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Why is my child not listening? Ways to improve that!
Have you had enough talking and shouting about the same issues everyday? How about when you say things like ‘tidy up your room’, ‘don’t put this in your mouth’ and ‘don’t throw your food on the floor’? Does it feel like you have no voice left and your child is still not listening to you? I think that now it is time to change the way that things are done!
What Do I Do Wrong?
Daily parental duties involve screaming, shouting and repeating the same words/phrases, and they don’t always relate to happiness or enthusiasm. I am quite sure that on numerous occasions you have said to your child the same phrase as me ‘how many times will I have to tell you?’…adding a bit of screaming or shouting to make yourself understood. Moving your hands in a threatening way is another tactic that parents adopt to make themselves more convincing.
6 Ways to Improve a Child's Behavior
So, here are six different ways parents can follow to change how things are done, and to build a nurturing relationship with your child, rather than a relationship based on fear or conflict.
1. Spend some quality time together
Children have the need to feel their parents close. They need to be nurtured and cared for, therefore if they do not take their daily ‘fix’, no method will bring results. As we all know, children are capable of screaming for 15 minutes continuously so that they can attract our attention. So, instead of getting our little ones to be quite and stop screaming, we can spend time together for that same amount of time. It is not the quantity of things that we do with them but the quality. Quality time is time spent that is purposeful and memorable, not just sitting close to our children.
2. Give them responsibilities around the house
Children, irrespectively of their age, must feel responsible for some household chores. Participating in everyday tasks, they are part of a team and that is a big satisfaction for them. Nurturing the team spirit of the family, we eliminate the possibilities that in the future our children would turn and say that ‘this is not my job’. By giving our children the opportunity to have responsibilities around the house, makes them feel valued and they grow to become independent people.
3. Keep a tight night-time routine
Children need much more sleep than adults do, and that is because their body is growing continuously and that it is critical for their brain development. Also, children play and move all the time, thus resting adequately at night is essential. Research has shown that children that sleep by nine o’clock in the evening are calmer and alert the next day, compared to children that sleep around midnight.
4. Educate rather than punish
There are many children that do not respond well with the traditional ‘punishment’ method and therefore we, as parents, need to find alternative ways to get our message across. Some parents choose to use the ‘naughty step’ or sending them to their room, but that doesn’t always work. The method we choose needs to have an educational purpose and by that I mean to teach children make better choices in the future. This is the ‘key’. Next time our child is naughty, we have to think ‘what are some ways to teach him/her that this is not acceptable and how to act next time’.
5. Set simple and clear rules
In every household, there should be a code of conduct and by that I don’t mean a long list of do’s and don't’s. In a harmonious family, there are some values that every member respects and honors. When it comes to our children, we need to teach them those values/rules and also, to show them that there are consequences when these rules are not respected.
6. Say ‘yes’
Children hate to listen to us say ‘NO’, ‘DON’T’ and ‘NOT NOW’ most of the time. After all, we would feel the same! We need to turn the negative talk to a more positive one. So, when our child wants something, we have to find a way to answer with a positive phrase rather than a negative one. For example, when our child says ‘I want some chocolate now’, we can say ‘yes, of course you can have a chocolate, as soon as you have your dinner’.
Is it Worth it?
My dear parents, all the above is written with love and patience towards our little people but I know that most parents will say ‘good theory but difficult to put in practice’! And I can honestly say that I would agree!! The difference is that I am willing to try to become a better parent to my child, learn and grow wiser as a person. The results of our efforts will show in the future, but some things will change immediately. All we can do is be patient and keep on trying. After all, we are parents for a lifetime.
© 2014 DemiT