Struggling with how to get your kids to listen? Whether your kids are tots or teens, there may be a communication issue that you just don’t know how to fix. Stop stressing about it, because there is a way to make yourself be heard! It may take time, but using these tips consistently can help you to get through to your children. Please keep reading to learn how to get your kids to listen!
1. Get on Their Level
My top tip for how to get your kids to listen is to remember that you should get on their level. For little kids, this is a literal statement. Get on your knees in an eye level position. Hold your little one’s face gently between the palms of your hands while you say what you need her to hear. For teens, this is a figurative statement. Find a way to connect with your teen on his own level without infringing on privacy.
2. Eliminate Distractions
Distractions are bad when you are trying to communicate with a kid. Distractions will frustrate teens, because they don’t have your full attention. And distractions will make it hard for you to tell your toddler or middle-schooler anything because once something else grabs their attention, you might as well start over.
3. Don’t Ask
Avoid posing questions to your kids unless you need an answer. The best way to avoid meltdowns and tantrums is by giving a direct order. Instead of asking “Can you put your coat on so we can leave? Don’t you want to go to the store?” you should say “Put your coat on so we can leave! We’re going to the store today.” Most of the time, this is an easy way to sidestep meltdowns.
4. Express Yourself Clearly
Remember, especially when dealing with small children, that their vocabulary isn’t as broad as yours. Speak clearly and use simple words to convey your meaning. Even with older kids, they may misunderstand what you want from them if you aren’t clear. What you mistake for disobedience from your child could just be a simple case of misunderstanding what you told them to do.
5. Have Your Child Repeat What You Said
In cases where you absolutely want to make sure your kiddo was listening, have her repeat what you said back to you. This way, you know that your little one is exactly sure of what you want, and there are no miscommunications! Clear up a misunderstanding due to poor communication before it ever happens!
6. Be Consistent
Part of teaching your kids to listen is that they learn your daily routine. When kids know what to expect they will be better behaved. Make sure that the rules do not change according to your mood or the circumstances. For example, if you want your child to listen to you when you say no jumping on the couch, then make sure you don’t allow jumping on the couch when you are on the phone.
7. Stay Calm
If you lose your temper, it’s less likely that you will be able to get your kids to listen. When you feel your temper starting to rise, go into another room. Take a breather, count to 100, and then deal with the issue. Take a day or two before bringing it up again if it’s not something you need to address right away. Keep calm, and stay focused!
8. Choose a Consequence or Reward
In order to teach your kids to listen, have a consequence or reward system. Your kids should know that when they don’t listen, there will be a consequence. But when they do listen, there will be a reward! No need to reward for every little time that your kid listens, but an occasional treat will remind him “hey, you’re doing the right thing,” just like when your boss gives you a pat on the back at work.
9. Practice What You Preach
Last but not least, it’s important that your children see you practicing what you preach. If you are constantly breaking or bending the rules, or always interrupting someone and never taking the time to listen, then there’s a high chance your kids will do as you do and not as you say. Kids learn by example!
Being a parent isn’t always easy. There are moments that make you want to cry, and getting your kiddos to listen to you might be one of them! But these tips can help you save your sanity and get your kids to cooperate. What tips do you have for teaching kids to listen?