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Advice & Info #1: How do you handle a child who won’t listen?

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"My son is disrespectful and won't listen to instructions."

What's your approach for a child who won't listen?

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by on Mar. 22, 2012 at 10:31 AM
Replies (51-53):
by on Apr. 16, 2012 at 3:27 PM

This is a huge question to try to answer.  Every kid is different with what he responds to, but I have found a universal  motivator.  Observe your child for his most favorite thing in the whole world and that will be his Achilles Heel and your magic motivator. (tv, video games, baseball cards, etc--don't make it about food that's a whole other battle)

I have made it clear that disrespect will not be tolerated.  I am respectful to her and expect it in return.  If she gets sassy with me, then something that is near and dear to her (like tv) is withheld for an afternoon.  If she escalates, up it to that afternoon, and the next day, etc.

I put her on eye level with me and look her in the eyes.  I try to listen to my daughter and not interrupt her until she has had her say. (Provided she is not yelling--if she yells she sits down until she can talk in a calm voice."I cant understand yelling" and then I tell her I just cant understand what she's is saying unless she talks in a calm, lower tone.)and I leave the room for a while but within earshot.  Then, when she is calm, we start over. Children want to be heard and understood and sometimes we misunderstand and think they are just being bratty,(Especially if we think we know what they are saying and talk over them--that is showing disrespect to the child) There may be some reason he doesn't want to do what is asked (he's in pain, or afraid, lack of sleep, or food--I try to rule those things out first) I try to get her to see that there are reasons I ask her to do some things, not just because I said so.  but I also let her know that I don't have to explain every little thing I ask her do.  She has learned I am the Mommy, I am older, w/ more experience that's why God gave her to me to take care of---that's my job.  Her job is listen to me and obey me so she can learn from my experience. (Can you tell my daughter is a real debater? 

If she refuses to do what I ask then I have a consequence, ie, If toys arent picked up, we dont turn on tv,  I try to relate the consequence to where the resistance is.  Does she want to do a certain activity, go somewhere, not do chores, etc.  Then give neg consequence in that area.  Stick to it, don't get wishy washy.  If we are out in public and she is not listening or cooperative or is squalling her head off, then we leave whatever we are doing right in that spot and get in the car to go home.  Kids think they can show out in public and you will be too embarrassed to make a big deal and that they have you over a barrel.  My dd has learned not to play chicken with me.  I say what I mean and I tell her the consequence.  Then I enforce it, even if it is an inconvenience, ie, leaving the grocery store w/ a buggy full of groceries.  If you stick to your guns you only have to do it a few times and then you don't have that problem anymore.  They know you will do what you say.  And in the long run they will know they can always depend on you.

ps sorry if I sound preachy.  I struggled for a long time with trying to get her to listen to me.  I read Have a New Kid by Friday, by James Leman and he is a genius.  Look for it on Ebay or  Hope this helps.  Good Luck.

by Kandice on Apr. 16, 2012 at 9:52 PM


by on Aug. 8, 2012 at 4:14 PM

In my parenting experience, I find it effective to:

1.  lean down to the child's eye level, look him directly in the eye, and tell him to look directly in your eyes.  There's something about this that makes the child realize you are the boss.  

2.  rather than get upset and yell at the child, speak in a close-to-whisper tone.  Children seem to block out yelling, but when we speak softly, they want to hear what we are saying.

3.  (I learned this one from his preschool's director): Children seem to respond well to rules.  Instead of saying, "I TOLD you not to...," try beginning your sentence with "The Rule Is....".  This way, the child doesn't see it as YOUR opinion, he sees is as THE RULE.  

Hope this helps!

toddler boy

Happy Mom (cafechez11)cat

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