Among the things that parents note when they have seemingly out-of-control children is that they don’t seem to listen to them. Listening is a skill that is crucial for communicating and understanding people, and parents must harness it properly. If you know that your children aren’t hard of hearing and you know you have a loud enough voice, they’re probably ignoring you, which is one way of defiance.
Some parents brush off such instances as typical of a growing child. However, if children know that there aren’t any consequences to them not listening to you, it will lead to a bigger problem. Parents don’t have to feel powerless when their children choose to ignore what they’re saying. However, if you can find a child behavior therapist near you, they can help out tremendously so you can keep your emotional health in check, too.
This article will provide insight into how you, as a parent, can make your stubborn kids listen once more. So read on, and if your child fits the bill, try these methods out and see how it goes.
Catch their attention
Often, parents will talk without catching their kids’ attention. This invites miscommunication and defiance as their attention isn't entirely focused on what you're about to say. Avoid barking orders or saying something from across the room; it'll lead nowhere. Instead, challenge yourself to communicate with your children at their level. That means you have to speak with eye-to-eye contact and with light touching, so that they feel safer. Children tend to be afraid of such situations, so make it as non-intimidating as possible.
Use fewer words; it works better
Kids tend to tune out lengthy instructions because of their attention span. If you want your children to listen, consistently do the first step, and reinforce it with fewer words. If you’ve asked them once and you haven’t gotten the intended response, then you’ve got to get back to the first step. Patience is the key here, as it’s not going to happen overnight.
Children will always try to avoid anyone giving direct orders. It invites defiance as it doesn't provide them with the freedom to choose. Instead of ordering them around, why not invite their cooperation by providing them with choices and some leeway? It will give them an avenue to decide and be a part of the process. It will also empower them and make them realize that they have to do something after they've agreed to do it. It will also teach them accountability in the long run.
Listen to them, too
Listening isn't a one-way street, so you must model how to be an active listener, too. If your children tell you something, ensure that you provide full attention and you respond accordingly. It will help them realize that they're doing something correctly, and you're reinforcing this as well.
Remember that children have to express their free will, too. As parents, never forget that you need to model how to communicate effectively so that children can emulate you. Listening is one of the keys to ensure that kids will grow to be obedient and well-behaved.