Raising a child is a wonderful experience. But sometimes, it can also be a difficult task. Parents don’t have the easiest time communicating with their children, especially as they grow up. Most of us find ourselves wondering how to talk so kids will listen. If you’re looking for advice, we’ve got you covered.
Children are often mischievous and you may surprise yourself being emotionally manipulated. Yet even when they don’t behave the way you hope they would, they’re still your best accomplishment.
And as much as you would want their souls to remain free forever, there is always a need to teach them one or two things about how to behave so that they can thrive in society.
But How to Talk so Kids Will Listen?
Certainly, the way you handle your kids is as if you were trying to defuse a bomb in a race against time. Cut out the wrong wire, and it might just explode in your face. So here we thought that you might well use some advanced precision training. So here’s how to talk to kids so they will listen.
Never look down on your child, literally.
If you want to talk to your kids so the kids actually do listen, lower yourself to their level and look them in the eye. I can’t stress this enough. You may not realize how important this is before you do it for the first time, so try it as soon as you have the chance. You’ll find a more responsive and attentive child, often perplexed by the fact that you would lower yourself to his level.
Use short and simple sentences.
The more words come out of your mouth, the more likely the child is to just sigh and leave. If he does so, there’s no turning back. You have to win his attention by stating what you want from the very beginning, and never use complicated words that they have no way of understanding. Try to use your child’s phrasing and vocabulary. Remember, language skills keep developing long after childhood, so don’t expect that your kid’s a thesaurus.
Call them by their name.
If your child’s name is George, use George in every request. If he has done something to upset you, change your tone, use his full name, and keep the exact same way for all his mishaps. Also, if you feel that he isn’t processing what you’re saying, ask him to repeat after you. If he’s a boy, he might like roleplaying to this extend (pretend that he’s a robot that needs to repeat all his commands).
Never barge in with orders.
Kids see this as offensive. If he’s playing a video game, watching TV, or reading a book (would he ever), try first to engage with what he’s doing. Remember, the things he does are never beyond you. Even if he plays video games, try to understand what he is doing, or look up his favorite TV characters. Spend 1-2 minutes with him before sating what you would have him do.
Be definitive, never falter.
If the child sees even the slightest possibility to avert the chore you want him to do, he will exploit that possibility. Never say “I would like you to” but “I want you to” – you understand the difference. If you can give him a choice, do that instead: “what do you want to do: should we go to the park and ride your bike, or sit at home and play video games together?”
Kids need motivation, just like anyone else. If he doesn’t want to go to the store, tell him that when he has gone to the store, he will have permission to do whatever he wants for a predefined period of time. Also, kids often don’t know what they want to do, so offering them a wide array of possibilities may motivate them further. But be careful, he may do something totally wrong since he was allowed to do anything.
Make coherent requests.
Your child will learn to speak just the way you are speaking, and also, give him questions he can actually answer. Your kid will never be able to answer abstract questions like “why?” if he is young. Still, no matter the age, he or she has the possibility of understanding the importance of please and thank you. Make them use politeness all the time, even when unnecessary, it will become a speech reflex. Also, try not to make grammar mistakes. These will be very hard to fix by future teachers, since the time for developing language is oftentimes more important before school actually starts.
If your child is misbehaving, calm him.
Don’t scold your child when he’s upset. The louder he yells, the softer you must speak. If you become aggressive and start yelling louder, he will never stop. Unless you start mocking the child by yelling his exact words in a silly manner. This usually stops the child immediately, since he doesn’t understand what you’re doing. Or if he does, he will likely start laughing.
Warn him in advance.
This may not seem important, but if he’s doing something important to him, he might want closure from that experience. Imagine how you feel when your child is bored and wants to leave while you are visiting or talking to your friends. That is exactly how he feels when you catch him by surprise and tell him you have to leave.
Try to make double interventions.
If you want your child to understand something bad he just did so that he will never do it again, it’s good to have moral support. Get your partner to join the discussion and agree upon what you are going to say beforehand. A kid can feel shame, despite what some parents may believe, if it is explicitly explained to him why what he did is wrong.
Never, ever begin nagging.
If you start nagging, your child’s attention will be forever lost to you, and the only reason why he may still listen to you is for fear of your despotic rule. So be nice to your kid, and he will be nice to you.