5 Tips To Immediately Improve Your Parent-Child Communication

Parents often have one universal complaint, and that’s that their kids don’t listen to them. But the real question we should be asking ourselves is, “Do we teach our kids to be good listeners?” Nine times out of ten times, we simply don’t know. It’s far easier to complain about your kids than decipher what goes into raising kids that listen well. It’s all about how you approach someone and what you say in order to gain their attention. Kids learn through observation, so the next time you want them to listen, use a couple of our tips to ensure that they stay engaged. These tips are sure to improve your parent-child communication, which will eventually lead to your kids listening to your instructions and advice. Let’s get started!

1. Get Their Attention Politely

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When we want something from our co-workers we don’t yell across the room or stare at them, do we? Not even if we really want to. The same etiquette must be applied when asking something of your kids. Make your way to them and make eye contact with your child. Then ask them to pause what they are doing or put down their toys for a moment. Then you can proceed to speak to them. You can also get down to their level if your child is very little. Another simple way to get your kid’s attention is to simply call out their name. When giving your child instructions, make sure they are clear. Outline what you want them to do and what you’d like them to stop doing. Try not to sound judgemental as this can cause them to get defensive and stop listening.

2. Enlist Cooperation And Use The ‘I’ Message

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Kids unfortunately never respond well to orders so you need to find a better way of saying things. Instead of saying something like “Pick up your beads from the floor.” Try saying something like “I really need to vacuum the carpet and I’d hate for your beads to get stuck in it. Please clear them off of the floor.” By telling them that you need them to do the action and asking them in a way where you sound like a team and not a general giving out orders, you ensure that your child complies and helps you out.

3. Don’t Repeat Yourself

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Repeating your own request time and time again will only train your kids to ignore what it is you’re saying and go on about their work. They’ve probably even learned to recognize the tone of your voice the moment you ask them to do something. If you want to get your kids to do something, simply give one clear request and check that your kids have understood it. If they have, you shouldn’t have to repeat yourself. If your kids still haven’t complied with your request, then go through with the consequences. This means if your child still hasn’t picked up the beads from the carpet, then vacuum them. Then they may decide to pick up their beads the next time around. There are many situations in which failure to obey instructions can lead to devastating consequences. It’s best that your child learns this from you rather than from elsewhere.

4. Replace Nagging With A Solid Routine

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Much of the instructions that we give our kids are the same everyday. We tell them over and over again to tie their shoes, pick up their jacket or brush their teeth. What you really need isn’t to parrot the same thing repeatedly. Instead, having a routine can spare your temper and voice. One way to establish a routine is to hang a list of all the pre and post school activities your child has to do in a place where they can see it. Discuss the list when it goes up on a wall or on the fridge instead of nagging them throughout the day.

5. Model Good Listening

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If you want your kids to listen to you, you’ve got to listen to them. When your child approaches you, make sure you pay attention to them and respond in kind. You can do this even by nodding your head and making eye contact with them. Modeling good listening behavior is important as these are the cues that your child will pick up as well. Remember, good communication is about respect and empathy on both sides. So make sure to validate what your child is saying and then work through your issues with them together.

Getting your kids to listen to you doesn’t have to be the hardest task in the world. With a few tips, you can change your approach to how you initiate conversations with your kids so that you both communicate better with each other. But this takes time and patience, so don’t rush your little one. Eventually, they will start to respond well to your efforts to establish a better bond with them!

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