Make Your Child Listen: Encouraging Them to Follow Directions

Is your child good at following directions? If you said, “no, they are not”, you are not the only one. Several other parents are in the same boat as you. We understand how frustrating this can be, causing you to even lose your cool from time to time.

If you are wondering why children become disobedient, it’s because as they get older, most of them become independent. They begin to understand more and strive to experience and do things on their own. A sense of independence and understanding comes to most children once they turn two. You can consider this as their exploration and self-development stage, and their refusal to listen to their parents is a sign that they are becoming their own person.

At this stage, they know what they like and not like and will voice it to you if you do not approve of it, resulting in them being disobedient. This is a critical phase in your child’s life, one which you need to tackle smartly.

Otherwise, you and your child will spend a lot of time arguing with each other. Instead of giving your child a piece of your mind, you need to stay calm because there are simple tips you can use to encourage your child to listen to you and follow your directions.

1.   Say Your Child’s Name

When you want your child to do something for you, use their name to make the request. Young children have trouble concentrating on more than one thing, so using their name to follow your directions can help grab their attention. Once you have their attention, tell them what you want from them.

2.   Get to Your Child’s Level

If you want your child to listen to you, get down to their level. They are more likely to listen to you if you get to their eye level. You may need to sit down on the ground, sofa, or at the table with them. By getting down to your child’s level, you are teaching your child good manners. Once you are at your child’s level, say their name until you have their complete attention and they are making eye contact with you.

3.   Be Brief and Concise

You need to be direct, brief, and concise with your child. If you want them to do something, start with that. Children have a short attention span and talking for long without getting to the point can cause your child to become distracted, resulting in your message being lost. Also, talking for long might have a negative effect on them. It tells your child that mom or dad are not sure what they want to say.

4.   Use a Positive Tone

No one likes to be talked to in a negative tone, especially children. Before you instruct your child to do something, rephrase the sentence in your head to sound more positive and then, in a positive tone, communicate your direction to them.

For instance, do not say, “No jumping and running inside!” Instead, say: “Only walking and sitting inside, please.” Sit down to evaluate your vocabulary, removing any word from it that sounds like you are name-calling, shaming, or ridiculing them.

However, this is something you cannot do overnight, but it will take a lot of practice and effort from your side to avoid using those words. By using positive language with your children, it instills confidence and happiness in them.

When your children are confident and happy, their behavior will improve. Blackmailing or threatening a child or using a condescending tone with them to make them listen to you will cause them to turn on their defensive mode. Instead, you need say: “I would like…” or “I am so pleased and happy when you…” Your child is more likely to listen to you when your tone and language is positive.

5.   Lead by Example

Practice good manners both at home and outside for your children to pick it up. When your children see you display good manners on a regular basis, it will teach them that it is expected of them to be on their best behavior. Additionally, teach your child basics like “thank you,” “welcome,” “please,” and “sorry.”

6.   Be a Listener

When talking to your child, let them know that you are listening to them by repeating what they are saying or by asking a related question. Since most children express themselves through action, you can verbalize what they are trying to communicate in words. When your child is speaking, be sure to let them complete their thought and not interrupt them midway. This will tell your child about the importance of listening.

You can go shopping for baby products by visiting an online toy store and get them a toy as their reward for being on their best behavior. There is no harm in buying a few toys in advance, giving it to them when they listen to you nine of ten times. Another great tip is to set up a star system; if they earn a certain number of stars for being good and listening, they will get a toy from a toy store.

Author Bio

Little Sunshine baby shop sells a wide range of affordable baby products to parents without compromising on quality. The online store is home to more than 500 premium quality baby products not available at traditional baby stores. Some of their product categories include baby clothes apparel, cribs and bassinets, toys and learning, nursery and décor, baby and toddler swim, and more.

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