Sometimes you may feel like conveying some idea to your children is like talking to a wall – we all know those moments. A major part of communicating children is speaking in a manner that encourages active listening. We’ve prepared a number of tips that can be used in daily life so the conversation between you and your kids runs smoothly. Read on to learn more about how to talk to your kids so that they will actually listen:
- Keep It Brief
Children are no different from adults, in the sense that their attention spans can be short when a person is going over the same talking points again and again. Put your main directive in the opening sentence of your diatribe, so that the child’s attention is commanded immediately. Avoid rambling at all costs, otherwise your kid will, understandably, tune you out completely.
- Make an Offer That They Can’t Refuse
Children are much easier to motivate when there is a potential possibility for personal gain. While some believe that there is no way to reason with a small child, they are much more apt to listen to you when you provide with a great reason for doing so. For example, let’s say your child refuses to put on the proper clothing when it is time to head outside. If you tell them that their ability to play outdoors depends on their willingness to put on proper gear, you are far more likely to regain the power position in your relationship with them.
- Frame The Request In A Positive Manner
Most children have a visceral reaction to certain words, like stop, no and don’t. Barking out orders is not the way to get your point across and “because I said so” is not a reason. Make your request in a more positive way. If your child is watching too much television and you would like for them to head outside to play, let them know that you are asking for their own good, as opposed to flexing your parental muscles and throwing your weight around.
- Provide Choices
Giving your child agency goes a long way towards ensuring that they will listen to you. A child may not want to go to bed when they are asked, but providing them with choices regarding which pajamas they will wear and what story will be read can make it into fun and help to speed up the process. Also, if it is the sleeping time that you are having problems with, make sure that your son’s or daughter’s bedroom is a friendly and comfortable environment that they will want to spend time in. This goal can be achieved with fun decorations or a sweet plushie – there’s a wide selection of toys your child is sure to love at Build-A-Bear, now available at affordable prices thanks to Discountrue coupons.
- Stay Well Mannered
If your child sees you speaking in an improper manner and talking to them as if they are a lower life form, they are certainly not going to respect a single word that you have to say. As an authority figure, it is your job not to get rattled by a child’s obstinate behavior. Use phrases like “please and “thank you”. Be sure to keep your voice down, since shouting at a child only serves to make matters worse.