Almost all parents would agree that trying to talk to your children is no easy task, especially when sometimes they don’t seem to be in any mood to listen or even hear what you have to say! This means parents need to do more than just talk. They need to make their way of talking more effective, and change their parenting style.
Here are a few tried and tested ways to how you can improve the channels of communication with your children and make them listen to what you have to say!
1- Listen to your kids
There can be no better way to get kids to listen to you, than listening to your own kids. This includes their verbal and non-verbal language. Just like you don’t like being forced, sometime kids also don’t like that. So, avoid putting them in situations they can’t handle, just because you feel they can or should.
When you ignore or punish kids, especially when they throw tantrums, those are times you need to apologize to your kids. Don’t feel that because you are parents, you shouldn’t apologize! Instead, try to fix their unmet needs, of course if it’s possible. Also, kids imitate their parents. So, if you are a good listener, your kids will also learn to listen.
2- Play with your kids
There can be nothing better to connect with your kids, other than the playful time they share with you. Don’t expect them to join you in things you like doing. Instead, you join them in what they like doing.
Get engrossed in their small pleasures, even if it’s something you don’t like. Just be yourself and give in to them, and watch them listen to you!
3- Be honest and reliable
Sometimes as parents you might forget to keep the promises you make to your kids. You might mean to keep them, but due to lack of time or a busy schedule, you can’t keep them. But to a child, breaking such promises removes the trust they have in you, and eventually they stop believing and listening to what you have to say.
Similarly, you need to be accurate and reliable about the facts you share with your kids. If what you share turns out to be untrue, and might be just your opinion, your kids will not listen to you any longer. Share your views, but give your kids the freedom to explore more on their own too.
4- Find the ‘Yes’s’ and lessen the ‘No’s’
If your child asks something that you feel isn’t right, then instead of saying an outright ‘no’ – try to find a solution with a ‘yes’. Offer alternatives that work for both of you. This will make them listen to you and also show that you are listening to them, and trying to help them.
Of course, there are times when a no means a no – like when there are serious issues like screaming in public, hitting a sibling, or doing dangerous things.
5- Talk slowly, with pauses
Sometimes when parents talk quickly, kids unconsciously retreat and tend not to listen. Don’t overload your kids with too much information or things to do at one time. Instead, do it in small bits and let them digest what you’ve said before you move to the next point.
Talk with expression, smile where necessary, and light up your eyes when you talk with passion. Talk with energy and use animation, as it’s always more effective. You could even use audio and visual aids to get them fully involved when you want to get kids to listen to you.
6- Don’t repeat things too often
To make kids listen to you, avoid repeating things or saying them over and over again. This only bugs the kids, and lessens the impact of your words.
7- Get down to your child’s level
If you really wish your kids to listen to you when you talk, then physically get down to their level. If it’s tough to do that, pick them up and put them on your lap, or talk to them looking into their eyes.
8- Use simple words
Talk to your kids in words they understand, as then it becomes easier to get your point across to them. Use simple words and speak slowly so that they understand what you are saying.
You could even ask them to repeat what they understood, or be kind enough to repeat if they haven’t understood your point. The way you talk to your kids has a huge impact on their learning, and the ability to listen to you.