One common hurdle many parents face is getting a child to listen without yelling. We all watch these gentle and conscious parenting videos on social media, and many of us want to be the mom who can keep her calm while parenting. Be that as it may, all that consciousness seemingly goes out the window when we’ve repeatedly asked our child to do the same thing, and they still don’t listen.
But don’t worry. I got you.
In this article, Consciously Lisa will delve into the intricacies of effective communication with your kids, exploring why children might seem unresponsive sometimes and offering practical strategies to foster a deeper connection.
Understanding Why Children Don’t Listen:
Picture this: your child is engrossed in play, seemingly oblivious to your attempts at communication. Before frustration sets in, it’s crucial to realize that their brains are still in the developmental stage. They may not be deliberately ignoring you but, more likely, caught up in the wonders of their world. For you, however, it’s going to feel super personal.
But the key to getting your child to listen without yelling is understanding that it’s not personal. It doesn’t matter how smart or advanced you think your child is. A child not listening isn’t about you. It’s not about disrespecting you or flouting your authority. The reason lies in auditory processing.
Children cannot and do not process information the way an adult can. Auditory processing is a skill that is not fully developed until a child is 14 or 15 years old. And even then, if a child has Auditory processing delays or Auditory Processing Disorder, they may always struggle with processing auditory commands. According to Susie S. Loraine, MA, CCC-SLP
Auditory processing refers to how the brain perceives and interprets sound information. Several skills determine auditory processing ability—or listening success. They develop in a general four-step hierarchy, but all work together and are essential for daily listening. (Cochlear Americas, 2009; Johnson et al., 1997; Nevins & Garber, 2006; Roeser & Downs, 2004; Stredler-Brown & Johnson, 2004).
Understanding that my child’s ability to process spoken information is still developing was integral to reducing the amount of yelling I do. To be clear, I still scream but yell a lot less.
So, how do you teach your child to listen without Yelling? Here are some friendly, tried-and-true strategies:
- Get Down to Their Level: Imagine trying to converse with someone towering over you. Or yelling commands at you with their back turned or from another room? To connect with your child, physically lower yourself to their eye level. It’s a simple yet effective way to ensure eye contact and engage their focus.
- Use Simple, Clear Language: Keep instructions short and sweet. Children respond well to straightforward directives. Instead of a lengthy monologue, try conveying your message in bite-sized, easy-to-understand pieces.
- Turn Off Distractions: In a world filled with constant stimuli, eliminating potential distractions can work wonders. Power down the TV put away the toys, and create an environment conducive to focused communication.
Effective Communication Without Raising Your Voice:
Yelling might seem like a quick fix, but it can negatively affect your child’s emotional well-being. According to one study, a child’s exposure to yelling is associated with increased gray matter volume in the superior temporal gyrus. The study found an evident physical distinction in the regions of the brain that handle the processing of sounds and language. In short, yelling is harmful, even if it seems to “work.” on your kids.
So, let’s get into a Few Ways to discipline your child without yelling
- Speak Calmly and Firmly: Channel your inner Zen master. A calm and firm voice can command attention without raising decibels. It’s all about striking the right balance between authority and understanding.
- Positive Reinforcement is Key: Celebrate the positives instead of dwelling on the negatives. When your child does something right, shower them with praise. Positive reinforcement not only boosts their self-esteem but also encourages desirable behavior. In other words, focusing more on the good things they do will encourage them to continue to do those good things. This will result in less yelling because you won’t have that particular thing to yell about.
- Non-Verbal Magic: Sometimes, actions speak louder than words. Utilize gestures, facial expressions, and body language to supplement your verbal cues. A nod of approval or a reassuring smile can speak volumes.
The Importance of Patience and Empathy
Parenting is a marathon, not a sprint, requiring a hefty dose of patience and empathy. Your child is navigating the world’s complexities, and your understanding and support are paramount.
Please take a moment to step into their hoes. Understand their feelings and motivations, and let empathy guide your responses. Patience, often tested but always rewarded, is the key to maintaining a calm demeanor and resisting the urge to yell.
Remaining calm is a feat unto itself, so I don’t give this advice without understanding exactly how you feel. I get it, but we have to try. We don’t want our kids to think yelling at people is okay. This is why I encourage parents to practice calming affirmations daily to help us keep cool.
Grab your FREE parenting affirmations HERE.
In the intricate web of parenting, a crucial thread lies in mastering the art of “how to get your child to listen without yelling.” The parenting journey encompasses more than exerting control; it requires a deep understanding and gentle guidance. Although it demands time and persistent effort, incorporating these strategies will fortify your child’s connection.
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