Getting your child to listen to you can be one of the toughest challenges a parent can face. There are so many fun and exciting things to discover in the world and in their minds listening to you talk is not one of them.
Learn how you can grab their attention and maintain it with these simple tips:
The power of using their name
According to psychological studies when a person hears their own name it releases their feel good hormones such as serotonin or dopamine. Essentially hearing your name causes a chemical reaction in your brain This release of hormones sends trust, empathy and compassion signals to their brain making the person feel more connected with you.
When a person feels more connected to you they are more likely to be responsive and listen to what you have to say. Before you begin a conversation with your child, use their name to get their attention. If you’re struggling to get their attention, keep repeating their name until they pay attention to you.
Maintain eye contact
Maintaining eye contact is another important factor in getting your child to listen to you. In order to do this you may need to physically get down to their level. Maintaining eye contact whilst having a conversation improves the connection between the two of you as well as improves their understanding as they can learn to read facial expressions. It’s an important skill for them to learn as they grow up so by setting an example from an early age you’re also helping them with that process.
Try not to over complicate it
Keep it simple. Don’t over complicate the message you're trying to portray. Before you speak to them, think about what it is you want them to know and the outcome you’d like from the conversation. By having it clear in your own mind you’re in a better position to convey the message to them in a clear and concise manner.
Ask them if they understand
Make sure in the conversation you ask your child if they understand what you’re saying. Get them to repeat back to you what you have said. If they can’t do it they either haven’t understood you or didn’t hear you.
When you’re coming to the end of the conversation, sum up or repeat exactly what you want them to know. Repetition is the key here. By saying it again you’re making sure they understand what is required of them.