As parents, we have all yelled at our kids from time to time. For some of us, it may not be from time to time, it may be a daily, or maybe even several times a day occurrence. Yelling at our kids though very rarely gets the desired response, and generally, the yelling is born of frustration. So how can we get kids to listen to what we are telling them without having to raise our voice?
How To Get Your Kids To Listen Without Yelling
Get Their Attention
Before asking your child to do something you need to make sure that you have their attention. For young kids, this works best by getting down to their eye level before you begin speaking to them. For older children, you want to make sure that you have eye contact before you begin explaining what you would like for them to do, or telling them it will be time to go soon.
Don’t Raise Your Voice
This one may be a bit tricky at first, but when you are talking to your children don’t raise your voice above a conversational tone. If your kids are being loud when you are trying to tell them something then lower your voice to a whisper. If they want to hear what you are saying they will have to stop being loud and listen.
Give Them a Warning
When it’s time to transition from one activity to another give them a warning beforehand so they know what is coming next. For example, Susie you can play with your blocks for five more minutes, but then we have to leave for school. Make sure that you have their attention, by making eye contact before you give the warning. Young children, in particular, can get so absorbed in play that they may not hear you if you don’t make eye contact first.
Take a Break
If you feel yourself becoming angry, take a moment to step away from the situation and calm down. A breath of fresh air, a couple of deep breaths, even just walking into another room can give you the time you need to calm down and express your frustration with your kids without you having to raise your voice. That little break may also give you a chance to realize that the situation is not as bad as you thought it was.
Ask your child questions that encourage cooperation. For example, Johnny, what do you need to do before school? This allows your child to take ownership of their responsibilities like brushing their hair or gathering their book bag. By asking a question like this you are showing that you believe that they are capable of doing things for themselves and they are much more likely to be cooperative.
Use Fewer Words
Sometimes as adults, we may forget just who it is that we are talking to. When you are asking your kids to do a chore or letting them know what needs to be done before you can leave, keep your instructions short and sweet.
Ask Them What They Heard
Once you have finished telling your child what you would like them to do, ask them to repeat it back to you. This will let you know if they heard what you were saying or if there has been a misunderstanding in communication.
Say Yes More Often
Have you ever stopped to think about how many times a day you say No as a parent? If you are saying no to everything that your kids are asking you, is it all that surprising when they say no to what you are asking them to do? Surprise your kids by saying yes a little more often and they will pay more attention to you when you ask them to do something. For example, instead of “No, we can’t go to the park today I don’t have time” try “I love it when we go to the park and play, why don’t we go Sunday”?
These are just a few of the tried and true methods that parents, educators, and psychologists use to get children to listen without having to raise their voices. Wouldn’t it be nice to live in a house with less yelling? Give these tips a try and see if any of them work for you and your family. Parenting is a hard job, yelling isn’t the answer to a bad day. Make it a goal to learn How To Get Your Kids To Listen Without Yelling!