For many parents, getting kids to following directions is a constant struggle. Whether your children are deliberately ignoring you or simply seem to not be paying attention, you are not alone in your frustration. If you’re tired of yelling all the time, try adopting one or more of the following parenting tactics.
Here are 5 reliable tips to get your child to follow directions and make them listen to you:
- Use Single Word Commands
- Empower Your Children
- Give Kids Choices
- State the Expectations
- Name Their Feelings
The first time you say “plates” to your sons after dinner, they’ll probably look at you like you’re crazy. However, they’ll quickly register that they need to take their plates to the sink after they’ve finished eating.
Kids are able to exercise their free will, which sometimes means doing the opposite of what their parents ask. Turn your direction into a teachable moment. For example, when your daughter is standing on her chair during lunchtime, tell her that chairs are meant for sitting.
Threats and punishments frequently make children become more stubborn instead of feeling sorry that they can’t participate. Change tactics and offer choices. When a child is refusing to put on his gloves, say, “You can put on your gloves now or after you miss out on the movie.”
When kids know the plan upfront, there are fewer arguments and tantrums. For example, if children know that they can watch TV for half an hour after dinner, say, “You can watch this one TV show, and then you have to turn off the TV and start getting ready for bed.”
Kids often act out negatively because they don’t know how to deal with their emotions. Giving children the words to express their feelings helps them deal with them properly. Once a child understands that he or she is frustrated, you can help him or her work toward an appropriate solution.