Why Won’t My Kids Listen To Me?
Why won’t my kids listen to me?
This is a really lovely way of asking the real question, “How do I get my child to do as I say?” and this has been the age-old dilemma of parenting forever!
In order to answer this question there are a few things we need to consider which requires shifting the lens a little:
1. Respect their viewpoint
Everyone has a unique and subjective view of the world, including our children. When we see this we can begin to see our children’s innate resilience and well-being and we can start to parent from a place where love and connection can flourish.
Seeing beyond the myths and the made-up stories about ourselves and our children in our ego-based thoughts means we no longer need to fix, change or improve either them or ourselves in order to feel ok and be happy…we are perfect as we are.
2. We are NOT in control
Our children are a gift from Allah to look after, given to us at a prescribed time. We are the means by which they came into the world but Allah designed them.
As the parent, we are responsible to guide our child, which in turn requires guiding our self. We are responsible to guide our children but this does not guarantee what the outcome will be. Only Allah is in control. Our efforts to guide our child is like us tying our camel, we are doing our bit, fulfilling our purpose but we have no control over how Allah will then guide our child or not.
Knowing that Allah is in control, not you, relieves you of the pressure and burden of responsibility and ultimately sets you free. This directs the focus of your love and effort from your child back to yourself, so that you empower your child through sincerely being your authentic self. The blessings in this is that both you and your child grow together, toward harmony and peace.
3. Self-care is critical
You have to love yourself before you can love your child. You cannot be whole, true, present, healthy when you have nothing to give. How can you be anything to your child, how can you hope to parent them, to do what you think is best by them if you are empty?
You cannot give what you do not have. When you administer soul care rather than self care, you fill your cup with mercy, kindness and compassion and that is what you will have to give to your children and your family.
4. Self-love matters
The unconditional love that you have for your child is the love you can give to the child. The disconnection or connection to the true self within you will determine the level of connection with your child. Since you can only give what you have, if you accept and love yourself, you can be accepting and loving to your child.
If you are ashamed of yourself, you will give shame to your child. Being who you truly are, naturally, warts an’ all, allows your child to accept them self and evolve naturally into fulfilling their potential.
5. Connection is key
Once we see ourselves for who we truly are and see our children and who they truly are, we see the truth. Honest, true, peaceful parenting can only come from the heart. when we see our children without judgement, without labels, with honest objectivity, and we see their souls.
We see their true selves and we can only parent honestly when we parent from our inner true self, without our self-doubt, impossible high standards and self-judgment.
This is what leads to true and deep connection; the connection of one soul to another and this is the key to being present, letting go of your expectations and judgments and just seeing your child and yourself for who you really are.
6. Don’t force them to listen!
Connection is the antidote to coercion and it far outweighs any other methods in its ability to shape our children’s behavior. Quite simply, it is the only reason our kids willingly give up with what they want to do and do what we ask of them instead. It makes children feel safe.
When connection is lost and children don’t feel safe, they do something they think will make them feel better. Sometimes that’s a positive thing, like coming to us for a hug. But often they do something that’s not healthy. They tease their siblings or lash out in anger, which makes them feel more powerful. Investing in deepening the connection between yourself and your kids; from dedicated one‐on‐one time to child‐led play to more cuddles a day, it always makes a difference.
7. Feelings are okay
The most valuable gift you can give your children is to point them to the true nature of their feelings and that they don’t need a ‘solution’ to them. Thoughts come and go and we don’t need to do anything to feel better except to let our thoughts pass.
So rather than try to fix their outside world to protect their emotions and help them be happier, we need to enable them to realize that their feelings do not come from the outside world.
It might look and feel like it does sometimes, and there is nothing better than a quick cuddle or removal of the ‘reason, but we can balance that with pointing them to the true nature of life, and their own ability to be okay with whatever is going on around them.
The way we communicate with our children powers our connection, which in turn enables their cooperation. When we parent with this in mind, this beautiful journey of motherhood might just be a little less bumpy, in sha Allah.