Why Our Kids Don't Listen - 5 Reasons Why They Tune Us Out

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"Did you hear what I said?" "Are you listening to me?" "Why do I have to repeat myself 100 times?" "Do you understand what I am telling you?" "What did I just tell you to do?" "Are you deaf?" If you are tired of trying to communicate with a child who seems to be hard of hearing when we speak, perhaps there are some reasons.

1. We talk too much 2. We talk too loud 3. Every conversation is a criticism 4. We don't listen when they speak 5. They have trained us to nag

Let's examine these Listening Lessons and see what we can improve:

1. We talk too much. Loving parents want to do the best for their children so they feel if they tell them all the stories of how they struggled and how they know all the answers, the child will give up and do what we ask. This method of communication is lecture, advise, order and threaten.

2. We talk too loud. We feel that if we raise our voice they will respond. Actually, it is the opposite. When you speak softly, they have to pay attention to what you are saying.

3. Every conversation is a criticism. The parent feels the way to motivate is through blame, shame, name-calling, sarcasm or jokes in order to put the child down.

4. We don't listen when they speak. Good communication in a family, workplace or world is built on mutual respect. That means we allow others to express their beliefs and feeling honestly, without fear of rejection.

5. They have trained us to nag. Why should they pick up their jacket the first time you tell them if they know by experience that you will yell 6 times and then do it yourself?

Listening to our children and expecting them to listen to us requires concentration and practice. It involves establishing eye contact and a posture that says, "I'm listening." Sometimes, we show we are a good listener by being silent. Sometimes it means a response both verbally and non-verbally. Pay attention to body language and facial expressions.

Closed and Open Communication

A closed response is when the listener does not indicate they heard or understood what was said. These responses tend to cut off communication and breeds discouragement. An open response is when the feelings and words of the speaker have been acknowledged and the listener accepts the message. This opens the door to more respectful and reflective listening.

My advice to parents all over the world is: Be firm, but kind. Choose your battles.

Judy H. Wright is a parent educator, family coach, and personal historian who has written more than 20 books, hundreds of articles and speaks internationally on family issues, including end of life. You are invited to visit our blog at www.AskAuntieArtichoke.com for answers and suggestions which will enhance your relationships. You will also find a full listing of free tele-classes and radio shows held each Thursday just for you at www.ArtichokePress.com.

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