Pick up your toys, please.
Hey you! Pick up these toys NOW!
IF YOU DON'T PICK UP YOUR TOYS, I'M GONNA....
Getting kids to listen to you is like being a one armed wallpaper hanger. It can be done, but its darn near impossible. The funny thing is that your kids are listening to you. Ever slipped out a "naughty word" and thought nobody heard you? Yup, that's getting repeated at church next week. Ever mentioned that you are thinking about making cookies? Yessire, you are going to hear that repeated to you for the next 6 hours in 45 seconds intervals. So see, they ARE listening to you. Children are equipped with selective hearing though. It has a neat little filter that catches phrases that are directing them to do something "Not Fun" and tossing it in the brain garbage.
So, how do you talk so kids will listen?
Make listening fun! It bypasses that little filter and you have effectively tricked your child into listening to you.
Ways to make listening and following directions fun:
- Talk in a whisper like its a secret. Kids find listening to secrets incredibly fun!
- Make the chore a game. "Race mommy to pick up the most toys" Turn on the radio and challenge them to see how much they can get done before the song is over.
- Give options instead of demands. Instead of "Brush your teeth or else..." try saying "Do you want to brush your teeth first or put on your pajamas?" Giving kids choices helps them do what you want, but they believe it was their idea.