How to Get Your Kids to Listen
…the first time you tell them to do something!
Hey there! My name is Jarrett and one of the most common questions I hear from parents is: How can I get my kid to LISTEN to me?
Kids have tons of stuff on their mind, from the piano recital tonight to the play date this weekend to the newest Fortnite Skin. Parents can sometimes be shoved to the back burner.
Not to mention that when the brain is rewiring at age six, and again at age twelve, they can feel overwhelmed by outside stimuli and tune you out. Even toddlers are very busy, since their job description is exploring and creating a tornado where you live.
So kids have a lot on their mind. They also have different priorities, and they don’t understand at all why it’s so important to take their bath right this minute!
Of course, the parents who ask me how to get their child to listen aren’t really talking about listening.
They’re talking about how to get their child to take in what they say–and make sure it doesn’t go out the other ear! Here’s how.
1. Only begin speaking after you have engaged your child’s attention.
Engage BEFORE you start speaking. That means you can’t bark orders from across the room and expect to get through.
Instead, move in close. Get down to your child’s eye level and touch him lightly on the arm or his hands. Observe what he’s doing and engage with him by commenting on it: “Holy cow, did you see that car jump?!” Brain research has found that when we feel connected to another person, we’re more open to their influence, so you’re making it easy for him to listen to you. But you aren’t manipulating, you’re acknowledging respect for what’s important to him.
Wait until he looks up. Look him in the eye. Then start talking. If he doesn’t look up, make sure you have his attention by asking “Can I tell you something?” Once he makes eye contact, then begin speaking.
(Don’t be surprised when your child begins using this technique to get your attention before he tells you something. And if you want him to keep listening to you, you’ll need to return the favor!)
2. See it from his point of view.
If you were busy with something you liked doing and your spouse ordered you to stop doing it and do something else that was not a priority to you, how would you feel? Might you tune out your partner? Your child doesn’t have to share your priorities, he just has to accommodate your needs. And you don’t have to share his priorities, but it will help immensely if you can acknowledge how much he wants to keep doing whatever he’s doing.
“I know it’s hard to stop playing, Honey. And now I need you to…..”
(this is great for switching from video games by the way)
3. Don’t use as many words.
Most of us vomit information which ends up having our child tune us out. Cut to the chase and be as clear as possible when telling them what they need to do, or else your kiddo might end up looking at you like this guy.
4. Don’t repeat yourself.
If you’ve asked once and not gotten a response, don’t just repeat yourself. You don’t have your child’s attention. Repeat the first step before moving on with what you have to say.
5. Get them into a martial arts class.
After working with hundreds of kids we’ve been able to see an improvement in listening skills after a couple classes.
Classes coupled with our “Homework System” positively rewards kids for positive activities, like listening the first time.
We have a Web Special that lets your kiddo try out 3 Classes + a Free Uniform! This way you can see your kiddo will be a better listener in just a few lessons.
If you want more information you can check it out here.
If you have any questions about how to get your kiddo to listen just call or text our school at 913-432-2787.