As sweet and loving as your children can be, there are times when they are a handful and test your patience. Try out these tricks to get your child to listen.
WORDS SAMANTHA TAN
When your child doesn't listen, it can often lead to frustration and anger which can cause conflict and tension between the both of you. But it's not too late to change this pattern. Each time you are about to ask your child to do something, why not try some of these simple tips? Who knows – there could be less frustration, anger, and stress for you and more respect, compliance, and self-discipline from your child.
1. Build Stronger Bonds
To get your child to be more cooperative, change your focus from improving them to improving your relationship. The more you focus on the way they are misbehaving, the more it discourages the both of you – you feel like a bad mum, and they feel as if they can't do anything right. So instead of showing your anger at the things they are doing wrong, try and give positive feedback when possible. For instance, compliment them on the picture they just drew, thank them for helping with the trash, or praise them for finishing their food. Additionally, don't forget to spend some time with your child each day, doing something he enjoys.
2. Stay Cool
We've all been there. When your toddler doesn't listen, you probably dig in your heels and find yourself in a shouting match. But as you already know, power struggles don't promote cooperation. They only make each of you angrier and teach your child to resist you even more. The key is to control yourself. By maintaining your composure instead of showing your frustration, your calmness will inevitably influence your child and allow the both of you to think rationally. This will lead to better behaviour. Remember, it takes two to keep a power struggle going!
3. Be Empathetic
As busy mums, it is natural that your demands are often self-centred. You need everyone's cooperation to get out of the house on time, you need your child to entertain themselves while you prepare dinner and more. But it's important to examine your expectations from your child's point of view – for example, they could feel pressured when you rush them through the morning routine, which prompts them to dawdle and employ delay tactics.
When you acknowledge your child's feelings, it helps them handle the limits.
By letting them know you understand how they feel, it shows that you
heard what they said and that you empathise with them.
4. Learn to Listen
As annoying as it is, learn to tolerate a certain amount of grumbling from your little ones, as long as it isn't disrespectful. Your child's "I don't want to go to bed!" lets them vent their feelings. More importantly, they are also trying to distract you. If you answer, you'll trigger an argument, which is the last thing you want. Either ignore the comment or say something understanding. This will let them know that their feelings are valid and they will be more willing to do as you say.
5. Set a Time Frame
Decide in your own mind what you want the child to do and the time frame you will accept for her compliance – immediately, within 15 minutes, etc. For example, when your child refuses to go to bed, let them know that they get another five minutes. This will allow your child to feel that you have given them more time and they would go to bed more willingly.
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