Imagine a giant…. someone 2-3x’s your size, standing up in front of you, looking down at you and talking loudly (in maybe a language you don’t even know) or yelling at you… what would you be feeling? How scared would you be? Would you want to run & hide?
I know I would be feeling fear, I would be scared and want to cry. I would probably stop listening to whatever this giant was saying or yelling to me & instead be thinking more about this fear I’m feeling, dealing with the fight or flight emotions & any sense of feeling safe… gone.
Well that is what we, as parents (some parents), are doing to our children. We instruct, lecture & yell while towering over them. How scary for our kids. They become confused as this is a person they love, trust & run to when they have these types of feelings… but now who to they go to? We are supposed to be that person that makes them feel safe, not want to run & hide.
And when it comes to little ones… toddlers that can hardly speak… do you really think they are understanding all of what you are saying to them? We have to remember we aren’t talking to adults… we are talking to kids that have been on this earth for such a small amount of time & are still learning the language.
What if we tried talking to them in a different way? A way to make our kids feel safe, cared for, heard & still loved. A way that will get your child to listen better & for you to become a better parent.
There are a few things that go into creating an environment where your child will listen better to you & where healthy communication can thrive. One of those ways includes changing the way we talk to our kids so that they feel safe, loved, cared for & will then listen more! Imagine that though… kids listening more?!
Disclaimer here… we don’t live in a perfect world & our children aren’t always going to listen to their parents no matter what their age is! So do not… I repeat… do not expect this to be the cure all for getting kids to listen all of the time… that’s just a fantasy world!
Here are simple 3 steps to getting kids to listen better (not all the time… but better):
1- Get down to be eye level with them. Just squat down so you are face to face.
2- Make sure you have eye contact. Sometimes we expect our kids to be listening as we are talking as they looking around in la-la land or playing with a toy… they’re kids, that’s what they do!
3- Keep it short! and with simple words. Imagine when you are being lectured or your boss is going on & on in a meeting… do we really listen to all of it? Kids have a very short attention span and that is okay!
Whenever I talk with kids, I try to get down on their level. No matter the topic. It helps them in feeling not only that you are trying to engage with them which makes them feel cared about but it provides them with feelings of security and less fear so they are more
receptive to what it is you are saying.