Monday, February 9, 2015

5 WAYS TO HELP CHILDREN LISTEN

As parents, I think we’re always looking for ways to help children listen. Check the tips below.
1.)    “WAA-WAA”
I always laugh when I watch Charlie Brown and the adult voices are a muffled trumpet sound – there’s no way to know what the adults are ACTUALLY saying.  Guess what?  That really happens for little kids! Listen to your voice.  When your tone stays consistent with no variation in volume or cadence, it’s boring and doesn’t keep their interest.  And, just like in Charlie Brown, you start sounding like background noise.  You’ve lost your child’s interest.  Try this instead:
  •   Vary the way you talk to your child.  Whispering is something I often use and it can help to lighten the situation.

2.)    SAY WHAT YOU MEAN

Instead of telling kids why it is that they have misbehaved…and why you have to tell them that it was not okay….and that there will be consequences for this type of behavior…. and you won’t tolerate it any longer…and…and… just say what you mean!  Here’s what I do to be specific:
  1.  “Uh oh – I saw you hit your brother on the head.” (statement)
  2.   “Is it okay to hit your brother on the head?” (question)
  3.   They normally say “no,” which allows you to say, “Why isn’t it okay to hit your brother on the head?” (let them answer yes/no)
  4.   If they say “yes, it is okay” it gives you the opportunity to say, “actually, it’s not okay to hit your brother on the head.  Why not?” (brainstorm reasons together)
And then, PAUSE.
When you see a blank stare it might seem like they are ignoring you, but more often than not, it is your child’s brain working hard to figure out an answer.
Give them time to think.
You may need to prompt them with the question again and say “I can wait for an answer” and mean it – WAIT.  I always count to twenty while I wait and then ask again, “hmm..so what do you think we should do?.”  Depending on the child’s age and verbal skills, you may have to prompt them again, but give them a chance.  Consequences are more meaningful when they are generated by the child which means they may actually remember not to do it again…just, maybe..
3.)    BEND THOSE LEGS!
Standing over a child while talking with them can be scary and intimidating for a child, especially if you are upset.  Get down to their level and look them in the eyes.  It helps them to focus and it lets them know that you are talking with them not at them.  It shows them respect, too.

4.)    LET IT GO <— I WROTE THIS POST BEFORE FROZEN CAME OUT, I SWEAR.

After you’re done talking, change your tone back to normal.  In fact, get silly and smile with your child.  Go. Have. Fun.  Letting go of your own frustration and moving on lets your child know how to handle conflict with maturity.  If you hold on to your emotions, you might as well be throwing an adult tantrum {okay, okay, I’ve totally done it…}.  But, if you move on, it’s great way to role model forgiveness.

5.)    PRACTICE LISTENING TO THEM

I am the first to admit that pinterest or facebook or a text message or this blog…has distracted me from my kids.  But, when I hear my sweet girl’s voice or my sons little sounds, I make every effort to stop what I’m doing and listen.  If I can’t, I at least acknowledge them with “hold on, baby, just a minute.”  If you practice listening to your child, they will be much more likely to listen to you.  And, I always restart the conversation by saying, “Thanks for waiting, what did you want to tell me?” because it acknowledges their effort to wait patiently which means they’ll be more likely to do it again in the future.
We have the hardest job in the world.
We are being watched and repeated twenty four hours a day.  There is no “off work” when you’re a parent.  But, if you are really conscious of how you speak to your kids, it can really pay off.

Source: http://happilyevermom.com/2014/12/17/5-ways-to-get-your-child-to-listen/

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