How to Make a Better Listener

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Kids tuning you out? Maybe you just aren’t doing some of the following things to help them tune in!

Do you need tips for how to make your kid a better listener? Join the club! Plenty of parents feel that their directions, thoughts, instructions and just simple things they say fall on deaf ears. So, how do you get your kids to listen to you? It’s this simple, says author Amy McCready in the book If I Have to Tell You One More Time who offers these tips:

1. Stop talking

Don’t be an over talker. Kids absorb a lot of directives each day. Be clear about what you ask, don’t repeat yourself over and over and over again or they’ll figure out that you do that and wait for the time when you start getting irritated before they act.

2. Allow for natural consequences to happen
Hold yourself accountable to the things you say to your kids. If your kids forget their homework after you remind about it, don’t go trotting off to school to save him. Help him to realize that your help is GOLDEN.

3. Listen to THEM if you want them to listen to YOU
Active listening involves more than the ears — it puts the entire body in service (and that includes our heart). Active listening requires us to hear more than mere words; it’s about hearing the (sometimes hidden) meaning behind the words and responding to it. How often can you say you do that?

4. Love, love, love
Sometimes, kids don’t listen in order to send us a message, They tune us out to make a point: “You can’t make me, and I’m tired of you bossing me around.” It’s time to restore goodwill. You’ve got to put some deposits in the love bank. So, even though you feel like strangling them, hug them instead.

5. Whisper
As our frustration levels rise, so do our voices. Kids end up feeling yelled at — perpetually. Lowering your voice to a whisper is exactly the opposite of what they’re expecting, and that may result in a surprising new outcome for you.

 

 

Susan Day is editor of Cincinnati Family Magazine and a mother of four.

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