Tuesday, July 30, 2013

5 Ways to Get Your Children to Listen and Obey the First Time...

Do your children seem to ignore everything you say?

Do they seem to forget their chores or just selectively not hear your nagging?

Area you sick of yelling and time outs that just leave your throat hoarse and your child crying?

Well I've got some great tips on how to turn your frown upside down and get your children to actually listen. You'll have a cleaner house and a happier family when everyone is working together and speaking the same language when it comes to getting those chores done.

One thing that is really important to remember when dealing with children of differing ages is that their brains are all functioning on different wavelengths. What does this mean? In a nutshell, your 2 year old doesn't think the same way as your 8 year old, so you may have to use different consequences or approaches for each child. The basics are the same though, when you nag and drag out the point of your conversation, children's attention spans tend to block out what you're saying and miss the fact that they need to take out the trash that night. I'm going to share 5 different communication tips and tricks to help you get your household back under your control.

1)  Jog Their Memory
Don't nag. Repeating your commands over and over to children will cause 'tune out'. Instead try keeping a list of their chores or responsibilities on the fridge and having them refer to it often if they are forgetting something. If they frequently forget a chore, try jogging their memory with a single word rather than a lecture. For example, try saying "teeth" to remind children to brush their teeth instead of chanting it like a rain dance every night. Kids know what they are supposed to do but due to brain remodeling around kindergarten and middle school, they may need a simple reminder to jog their memory.

2) Add Positive Incentives
Adding an incentive may be a great way to motivate the whole family to get their chores done on time. For example, with younger children sticker charts work great when you can "redeem" stickers for a bigger prize like staying up later while older children may appreciate something more concrete like a family movie and game night when everyone does their chores all week. If the whole family knows they have to keep on track and complete their chores they may remind each other of something that wasn't done.

3) Tell Them Why
Children's brains are always looking to make connections so it is important to give them a reason why to do a certain thing. They need to be able to rationalize and make connections in order to have common sense and be able to problem solve on their own. So the next time you're running out of breath screaming at your child to sit down at the table, explain to him/her that chairs are meant for sitting and standing on chairs makes them dirty.

4) Teach Them Feelings instead of Actions
Children bite, hit, scream and throw tantrums when they don't know how to express what they are feeling. Its hard to stop yourself from saying too much or making your child feel invalidated when they don't feel heard. Instead, listen first then teach them the words to express how they are feeling and work together to create a solution. So the next time Sally runs up to you saying that Tom won't share a toy: Listen to her frustration, identify the emotion (You seem very frustrated), and then ask what a possible solution that would keep both of them happy could be. You may be surprised when Sally suggests taking turns and they are both happy when you set a kitchen timer so they get equal play time.

5) Give them Options
Children LOVE to be in control and be independent. Give them a choice so its always their idea :) For example, you're running late to soccer practice and Joey doesn't want to put on his coat and shoes to leave. Instead of lecturing and yelling, ask if he'd like to put on his coat or his shoes first. Either way he's getting ready to leave but now its HIS choice of which to do first.