Have you wondered why you have to repeat yourself countlessly? Do you find that the children have trouble listening to your words? How can we get our children to listen without resorting to threats, yelling, unpleasant confrontations? Here are some tips!
Listen Up for 6 Ways to Get Kids to Listen
1. Get down to their Level
Children are often engrossed in play or concentrating on the screen thus unable to hear us or any other sounds. Get down to their level, squat down so they can see your eyes and focus on you entirely, then speak.
2. Physical Contact
Apart from eye contact, ensure that you touch your child to help him or her know that you are addressing your child. A gentle hold on the shoulder, or a touch of the arm or holding hands will help your child pay more attention to you.
3. Prepare your Child using a given Time
Preparing your child before the next activity or any change can be helpful. Instead of raising anxiety levels (and chaos) by raising your voice, give an advanced alert just like what the amber on traffic lights do.
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“We will need to head to Grandma’s in five minutes.”
“When the timer rings, it will be homework time.”
A visual reminder like a clock would be helpful to alert your child that the timing is critical.
4. Ensure your Child is ready to Listen
Your child may not be ready to listen to you. Reasons can be – he’s in a middle of a meltdown, she just got up from a nap, they are too busy playing at the playground with friends. Ensure that your child is ready to listen attentively, this happens when the child has calmed down and is no longer distracted.
5. Pretend to speak like a Cartoon Character
Some fun always helps to grab your child’s attention. How about pretending to speak like a cartoon character, using a puppet or a funny accent to communicate? This also breaks down the tension (if any), humour doesn’t hurt especially if it’s part of a routine.
6. Be the Role Model
Our children tend to imitate our behaviour. Whether it’s screentime, the way we eat, the way we dress – our children will follow what we do. Hence, practising what we preach is essential. This means being mindful of our own lifestyle habits rather than simply telling our children things to do – which we would not commit to ourselves.
Listen to One Another
Listening is a important lifeskill that everyone needs to hone, whether we are a child or adult. We can help our children with their developing cortexes by making sure it’s easier for them to listen. We hope the tips will help!