Years ago I remember my Uncle Bob commenting on how I spoke to my 5 year old. She was not very tall and I got down on one knee and looked her straight in the eye. Every time she looked away I gently took her chin and turned her head back and said, "Look in my eyes and listen to me."
After it was over, I asked her to repeat what I had said to her. She reiterated back in her own words and then did whatever it was I needed her to do. Probably be less noisy.
His point was that I stopped everything I was doing and took the time to engage her. Number one rule to parenting...IT TAKES TIME...at least to do it well. Sure you can put your foot down and bluster out, "Because I told you to..." or you can ignore noisy or bad or rough behavior for quite a while...then reach your threshold and blow up. But that just teaches your child to ignore what they don't like, or yell for what they want. There is a better way.
~~Stop what you are doing... (you need to decide what is more important, your child or whatever you are doing)
~~Collect one child at a time... (it doesn't usually work very well to talk to a group of kids about bad behavior. One at a time, and be sure to talk individually to each one)
~~Engage that one child... (Let them know they are IMPORTANT. Important enough for you to be willing to stop what you are doing to teach them. Like seriously how many times have I told my kids, "What I was doing was important...remember I was making dinner? ...but your CHARACTER is way more important to me than fully cooked potatoes."
~~Lovingly but firmly explain what they are doing must stop, Or what they are not doing must start. (Give your message, appeal to that child, in love, but firmly expect them to behave, to honor your request)
~~Expect obedience... (Yes, expect them to obey. It is amazing how much your children want you to be pleased with them)
~~If they do not mind you, start over, or implement your already established methods of dealing with defiance. Time out, loss of privilege, spanking, whatever you and dad, or mom...the child's other parent... have chosen.
The key here is to remain calm. Haha...yes, I'm preaching to myself...
But I promise you, if you remain calm, you will stand a much better chance of having a calm household.
It is HARD.
It is HARD to remain calm when you've already given up whatever you had been doing.
It is HARD to learn a new way to deal with your children.
It is HARD to stay cheerful and pleasant and expect obedience.
It is HARD...but SO WORTH IT!
How do you get your children to listen to you and hear what you're saying? Let's get a conversation going...such an important topic!! Thanks!
Article written by Ruth Grunstra
All Rights Reserved
Hi I'm Ruth
What is the biggest challenge you are facing with your child? My husband and I had the first of our 8 children in 1984 and our youngest in 2002. We've been married since 1980 and we are always learning new ways to engage our children. We would love to hear from you. Contact us and let us know what you have found that works and what doesn't, or ask me a question.
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