The often asked question of how to get your child to listen …
I’d like to give you a few ideas to work with to help you to get your child to listen to you. First, let’s start with why the are NOT listening. There is usually one major reason – rapport! If you are not in rapport with someone, it is very hard to get them to listen to you. This goes for adults, children, or anyone you are talking to.
To get into rapport you need to engage in some sort of meaningful interaction. Just imagine what would happen if you walked up to a stranger (a case of zero rapport) and asked that stranger to do something. Most of the time you’d get a puzzled look and a response such as “get lost”.
You tend to have more natural rapport with your kids if they are young. With toddlers all you need to do is to enter their world (an expression I use often) and THEN migrate over to whatever you are going to ask them to do. If they are busy watching TV or playing with their toys, or playing with friends – you are not going to just be able to go up to them and ask them to switch gears on a moment’s notice.
To enter your child’s world, try doing any of these things:
- Ask your child if you can join them
- Ask your child to tell you what they are doing (with enthusiasm)
- Ask a specific question about what they are doing
- Tell them something interesting that relates to what they are doing
- Tell them something funny and relate it to what they are doing
By doing any of these things you will have engaged your child in some kind of interaction, and you won’t be some foreign body trying to push them in a new direction. Here’s a simple metaphor for you: How would you like it if you were cozy in bed and somebody came and pulled the covers off, exposing you to the cold air? If you want to get someone to listen to you, don’t pull off the covers.
I don’t specialize in dealing with older children, but I can tell you that the concepts are the same. If you fool yourself into believing that your teenager will listen to you just because you are the “older, wiser and more experienced Mom or Dad”, you are going to be in for a sad day. Build relationships. Build rapport. Get into your kids world. You’ll have MUCH more success.
Learn to make graceful steps and your kids will listen to you. You’ll see improved child behavior.
I encourage you to check out my audio course for parents. You’ll love it.