There is nothing more frustrating than trying to get your child to listen. They instead decide to do exactly what they like and ignore you completely.
This usually occurs when your child is avoiding their chores or requesting something that is slightly unreasonable or unrealistic.
Luckily, there are a few simple strategies that you can use to get your child to listen and avoid chaos.
Tip #1: Be On Their Level
If you shout at them from another room to wash the dishes or get ready for school, there is a high chance that they will ignore you.
You’ll have a better chance of getting them to listen if you get in proximity with them, look them in the eye and use gentle, simple words to talk to them. This will verify that they have seen and heard you, making you hard to ignore!
Tip #2: Avoid Using Don’t
It’s a habit that many parents fall into… “Don’t fight with your brother”, “Don’t leave your toys on the ground”, “Don’t climb on the furniture”. The list is endless.
Negative commands that use “don’t” and “no” require your child to process two things:
- What do they not want me to do?
- What do I do instead?
Children also don’t like it when they continuously hear what they shouldn’t be doing. Keeping your frustration at bay and telling what they should be doing can go a long way in getting your child to behave.
For example, try saying “Play with your brother nicely”, “Pack your toys away when you finish with them”, “Climb outside instead”.
Tip #3: Turn No Into Yes
Turning a no into yes doesn’t mean you should cave into whatever your child is demanding… but it can help to put a positive spin on things.
Say your child asks if they can watch more TV when they are meant to be getting ready for school. Instead of the usual ‘no’, they will be more willing to listen to you if you say, “Good idea! We can watch TV when you get home from school, okay?”.
Giving an alternative instead of shooting them down straight away allows them to see that you are willing to listen to them and compromise, and hopefully they’ll do the same for you.
Tip #4: Make A Game Out Of It
A great way to get your child to do their chores or stop misbehaving is to make it a game.
Instead of asking or commanding that your child picks up their clothes off the floor, you can say “I bet you can’t pick them all up in less than a minute!”.
This puts a happier and pleasant spin on the chores that they need to do.
Tip #5: Thank Them
This is another strategy to rephrase what you are asking them to do to put it in a more positive light.
You can encourage good behaviour by thanking them in advance. For example, say “Thank you for doing your dishes” before they’ve done them, instead of saying “Do your dishes now!”.