Inside: Learn the best, most effective tips for getting your child to listen using positive parenting skills that contribute to your child’s emotional health.
Sometimes we need our child to listen, right away.
As many parents begin to navigate positive parenting skills in an effort to raise emotionally healthy kids, some areas are trickier to navigate than others, and responding respectfully during hectic transitions is one of them.
We do eventually have to get out of the house, so how do we inspire our child to listen without resorting to fear, threats and intimidation when those things do have the instant gratification of producing quick behavioral responses?
First, we remind ourselves that while those things appear effective in the short-term, we aren’t parenting for the short-term. We’re aiming to raise internally driven kids who can navigate through the world on their own someday
Second, we can remember the positive parenting skills-based tools at our disposal which lay a much stronger foundation for our child’s future.
Let’s talk about five habits that when done regularly, inspire better listening.
5 Positive Parenting Skills that will help your child listen
If we’re being honest some days our poor kids are being herded around like a sack of potatoes, given little consideration of their opinions or agency over their agenda. Unfortunately, we also still live in a world that often views children as ‘less than’ forgetting that in fact, they are human beings just like us with wants, needs, and viewpoints.
What if we pressed pause on our agenda for just ONE moment to listen to our child, hear them out, and think about what they might be experiencing at that moment? Often, just the simple act of listening with EMPATHY is enough to make someone feel seen, heard and validated as a human being…which then frees them up to more easily go along with the agenda.
No matter what your child’s primary language is, their second language is play.
Watch power struggles melt away when you take a moment to infuse fun, creativity, and imagination into daily routines. When we feel stuck with our child, play will likely be the fastest way to support forward momentum.
Having a background in child development, I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk to you about the importance of making sure your child’s primary need for connection is met, before expecting them to be fully open to your influence in the hectic moments of the day.
Our kids’ minds and bodies can easily become overwhelmed with the hustle of hectic family schedules. If we desire to have them go with the flow when time is tight and we’re running out the door, we need to balance that out with plenty of time to slow down and connect.
4. Offer simple directives.
With all the sights, sounds and movements present during a busy transition a child may become overwhelmed and struggle to process the auditory input from adults. Increase the odds of being heard and listened to by keeping commands simple and clear. Use simple and concise working, and offer choices when possible.
Instead of, “I’ve asked you three times to get your shoes on, do you want to be late for school again, now go into the laundry room and get them on now!“, a simple “shoes” (and then repeat as necessary) will do.
5. Problem-solve together
If we see our child struggling with something, why not team up to confront the challenge together?
“I can see it’s hard to put your shoes on right now, how can I help?”
It’s easy to become adversarial with our kids, forgetting that we are all on the same team and that everyone is likely doing their best at this very moment. It does take an extra moment up front but will save many more moments in the end.
The fast fix usually isn’t the best way.
Could we nag, lecture and yell at our child in order to force them off the piano or to set down their breakfast and run? Absolutely.
On the days we do find ourselves stuck in old patterns, the furrowed brows, dejected looks and the general feeling of frustration and negativity that we receive from our child (not to mention the guilt we feel), are good signs that in the end, taking a step in a new direction is ever so worth the effort.
When we practice the positive parenting skills of empathy, connection, and collaboration our child will be more apt to consistently follow through with our directives during busy days.
Not only will you be getting them off to school with less yelling and less guilt, you’ll also be teaching and modeling important skills they will use for life.
This Content has originally written by Angela and published on March 28, 2018.
No Copyright/IPR breach is intended.
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Photo by Jordan Whitt on Unsplash