As parents most of you want your kids to listen to you – isn’t it? But, how often do your children listen to you? It can be rather frustrating when kids just don’t want to listen, which further aggravates the problem. I’m sure as kids, even you might’ve had problems listening to your parents, and it must’ve been an uphill task for them to get you to listen! Sounds familiar? Well, I remember my time. Even though I was an obedient child but there were still times when I wouldn’t listen to my parents. Similarly, having raised my kids, I sure know the reasons why they don’t listen, and what I need to do to make them listen. That’s what I would love to share with you today. Well, there are various reasons as to why kids don’t listen to you – and I’ve tried to mention most of them below.
I’ve seen my kid’s just gazed over the moment I start lecturing them and that doesn’t work! I guess I need to become a better parent and lecture them less. Children decide whether to listen or not from the way parents speak, and their tone. They feel like parents are forever just talking, talking, and talking, without really listening to them.
It works best to not lecture, preach, or instruct them forever, instead take their views too. Not to mention that some parents never stop talking! They don’t think about giving the child a chance to talk, and the child also doesn’t listen to you when you talk non-stop. Instead, say all that you want to say in less than 10 seconds, or else you might be wasting your time. Remember, a child’s attention span is short, so use declarative statements and be clear with what you want your kids to do.
Use some words kids don’t like
Parents often start their sentences with the words “You”, “If”, “Why”, or the big negatives like “No”, “Don’t”, and “Can’t”. These words stop your kids from listening to you. ‘You’ statement makes a child feel as if you are attacking his or her character.
They feel you are directly pointing a finger at them. ‘If’ statements make kids feel as if they are threatened. ‘Why’ statements expect our kids give explanations to us about their behavior, which they can’t if they are too young. They probably don’t understand and know the whys. The rest of the words too stop kids from doing what they want to do, even if it’s something they can and you feel they can’t – that puts them off!
Speak in a loud instructive tone
Parents often speak in a loud authoritative voice. Then it becomes a habit with some kids to only respond when they are spoken to in a loud tone. That’s because they know NOW their parents mean business.
They don’t listen unless they are spoken to in such a voice.
Talk without first getting the attention of your kids
Parents start talking when the child is busy doing something else. Instead, inform your kids that you need to talk and need their attention. Let them stop or end what they are doing, and then listen to you.
That eye-to-eye contact is vital before you speak. Thus, sometimes when your child isn’t listening to you or seems to ignore you, it might be because he/she is distracted. This happens mostly with younger kids, who tend to be fidgety and lose focus easily. Thus, it’s better to get their full attention before you speak. With teens too, make sure they are not on the mobile, Facebook, or playing video games while you’re talking to them. They get so engrossed that they probably don’t even hear you said something to them!
Yell when kids don’t listen to you
Don’t you as parents sometimes yell or blow your top! You feel that by yelling or raising your voice, your kids will listen to you. Or you are just angry and at times take out your frustration on your kids. In such cases, children often turn into their shells and won’t talk nor listen to you.
Or, they might just get angry, reply, shout, and turn defiant. At such times, you need to talk in a soft loving voice and not loudly – to make kids listen to you.
Compel your child or use the language of coercion
If kids like to have their way, it can sometimes become difficult for bossy parents. Certain kids respond better when in control, though it might not work with some parents. There might be clashes between such parents and kids, which will stop them from listening to you.
Repeat their reminders and request
Kids are quick to make out how their parents will repeat themselves, and how they will react thereafter. Remember, if after 1-2 repetitions your child doesn’t listen, then by constantly repeating yourself, you become a nag. Instead, you need to lay out the rules, and follow the consequences for not listening to you.
Are not a good role model
Remember, your kids will follow you. So, if you are a good listener, they notice that and do the same. But if they notice that you don’t listen when someone talks or they talk, they too will follow you.
Don’t talk loudly, fight back, or not listen to your spouse or others? Your kids are watching you! They imitate your actions more than your words in most cases, and all this happens so quietly that you don’t even come to know of it. So, be careful.
Out of choice
If after trying all the above kids don’t listen to you, it might be because they choose not to listen. There could be many underlying reasons for that like seeking your attention, disrespecting you, or some other unresolved issue they might have with you. Sometimes, it’s just the stage of teens having their share of problems when they tend to turn to their friends more than you.
If there is some medical condition like some listening problem or other condition, your child might not listen. It might be wise to consult your pediatrician or doctor at such times.