunger, stress, etc. 

Techniques to Talk Effectively 

1. Speak Only When You Have Their Attention 

Only speak with your child when you have their attention. Yes, you can't scream out instructions from across the room and expect them to follow. If they are busy doing something else, you need to go down to their level, look them in the eyes and then speak. Speaking their name helps in grabbing the attention sometimes too but don't just jerk them out of their world. Look at what they are doing, connect with it and then ask them calmly whether you can speak with them about something.

 

2. Don't repeat yourself

If you feel that your child is not listening to you even after doing all this, don't just repeat yourself. It leads to them believing that it's okay if they don't listen to you the first time and that you will keep repeating unless they reply and that's not the learning we want to give. If you think they genuinely did not hear you then go back to executing the first point. 

Remember that connecting with what they are doing, eye contact, and speaking their name are the three key things to get their attention. 

 

3. Condense Your Instructions

An important thing you need to remember while dealing with children is that they have a smaller attention span than adults. Most of the time parents try to dilute their instructions because they don't want to seem too bossy with the kids by saying just the demands but they eventually end up using too many words and lose the attention of the child. To accommodate their smaller attention span, it is recommended that you condense your instructions and speak only the keywords and what's the crux of the matter. 

4. Say Thank You

No, not after the work is done. Say thank you before! Make it a habit to say thanks in advance. This also strikes off the so-called fear of seeming too bossy. When you finish your instructions, just add a little 'thank you' at the end. This psychologically makes them think that they are appreciated for the task and their mind gets wired to be more willing to do the task. 

5. Use positive language

Now if your child is not behaving and purposely ignoring your instructions, talking to them about it can be tricky. In such cases use positive language, and do not resort to name-calling, shaming, or arrogant behavior with your child. That is only going to increase their ignorance. Don't use phrases like 'you were so bad', 'I felt very embarrassed when you did that', 'you are such a misbehaved child', etc. 

Instead, try to explain to them what was wrong with what they did and why it was inappropriate in a positive way. 

6. Convert instructions to learnings 

If possible, try to frame your instructions in a way that they don't seem like instructions at all. For example instead of saying 'don't eat ice cream' say 'eating too much ice cream is not good for your health'. This also develops conscious thinking among children and they tend to remember and follow it out of their learnings in the future too. Rather than thinking of something to follow because your parents have asked you to, they will follow it with their reasoning which is often better and more effective. 

7. Give choices

A lot of times if you are just ordering them around, children tend to exhibit more resistance. They will purposely ignore you and won't listen. Instead, keep your tone warm and welcoming and provide choices to them. For example, if you want them to stop playing and start studying, give them some reasonable choices, say things like 'I know you are enjoying your playtime but we have to complete the homework, right? Would you like to go do it now or do you want to play for 5-10 minutes more?' 

 

Final Words

Children ignoring parents can be a real trigger for anger but remember to stay calm throughout and not lose your temper. A little patience with an appropriate tone of voice combined with the right things to say is an ideal mix to get your little ones to listen to you. 

So these were a few recommended ways by www.kinderkindkids.com for effective ways to talk to your children so that they will listen. Happy parenting! 

 

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