As parents, we know that there are days when our children behave like perfect angels and listen to our requests on the first go but then there are other days when it seems as if you are talking to a wall. You repeatedly ask for the same thing but it goes unheard, leaving you feeling angry and frustrated. So, what is it that makes children listen on some days and completely ignore you the next?
There are several reasons why a child may not be listening; here are some of the most common ones:
Repeating the requests:
If you’re constantly criticizing, nagging or using harsh words, chances are that your child will tune you out to protect his or her feelings. Remember that your tone matters too!
Lack of follow through:
Do you often state consequences but fail to implement them? Do you make promises that you don’t keep? Do you often say things which you don’t do later? If you are repeatedly inconsistent with your words then your children will have trouble believing you or listening to you.
Your child might be preoccupied:
Perhaps, the reason why your child isn’t listening is because they are simply unable to. Does the child have something else on their mind? Are they watching TV or playing video games at the same time? Are they worried about something? Do they have homework to do? Consider all of these every time you make a request.
Too many instructions:
Sometimes, giving too many orders, saying too many things or explaining too much can end up diluting the message you are trying to convey and children end up losing their concentration when too much is said.
What can you do instead?
Now, that you know why your child may not be listening; you can use some of these solutions to get them to listen to you.
Be a good listener yourself:
You can’t expect your kids to listen to you when you don’t listen to them. When they are talking to you, give them your undivided attention, keeping in mind that they are learning ‘how to listen’ from you.
Get down to their level:
Kids hear you best when you get down to their level and speak to them eye to eye. This will teach them effective listening skills and to maintain eye contact when speaking to someone.
Try making things fun:
You can make colorful chore charts or use races, games and timers to make ‘listening’ fun and interesting. Remember, you are dealing with children here and they tend to get bored easily when doing things in a normal routine way.
Stay calm and patient:
Listening skills won’t develop overnight so it’s important to stay patient when dealing with your kids. They will need frequent reminders, occasional nagging and most importantly, they will need good role models who can show them good listening in action.
Make Time For Connection:
It’s always a game changer if you can keep consistent with their connection time. Make time for 10 minutes a day where it’s just you and your child. This will help lessen the frequency of behavior issues.