3. Understand their perspective
Children often don’t ignore their parents intentionally. Kids below the age of 14 tend to have low peripheral awareness that can make them distracted easily. Hence, they are often unable to focus or understand the activities occurring in their environment. So before you start talking to them, ensure that they are not engaged in any activities, like reading, playing or watching TV. It is highly likely that they may not have heard you even if you are near them. In such cases, you may repeat yourself once you have gained their undivided attention. Moreover, you also need to acknowledge and accommodate their needs and priorities, just as they need to acknowledge yours.
4. Inform & instruct, don’t ask or order
Listening is a skill that you need to teach your children with patience and practice. The objective of communicating with your children is to make them understand and obey your instructions. So rather than asking them to do what you want or ordering them around, you need to focus on giving them instructions. Moreover, it is also crucial that you help them understand exactly why they need to listen to you and why a task is required to be done. It is also important that you are kind and warm while instructing them.
5. Be patient
Children do not act and behave as adults do, they may require more time to process information than you do. Listening to you is not enough, you also need them to understand you. So you need to be patient when communicating with kids and allow them the necessary time to process the instruction and obey it. You also need to check if they need any help or support from you to do the task and if needed repeat the instructions so that they may understand without any confusion. You may also choose to break down the instructions into simpler words and tasks to make it easier for them.
6. Set rules, routines and expectations
Instead of nagging, set up some crucial rules and routines to make sure that your kids comply with your instructions. If you want your children to listen to you then you need to stop ordering or criticizing them and instead set up strict routines. Not only this will reduce power struggles, but it will also help them build helpful habits like picking up their toys, brushing teeth etc. Moreover, you can also schedule playtime as a reward for following routines which they can enjoy after the completion of a certain task. However, you also need to have realistic expectations from your kids and realize that they are just that…kids!
7. Listen to be heard
Listening is a two-way street when it comes to parent-child communication. If you are distracted or glued to your smartphone while your child shares something important to them or asks something from you, then your behavior will have a direct impact on how they react and respond to you. When you pay attention to your child and actively listen to them, then you will encourage them to do the same. This can further help to improve your relationships and connection with your kids as they grow older.
8. Provide options
Giving a number of choices to your child, instead of simply ordering them around, will increase the likelihood of them listening to you. This will give them the illusion that they are in control of what activity they engage in and what their behavior should be. So make sure to give enough options to your kids when communicating.