The title of this post might be a little deceiving. You’re probably thinking I’ve got a magic trick to make your kid listen to you, right?
This post is about YOU. Are you listening to your kid? Kids learn how to listen to their parents by the example provided. Conversations are in fact a two-way street.
Story Time: I once had a mom ask her kid a question. The kid gave an appropriate answer. The mom proceeds to ask the exact same question and tells her kid, “I really need you to listen.” At which point I intervened because doing what the mom did — is how you teach a kid to NOT listen.
It’s the same way a parent repeats “We’re leaving” 14 times in 30 minutes without ever going to the door. That parent has taught their child, “It doesn’t really matter what my parent says because they’ll just keep repeating it.” If a kid understands the concept of time, “We’re leaving in 5 minutes” will suffice. Then, in 5 minutes, you need to have your feet out the door with a “Let’s go”.
I follow a few simple steps to ensure listening:
1. Listen the first time — I practice it & I preach it
2. Apologize if something was misheard the first time
3. I stopped repeating myself. One and done
4. I have a child repeat back what I need them to know
Pro Tip: Make sure your kid is actually listening when giving instruction, or an answer. If they seem to have “forgotten” later, ask, “What did I say earlier?”