Are your kids zoning out when you talk? Do you feel like they don’t listen? These tips will help to get past that problem.
1. State only what needs to be done & do it in a positive tone.
Your words become their inner voice. Instead of: “You are being so messy! Your shoes are all over the floor! Who do you think is going to come over and clean them up?”
Try: “Shoes belong in the basket. Put them away, please.”
2. Let the lesson do the talking.
Instead of several reminders: “Don’t forget your homework. Did you put it into your bag? I think you should do it now or you might forget.”
Try: One reminder. Then let the rest takes it course… Letting them forget their homework. Don’t take it into them at school. Don’t save the day. It will be hard, but let this be a lesson for them. ♥
3. Start with “if- then”
Try: “If you clean up your room, then we will go to the park.”
This lets your child know that you are expecting him/her to clean up their room and they are going to rise to meet that expectation. If they never clean up their room, you never go to the park. Don’t remind them on the spot, but when they ask an hour later why you didn’t take them, you can remind them of their choice earlier to not clean their room.
Next time… I bet they will clean their room to go to the park!
4. Try YES in place of NO without changing your rules.
Instead of: “No! You can’t go to her house to play. You only did one question from your homework, even after I told you to do the whole page.”
Try: “Yes! Just show me your whole page of homework so I can check it before you go.”
5. Compliment them.
When they listen to you, give a simple compliment. Yesterday I told all four of the kids “head upstairs for bath time” and only one son went upstairs the first time. When he came out of the shower, he found a deck of cards on his bed, with a note that said “Play a game of solitaire! You get 15 extra minutes to stay up for listening.” His brothers heard him say “AWESOME!” and came to see the reason. When they saw, they said “Oh man! We should have come up faster. Next time I am going to do it.” (& on & on)
(He is 9 and LOVES to play solitaire!)
Ps- I would happily give out 15 minutes of extra bedtime for good behavior during bath/bedtime, because that is certainly our most hectic time of the day. Plus, having each of them in their own beds playing for a few minutes allows me to put our two year old to bed quietly, knowing that they are safe and waiting for me.
6- Change their behavior without yelling.
I tell the parents, that I see for work, that yelling is not the answer. You can change their behavior through so many other avenues of parenting. Maybe a tight hug from behind will be enough of a distraction and provide enough sensory stimulation to have them change their attitude. Maybe a quick walk outside with the kids is all that they need to stop the negative behavior.
Try sitting down with them to read a book, when you feel so angry that you want to yell. Oftentimes, their negative behavior comes from lack of time with you, so try to do something (other than yelling) to combat that.
7- Give consequences that happen now.
Think of a dog for a minute- when they have an accident in the house, we don’t clean it up and then an hour later tell them “No peeing in the house!” We do it then & there. A child (people, in general) are really not much different in that aspect. If they are misbehaving, a consequence of “tomorrow you will not go to your friends house” will not be understood as much as you saying “Give me that toy, right now. You have lost it because you were talking mean. I’m sad that you decided to do talk that way and lose your turn with the toy.” (note: now you are telling them that THEY picked to lose the toy with their actions).
8- When you give a consequence, make it fit the crime.
We tell our kids things for a reason “Don’t play with the Christmas tree or you could break the ornaments.” So then if they play with the tree and an ornament falls off and breaks, we saw it coming. Instead of yelling, like you may want to do, you could tend to the mess (with the child’s help) and then talk to the older child: “Do you remember when I told you not to play with the tree? Why would I tell you that? So then you can see how you broke something by not listening? Now I am going to need you to do more chores, to earn $5 to pay me back for the ornament.” Explaining things to your child will go a long way, too.
9. Read between the lines.
When our kids misbehave, it usually boils down to one of two things:
A- Screentime (too much screen time usually causes misbehavior. We have one of our “No technology weeks” (sometimes two weeks in a row… like right now in our house) and it changes their attitudes. I love it! By day three, they have stopped asking if they can play on their iPods or watch their favorite YouTube shows (which is normally one about Minecraft)
B- Not enough one on one time. When one of our kids needs attention, they show us in many ways. Acting up is just one of them. An hour game of two-person catch is usually the perfect solution.
10. Talk about it… again.
When we tuck our kids in at night, we always go over what we did during the day, and sometimes that is the negative things, too. “Today, you said “No” when I told you to pick up your toys. I know that you did it when I asked a second time, but I don’t want to have to do that again. I don’t appreciate it when you say No to me. It makes me upset and it is disrespectful. Do you understand?” etc…
Sometimes, kids just need us to LISTEN to them and get down to their level. We are their parents, their first teachers, their first friends, their best examples. We need to teach them how to behave so they can go out & make their mark on the world.♥ ♥ ♥ If you liked this post, I want to encourage you to sign up for my free newsletter.♥ I will send you my free book, SIMPLE MOM HACKS, and I will send you tips and other great finds once a week(ish) 😉