Sometimes kids don’t listen. It doesn’t mean they’re particularly “naughty” or misbehaved. There can actually be a number of things contributing to them not listening. Unfortunately, one thing that often gets overlooked by parents is the chance that their kids aren’t listening because of their way of giving commands or discipling their kids.
We’re not here to suggest that you are a bad parent by any means. However, there are 5 common mistakes that are often made by parents when they’re trying to get kids to listen or to follow directions. If you’re making any of the following mistakes, you could be decreasing the likelihood that your child will listen to, acknowledge, or obey your commands!
Check out the list and work towards eliminating these mistakes so you can raise more mindful, obedient children:
1. Giving weak directions
Weak directions aren’t ones that are unclear. They’re directions that don;t come off as authoritative. For example, if you were to say to your children: “Will you start your homework now?” You’ve just presented them with an optional task, and not a true command. Try using more clear, direct language that implies a sense of necessity.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you must come off as mean or rude to your children. You want to be authoritative and five demands, but you can do so in a stern but calm manor. There’s no need to raise your voice or yell at them.
2. No positive reinforcement
As with anything, a little positive reinforcement never did anyone any harm. For your kids, hearing positive reinforcement at appropriate times encourages them to follow your instructions or obey your directions. Try implementing a little positive reinforcement every now and then.
For example, if your kids do a chore that you told them to complete, present them with some praise! Let them know they did a good job handling the task you assigned them and they’ll be more likely to follow through with other directions you give them in the future.
3. Giving too many commands
Think of it like this, no one likes to see someone micromanage others. Nor do people like being micromanaged. While it’s necessary to manage and direct your kids in order to raise them, try avoiding overparenting and giving too many directions. If you give too many fastidious, nitpicky commands to your kids, there’s a higher likelihood that they’ll disobey or not follow through with said commands.
Lay down the law when needed, but know when to lay back also. Try to stay away from giving commands that are more of preference than of necessity. For example, if your kid is putting away their toys, let them do so how they’d do it…not how you would do it.
4. Not following through with consequences
This is the most basic, but arguably the most important entry on this list. Your child needs to understand that his actions get a response, either positive or negative. If you’re going to give positive reinforcement for their good behaviour, then it’s only right to hand out disciplinary action when they do something bad or doesn’t follow your instructions.
Some parents have the tendency to make negative consequences clear, but never follow through on them. This sets a precedent with your kids that lets them know you don’t mean business.
If you tell your kids: “No TV for a week if you don’t [insert direction]”. Then you better follow through! You have to maintain your identity as the authoritative figure in the house.
5. Repeat instructions
Don’t instil the idea that your kid doesn’t have to listen the first time you give a command or instructions. He’ll get the impression that when he’s ready he can get you to repeat the directions. Obviously, this is something that parents don’t want from their kids.
Instead of barking out the same command again and again, or saying “I’ve told you already”, try stating the command only once. If they don’t acknowledge you the one time you give the command, present them with a warning that lets them know you’re in business! Never allow your kids to delay the task or ignore you when you tell them to do something.
This list was originally published by Very Well