Child growth and development are coupled with various challenges that parents deal with as part of what is needed to make them responsible human beings. Teaching your child how to listen and communicate effectively are some of the basic skills that are taught. However, children don’t listen on some occasions. It can be frustrating for a parent that does not know what to do. Raising children that don’t listen is common. This usually, is a hindrance to effective parent-child communication.
Parents can easily get overwhelmed with a child that is not ready to listen. This is so because such a situation prevents quality communication needed between children and their parents. The inefficiency of parent-child communication is the biggest contributor to kids that won’t listen. Although this is a big problem, the good news is that it can be dealt with. All that parents need to do is to work towards addressing the issue.
My Child Won’t Listen! Here is what to do…
If you realize that your child won’t listen, it is time to think of ways to improve communication with them. Avoid the temptation to overreact. That will make the problem worse. Instead, apply these strategies to get your communication going on swiftly among you:
Maintain Eye Contact and Come to their Level. Come down to where the child is and be at their level. Eye contact is important at that point. Guide your child to maintain eye contact as well. Request them to look you into the eye as a means to develop mutual respect. Ensure you win their attention. You can hold their hands to help maintain focus on what you are passing on to them.
Using gestures will be of great help in managing your child’s unbecoming behavior and ultimately improve communication. Parent-child communication skills must be taught and instilled in children in a pragmatic manner as proposed here.
Be Attentive while conversing with them. Giving full attention to your child works wonders in improving parent-child communication. When children initiate a conversation, make sure you give your undivided attention. This will require you to leave what you are doing to listen to what they are saying.
Communication is two-way. Children will reciprocate in a similar way that they have seen their parents do. Therefore, resist the urge to continue with your engagements, picking phone calls, and any other thing that you consider important at that moment. Focusing on their conversation makes them know that you value their conversation and that you care about what they are communicating to you.
Don’t blame your child for anything. This is a time to remain positive. Avoid the blame game and again don’t bribe your child to do anything. Children need daily encouragement as a way to bring reassurance, motivation and boost self-esteem in them. This also helps in enhancing their cooperation and earning their respect.
Be genuine in your efforts to build trust and be particular about what you expect from them. Where possible, be descriptive enough as long as they can understand. Keep everything positive even when correcting a mistake. For example, “It would be great to do your homework before watching TV,” instead of saying, “you always watch TV instead of doing homework.”
Give room for feelings and opinions. Allow your child to say how they feel about family decisions and how they are affecting them. These could be part of the reasons they won’t listen. Encourage an environment where children can voice opinions and feelings especially at a young age. Do family activities and ensure the participation of all members. You can also help with homework to get to know how they feel.
A free environment of interactions helps children express their emotions. Typical interactions can be realized when doing learning-style activities. Invite your children to solve problems with you. Involve them when making family plans. It is a good strategy that shows you respect their views.
Beware of Body Language. Communication is not entirely on what is being said but also on the expressions that come with it. Therefore, it is also important to focus on body language. Children will say a lot through their body expressions more than the actual words they are using to talk to you.
Make sure that you can hear beyond what they are saying. Body expressions are enough to help you get to know what is not being said. On your part, ensure that you don’t fall into the trap. You should be consistent with your body language and words from your mouth. They should communicate the same thing.
Echo each other’s Messages. Make an effort to ensure that children have understood what you are telling them. Sometimes kids won’t listen just because your instructions are clear. It is a good idea to confirm with them whether they understood anything before assuming they are not listening. Repeat messages until they sink in their ears.
When there is no proper communication, adherence becomes a problem. Therefore, repeating each other’s messages will help develop good parent-child communication. Ensure that you are both on the same page. Repeating messages shows that we both understand and appreciate what is being shared. Everyone’s opinions and feelings are factored in which is good for developing this relationship.
Building Parent-Child Communication
Parents have a huge responsibility to help their children learn. Parent-child communication must handle carefully especially when kids don’t seem to listen. These useful tips will help parents build healthy relationships and communication.