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As a mom, I have had my fair share of struggles with my six-year-old son not listening. It seemed like no matter what I said or did, he just wasn’t interested in following directions or paying attention to what I was saying.
One particularly frustrating day, I had asked him multiple times to clean up his toys before dinner. But he was too busy playing with his Legos to even acknowledge me.
I raised my voice and told him he needed to listen and do as I asked. He responded by rolling his eyes and saying, “I’ll do it later.”
I was at my wit’s end. I couldn’t understand why he was being so difficult and uncooperative. That’s when I realized that perhaps the problem wasn’t with him, but with the way I was communicating with him.
I decided to take a step back and try a different approach. Instead of demanding that he clean up his toys, I sat down next to him and started playing with the Legos too.
I made it into a game, asking him to see who could clean up the fastest.
To my surprise, he responded positively and eagerly joined in. We both had fun and the toys were cleaned up in no time. It was a small victory, but it was a start.
There Is A Reason For The Not Listening!
The surprising reason kids don’t listen is often because they feel like they aren’t being heard themselves.
Many children have a strong need to be understood and acknowledged, and when they feel like their thoughts and feelings are being ignored or dismissed, they may become less willing to listen to others.
Additionally, kids may struggle to understand and process information that is presented to them in a way that doesn’t resonate with their learning style.
Some children are visual learners, while others may be more auditory or kinesthetic.
If the information being communicated isn’t presented in a way that matches their learning style, they may have a hard time processing and retaining it.
Another reason kids may not listen is due to a lack of attention and focus.
In today’s digital age, children are often bombarded with distractions from electronic devices, social media, and video games. This can make it difficult for them to concentrate on tasks and follow directions.
Furthermore, kids may not listen if they feel like they are being criticized or judged. If a child feels like they are being scolded or reprimanded, they may shut down and stop listening altogether.
Overall, there are many different reasons why kids may not listen. It’s important for parents and caregivers to try to understand their child’s unique needs and communication style, and to find ways to present information in a way that resonates with them.
By building a strong, positive relationship with their child, parents can help foster good listening habits and encourage open communication.
How We Can Help Our Kids
Establishing good listening habits in kids is important for their personal and academic growth, as well as for building positive relationships with others. Here are some tips to help parents and caregivers encourage good listening habits in children:
- Model good listening behavior: Children often learn by example, so it’s important for parents and caregivers to model good listening behavior. This means actively listening to your child when they speak, maintaining eye contact, and showing empathy and understanding.
- Use positive reinforcement: When your child demonstrates good listening habits, be sure to praise and reinforce their behavior. Positive reinforcement can include verbal praise, a high-five, or a small reward like a sticker or extra playtime.
- Set clear expectations: Clearly communicate your expectations for listening, such as asking your child to look at you when you are speaking, or to repeat back what you’ve said to ensure they’ve understood. Consistently reinforce these expectations.
- Make listening fun: Engage your child in activities that require active listening, such as playing listening games or telling stories. This can help build their listening skills while also making it enjoyable for them.
- Minimize distractions: To help your child focus on what you are saying, minimize distractions like electronic devices or background noise. Create a quiet and distraction-free environment for important conversations.
- Use positive language: Avoid negative language or criticism when communicating with your child. Instead, use positive language to frame your messages, such as “please listen carefully” instead of “stop interrupting me.”
Helping Your Child With Filling Their Vestibular Senses: (Filling Up Their Movement Bucket Daily)
The vestibular sense is an essential sensory system that helps children understand their body’s position and movement in space. Supporting your child’s vestibular sense can help improve their balance, coordination, and spatial awareness. Here are a few ways to support your child’s vestibular sense:
- Encourage movement: Movement is essential for developing the vestibular system. Encourage your child to engage in activities that involve a variety of movements such as spinning, swinging, jumping, or climbing. This can include activities like dance, gymnastics, or sports.
- Provide sensory experiences: Sensory experiences like playing with sensory bins, sand, or water can help develop the vestibular sense. Encourage your child to explore different textures and movements in their play.
- Use balance boards or balance cushions: Balance boards or cushions can provide a fun and engaging way to improve your child’s balance and coordination. These tools can be used for a variety of activities, such as standing, sitting, or even doing homework.
- Try yoga or tai chi: Yoga and tai chi are great activities for developing the vestibular sense. These activities incorporate a variety of movements that can help improve balance, coordination, and body awareness.
- Limit screen time: Excessive screen time can have a negative impact on the vestibular system. Encourage your child to engage in physical activities and limit screen time to support their vestibular development.
Helping Your Child With Filling The Proprioceptive Input (Activating Joints and Muscles)
Proprioceptive input, also known as deep pressure or heavy work, is an important sensory input that helps children develop body awareness, balance, and coordination. Here are some ways to help your child with filling the proprioceptive input:
- Encourage heavy lifting: Activities like carrying groceries, lifting laundry baskets, or pushing a loaded cart can help provide proprioceptive input to the joints and muscles. Encourage your child to participate in these activities to help improve their body awareness.
- Engage in rough and tumble play: Roughhousing and wrestling can provide proprioceptive input and help your child develop body awareness, balance, and coordination. Set boundaries and rules for safe play to ensure that your child is not injured.
- Use weighted objects: Weighted blankets, vests, or toys can provide deep pressure and proprioceptive input. Encourage your child to use these objects during quiet time, while reading or doing homework, or during other relaxing activities.
- Engage in sports or martial arts: Activities like basketball, soccer, or martial arts provide a variety of proprioceptive inputs, including running, jumping, and throwing. These activities can help your child develop body awareness and improve their balance and coordination.
- Encourage heavy work activities: Activities like sweeping, vacuuming, or raking can provide proprioceptive input to the joints and muscles. Encourage your child to participate in these activities to help improve their body awareness.
More Resources for You
Print This Positive Parenting Guidebook – The 5 Pillars Of Positive Parenting
Listen… parenting with connection and positivity has been seen as permissive and lazy parenting BUT this is totally not the case.
I am a mom of 3 beautiful children and I’ve spent HOURS, DAYS, MONTHS, and YEARS researching this topic and seriously, it is my favorite way to parent.
Way better than what I grew up with – which was A LOT of yelling, spanking and frankly, neglect.
This little guidebook is a golden nugget that you can have for free – and print it out! Put it on the fridge, refer to it often. It’s really a great tool for kids of all ages.
Download Your Free Printout
- Download the guidebook. You’ll get the printable, plus join hundreds parents who receive my weekly parenting tips and ideas! (Sometimes I’ll promote a parenting program, but only the best ones that are in the positive parenting community, I promise.)
- Print. Print out the guidebook!
- Place it where you can see it. There is a lot of great information in this guidebook, even though it’s small. It’s power packed full of great stuff so put it where you can refer to it often.