Ahhhhh – the ears are turned off and your anger is on the rise. They don’t listen. You try to ask nicely but it’s like they are purposely ignoring you. You are at your wits end, and don’t know what to do about it.
THE JOYS OF PARENTING!
Getting your kids to listen to what you have to say – or what you are asking them to do, isn’t always an easy task. Even veteran parents can have days when they feel up to their eyeballs with anger and frustration. I know that my boys have days when I swear to god their ears are CRAZY GLUED shut, and I’m climbing the walls ready to explode.
So how can you get your kids to listen without declaring an act of war?
Remember When You Were A Kid
Being a kid isn’t easy. Many of us as parents often forget what it was like when parenting our own children. Try to put yourself in your child’s shoes. Figure out what they are feeling, and how you felt in a similar situation when misunderstood, angry or upset about things. For kids, life can be confusing, hormonal, worrisome and challenging. Kids need to know they have boundaries, but they also need to know they have parents who get them and understand and can relate to what they are going through.
Pick and choose your battles…
How do your kids upset you? Leave their shoes out? Don’t hang up their jackets? Not keeping their rooms clean? Don’t do their homework… or whine about their chores? Parenting when kids are working out who they are and how far they can go isn’t easy. That’s why picking and choosing your battles is important. Ask yourself two questions before blowing your top.
- Is this going to hurt my child?
- Am I calm enough to deal with this right now?
If you answered YES to the first question and NO to the second, you need to take a time-out. A pause to get yourself calm, and decide if this battle is worth having.
Leaving stuff lying around and not cleaning up.
Many parents complain about this. My kids do the same thing. They get lazy, and some days I feel more like a maid who doesn’t get paid picking up after them constantly which can be frustrating. But there are a few tactics you can use to get kids to clean up after themselves.
- Have consequences for their behavior and actions.
- Give time-outs
- Take away their favorite toys or video games
- Give them choices. They can either clean this or put that away or they can choose a consequence.
Having consequences for their actions will teach kids that they can’t just do what they want- when they want or say what they want whenever it suits them. Not without paying the price of taking some responsibility for their own behavior.
No Distractions. They are a parent’s worst nightmare during communication.
It’s hard enough to get kids to listen on a regular basis. Throw in some distractions and you might as well kiss your communication bye-bye. Make sure you remove all distractions when having a talk with your child. Don’t allow there to be any distractions when doing their homework or chores, cleaning up. Find a quiet spot before engaging in conversation, and make sure your kids are all ears and ready to listen. That way your communication with them will go a lot smoother.
One way to get kids to listen is to get them to talk
I know you’re saying HUH? My kids do talk. I want them to listen. It’s important as a family that everyone feels heard and understood, even at the worst of times. Schedule a family meeting once a week so that other members of the family can share what they are feeling. Make sure everyone is on board and respectful, acknowledging one another. It’s a great tool for not only getting your child to open up, but teaching them to listen to others when they have something important to say.
Remember open and honest communication is important in any family. No matter what you are dealing with, you can do this as long as you do it together.