Do your kids listen? Help them follow directions

Why don’t kids listen and just do what we say the first time we say it?!

There are several reasons why they don’t obey — here’s just one:

We’ve trained our children to not pay attention to us or do as we ask until we yell and threaten them. Your children are smart. They know they can squeeze in some extra fun time if they just ignore you.

What can you do to make your kids listen to you?

One of the most important things to remember is not to yell your instructions/orders from across the room. Move-in close to your child and touch her. Connect by commenting on what she’s doing. Then say:

“Excuse me, Ayesha….I need to tell you something,”

and wait until she looks at you in the eye. If she’s staring at a screen, warn her that you’re going to pause the game or the TV.

Don’t give your instructions until you make eye contact, so she knows you’re serious. Give only one warning, then stick to the time limit you’ve agreed on.

Follow through. If you don’t, you’re training them not to take your requests seriously.

Understand that their frontal cortex is still developing the ability to switch gears. Every time you set a limit that requires your child to give up what she wants in order to do what you want, she has to make a choice. When she decides that her relationship with you is more important than what she wants at this moment, she follows your request.

Every time she does that, she’s strengthening her brain’s ability to redirect herself toward a higher goal. That’s how kids develop self-discipline. But this only works if your child switches gears somewhat willingly. If you drag her kicking and screaming, she’s resisting, rather than choosing. She’s not building those self-discipline neural pathways. (That’s why there’s a “self” in “self-discipline. It’s chosen from inside.)

To learn more tips on encouraging your kids to be better listeners, take advantage of this FREE article from an earlier issue of Halal Parenting Magazine!