5 Things to do when your Child won’t listen

Give your child space sometimes - they will listen to you better - ZenParent

Every parent goes through a phase when the child just doesn’t seem to listen to them. Reasoning, cajoling, explaining, ignoring, punishing; nothing seems to work at times, leaving you feeling somewhat exhausted as a parent. So what can we parents do?

1. Listen to what our kids are trying to say

As quoted by James Baldwin, “Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.” So we can’t expect your kids to listen to us unless we listen to what they’re trying to communicate as well. Also, as you listen empathetically to your child, you get an opportunity to delve deeper into their mind and get an instinctive understanding of their sensibilities. This understanding may well help us discipline them in a way that will be more effective.

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2. Consequences v/s Punishment

Consider an example where your child is playing longer than you want him to. You yell “Stop playing and come home right now, else you will not be allowed play time for a whole week” How does this sound compared to “If you don’t come back home now, your bed time will get delayed and you might end up missing your school bus early tomorrow morning”. Make your child responsible for his actions. A punishment doesn’t respect the child’s right to make a decision whereas consequences help them develop new ways of taking responsibility. You are thereby also creating an opportunity in learning an important life-skill in the process.

3. Be Consistent

It is important to maintain consistency in your actions in disciplining the child. This passes the message that you are serious about what you want and there are no two ways around it. This will help them in not violating the rulebook that every household would have in instilling values and morals in a child.

4. Be Approachable

“I am here to listen and be involved in every small detail you want to share” is an attitude that will open up communication between you and your child. Do fun things together like watching a movie, playing board games or completing school assignments! This will give you opportunities to discuss matters that concern you about them and help you sort them out together.

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5. Be Realistic

Accept your child the way he/ she is. Having unrealistic expectations from them will only frustrate them and discourage them from complying with instructions. Give them space and allow them their time when they are angry or upset. Demanding apologies while they are still raging will only intensify the problem.

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