6 Tips for Getting Kids to Listen to You

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Tips for Getting Kids to Listen to You




Heather here from FamilyVolley.com. I am excited to share 6 Tips For Getting Kids to Listen to you today.

Do you have a child who doesn’t listen and has to be reminded numerous times before they will do what they’re asked? Of course, we all do! Every once in a while all of our children will tune us out.

When everything seems to be going in one ear and out the other, here are 6 tips for getting your words to stick.

1. Don’t start talking until you have your child’s attention.

Get down on their level opposed to hovering above them, expect distractions to be turned off or paused, be sure you are making eye contact, and then talk. It is also okay to ask for their attention. “Please look

2. Get to the point.

As parents we tend to use too many words and explain too much when we are talking to our children. All the extra words give our children time to tune us out. Keep it short, simple and to the point.

3. Don’t repeat yourself.

The first thing most of us do when our children don’t listen, is to repeat ourselves. And then repeat ourselves again, and again. (Followed by telling our children we are tired of sounding like a broken record :)) Don’t! Saying things over and over teaches our children they don’t have to listen because they know we will say it again and they can listen another time. Stop repeating yourself and just say things one time. If they don’t listen the first time, make sure you had their attention to begin with. If you feel you had their attention and they still didn’t listen, then let the consequences follow. This will take some practice for us, and for our children. It is hard at first to not repeat ourselves.

4. Be Reasonable.

Put yourself in your child’s shoes for a minute. Imagine if we were right in the middle of doing something important to us, or doing something we love. And all of a sudden someone came in and demanded that we immediately get up and do what they say. How would we feel? We wouldn’t want to listen, we would be frustrated and irritated! It isn’t any different with our children. When a child is involved in something else, be considerate with the requests. Sure there will be times when we need immediate action, but for the most part, we can think ahead and cushion our requests. Think of it as warning them about what it coming up. It gives them time to finish up what they are doing and prepare for what is next.

5. Uphold Consequences.

When children don’t listen, we need to uphold the consequences. If we don’t, then it sends our children the message that is is okay to ignore us because we won’t follow through anyway. We can set general consequences that apply to not listening. Such as “If you don’t listen the first time, you have to go to your room. We can set consequences that are tied to the request itself. “If you want to play outside, please finish your homework.” And/or we can let the natural consequences take their course. Such as when a child doesn’t get their shoes on and get in the car when asked, then they don’t get to go. The key is to be clear with the consequences before hand and to make sure we follow through. Even if they come to you and say they didn’t hear you. Don’t back down. Just invite them to do better next time.

6. Establish Schedules.

Want to save yourself the stress of constantly reminding your kids what to do before they go to bed? Create a schedule or routine and your kids wont have to be told what they need to do because they will already know. Why, because you do the same thing every night. These routines can be established for everything. Getting ready for school, what to do after school, household chores, etc… I know for our daughter, she does better when the schedule is written down. So we write down the order of what needs to be done and she refers to it when needed. Instead of constantly nagging her, I just reminder her to check her schedule.

A few simple changes to the way we talk to, and handle our children, and you should see huge improvements in their listening skills. Just remember that along with the above suggestions, we have to be good examples. When they talk to us we need to put away our distractions and listen with full intent. Children will do what we do, before they do what we say, so set a good example and they will learn from the best!

Do you ever find it hard to listen to your kids?

Do you have a chronic non-listener? How do you get through to them?


 

Have a question, or just want to say hello? You can find me at FamilyVolley.com. On PinterestFacebook, and Twitter. Or send me an email. I love making new friends.

5 Things You Should Know About Parenting Teenagers

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Hello! Heather here, from FamilyVolley.com. I am excited to share with you some important tips for Parenting Teenagers

Our son just turned 12, and although he is not officially a teenager yet, we can already feel his need to spread his wings, develop, and discover who he is and where he wants to go. He is in the heat of discovering his identity and finding where he fits in. 

The teenage years are often a tricky time for families, but they don’t need to be as scary as everyone says. Here are five tips that every parent should know, to help you as you are parenting the teenagers in your life. 

1.  Don’t survive the Adolescent years, THRIVE during the Adolescents years.

It is time to stop labeling and get rid of the stereotypes. We shouldn’t expect the worst during these years. Not all teenagers become monsters, in fact, most teenagers are great. Give them a chance. We live in a universe of attraction and what we focus on and put our energy on is what will become our reality. We need to focus on how great it is that we have children who are learning who they are and developing their identity.
2.  Love them from the inside out.
Did you know that we respond to people, primarily by how they feel about us on the inside, not by their behavior. As parents, we can make right choices with our teenagers, but if on the inside, we are irritated, feel they are irresponsible, disappointed in them and their decisions, then that is what they will respond to That is actually how they will behave. We will bring out in them, the exact behavior we say we don’t like, when we see them as objects that are making our live miserable. Instead, praise them, compliment them, stop nitpicking them, and love them for who they are. Even if they are different from us. 
If they know we love them, above all other things, it allows us to discipline, communicate, be honest and open, and they will accept it.
3.  Communicate. It is the golden Rule of raising teenagers.
We have to keep the lines of communication open. We have too! There are two times when teenagers are more willing to talk.
1. When we are driving in the car with them. (We don’t have to look at one another and everyone knows there is an end to the ride so they are more likely to talk).
And…
2. Before they go to bed. (They are tired and willing to let their guard down and chat)
We need to be available during these times to LISTEN, and instead of telling them things, ask questions so they can discover answers on their own.
ANOTHER GREAT PLACE TO COMMUNICATE is over common activities. Find something that you and your teenager can do together AND DO IT. It takes all the stress out of communication and you will find that while you are sharing something enjoyable, they will want to talk and open up. They feel you understand them because you both share joy for the activity.
4.  Understand teenage time zones.
We need to recognize that our teenagers naturally, work in a different time zone than we do. This is not bad, or wrong, just different. When we ask them to do something, and they say “sure, “in a bit” or “yeah, give me a while.” Instead of being irritated because they are not doing it immediately, or on our time zone, let’s be glad they have said YES! They said YES. If we respect that, they will not only actually do what we have asked, but they might even do it sooner. 
 
And, given that we know they are working in a different time zone, instead of asking last minute and expecting them to drop everything for our request, we can ask sooner, explain better instead of insisting immediately. That way we are not setting our relationship up for contention.
5.  Be a Consultant, not a Manager.
Up to this point in our children’s lives, we have been the manager of their lives. We manage everything they do. Then, our children hit the teenager years and they fire us as their managers. So parents usually do one of two things. They either abandon their kids…throwing out a ”good luck with everything, hope you make it.”OR they become extra controlling and try to force their kids to do what they want.
Neither are the right way to go. We need to embrace that we are no longer managers and start consulting. Being a consultant is more about influence and less about control. Consultants share their expertise and knowledge to help attain goals and solve problems. And that is what we need to do as parents. 
One way we can do this is to…
ASK, don’t tell.
When we speak to our children we need to ask them for help, ask them for their ideas and opinions, rather than telling them what we believe
they should think or do.  
“What do you think about that.” “How do you think we could handle that.” Etc…
This can be really hard because we have been there, we know what the future holds if certain decisions are made, or not made, but it is their time to learn for themselves. That is our job, to help them do that.
The teenage years don’t need to be terrible. Embrace the growth and enjoy the time with your developing children.

What is your favorite part about the teenage years?

What activity do you and your teenager like to do together?

 
Have a question, or just want to say hello? You can find me at FamilyVolley.com. On PinterestFacebook, and Twitter. Or send me an email. I love making new friends.
 



Tips to Avoid Overprotective Parenting

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As parents and grandparents, we all want our children to be safe. We worry about them and don’t want them to get hurt, deal with hurtful experiences, or even have to deal with stress and strain. But, if we are not careful, our quest to keep our children safe and stress free, overprotecting parenting will actually do more harm to them, than good.

How? Because being overprotective robs our children of the opportunity to develop all the skills they need to be a strong and successful adult. It has a negative effect on their self esteem, sends the message to children that they are unable to handle things themselves, and teaches them to doubt their own decisions because we are always telling them what to do and they are never given a chance to choose.

Being overprotective teaches our children to be fearful, creates children who turn into adults who are incapable of making decisions, standing on their own two feet, or handling rejection. The grow up without learning to evaluate, handle, and navigate life.

The risks we expose them to, because we have been overprotective are actually greater than what we are protecting them from. We leave them vulnerable, unable to handle the bigger challenges that life will throw at them.

So, how do we know if we are being overprotective?

When we start taking over things that our children should be managing on their own, We are being overprotective. Try to rarely or never do anything for your child that they can do for themselves. 

If they can put on their own shoes, let them. If they can feed themselves, allow them. BUT… in every situation, teach them first. Teach them to use the fork and spoon beforehand, opposed to having them use their hands and throw food on the floor. This will require us to be patient and put their best interest before our own.

How can we avoid being overprotective?


First, Keep the end goal in mind. 

As parents, our goal is to raise the next generation of responsible, capable, useful, happy people. It is our job to prepare them to function without us. We are to love them and protect them. To help them gain wisdom as they grow. And although we don’t ever want them to feel pain, disappointment, or frustration, they are going to. We have to accept that, and instead of trying to keep them from ever experiencing real life, we need to teach them HOW to handle real life.

As we parent and grandparent, we should be thinking, “are my decisions helping my child develop the skills necessary to thrive as an adult”?

Second, we need to assess our motives.

Stop for a minute and think about why we are being overprotective. Is it so we don’t have to do extra work?

Because our parents were overprotective?

Because we don’t want our children to face rejection like we felt when we were younger?

Because we are impatient?

Are we seeking power?

Because we don’t trust our child?

Because we are unfamiliar with the situation?

Because we don’t know enough about our child?

I know for me there are times when I become overprotective because I don’t want to do more work. For example, I overprotect and micromanage the kids when they are outside to keep them from getting dirty, so I don’t have to do more laundry. Or I don’t let our 3 year old climb into her carseat by herself because I am impatient. Or I don’t let our older kids get their own cereal, because I don’t want to clean up their mess or spill (that might occur because they are learning). These are all situations where I am overprotecting. I am doing things for them that they are capable of doing themselves. They are not safety issues, which are different.

 

Third, Respect PLAY!

Play is how children learn. It provides the ultimate school room for learning and development. Kids are meant to run and jump and climb and play. It is through play that kids develop. So let them play!

Let them try new things, build forts, get dirty and get in arguments with the neighbors about a game. Let them solve problems without you stepping in. And teach them before hand what to do if they are playing and there is a stranger, or a new situation.

It has actually been found that kids fall and get hurt LESS when they are left to play by themselves, than with parents who are constantly telling them to be careful and jumping in at the smallest sign of danger. 

Avoid over-scheduling kids, so they can have time to play. One, maybe two activities for each child is plenty. Be sure there is unstructured time each day and let them solve their own problems. Don’t tell them what to do, but instead encourage them to entertain themselves. You don’t need to provide a million toys and games. Let them explore the leaves and dirt and rocks and trees.

Kids who don’t play enough, are less creative, more likely to struggle with depression and mental disorders, less empathetic, more likely to struggle with an anxiety disorder, struggle to play with other kids, solve problems, make decisions, etc…

 

Fourth, Teach them the how and why.

For example, guns and swimming pools. Teach them gun safety and teach them how to swim and be safe by the pool. Because they are going to run into both situations in their life and you cannot always be there to tell them what to do. Teach them so they can handle the situations that they will surely encounter.

The key is to warn them (and teach them BEFORE the situations arise, instead of during). That way you are not overprotecting. For example, if you are going for a walk by the river, teach them before hand of the water dangers and how to be safe, but still explore. NOT when they are in the water and you are on the shore yelling at them to “get back here”, “don’t do that”, “too dangerous, come back here right now.”


What NOT to Do During A Temper Tantrum

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July already? Where is the summer going? Heather here, from FamilyVolley.com, and today I am sharing a few “what not to do’s” when it comes to temper tantrums. Because even though school might be out for the summer, our parenting gig never gets a summer break.

Temper tantrums are a normal part of childhood. For a complete step by step guide on how to prevent and deal with temper tantrums, check out these posts. Temper Tantrums Part 1 and Part 2.

In the heat of the tantrum, there are few things most parents try, that just don’t work. Here is a quick reference guide of 4 things you should NOT DO when the tantrum breaks out.

First, Don’t Ask Questions. Ugh, I find myself guilty of this one. In the middle of a tantrum I want to ask “why are you throwing a fit”, “what happened”, “talk to me and tell me what is wrong.” But, small children don’t have the mental development or language skills to express what they are feeling. So asking them questions in the heat of the fit, will most likely add frustration and prolong the tantrum.

Second, Loose the Empty Threats. Don’t threaten to take away the treat, or put them in their room, or take them to sit in the car, if you are not going to follow through. Just don’t do it. Empty threats actually teach kids to misbehave. Plus, not following through sets us up to loose our position of authority with our children. If we are going to threaten, we have to follow through. Quickly and without emotion. The key is to be consistent. If you can’t follow through with the threat, don’t threaten.

Third, Don’t Use Reason. In the middle of a temper tantrum is not the time to explain to your two year old that eating a 6th piece of licorice is not a great idea because of the red die in the candy. Or that the weather man says it is going to rain and she is going to need to wear the coat she is refusing to put on. There will be time for reasoning and explaining later on. During the tantrum, our children can’t access their rationalizing and reasoning skills. Tantrums are about emotion, not reason, so trying to use reason won’t help us.

Fourth, Don’t Yell. Our kids are looking for attention when they throw a tantrum. They want a reaction and it doesn’t matter if it comes from positive behavior, or negative behavior. Yelling gives them the attention they are looking for, so we can’t do it. Instead we need to take a deep breath, count to ten in our head, and remember that we are the adult, and then act like one. Solid research shows that parents who yell and get angry, have children who demonstrate the same behavior. So when we yell, we are actually teaching our children to yell and be angry too. Teaching them to do exactly what we say we don’t want them to do.

Tantrums are challenging. Instead of yelling and throwing out empty threats, give your child a hug, or stay close to them and assure them you are going to stay with them until “they are done”. Remember, Compassion is always more powerful than anger.

Have a question, or just want to say hello? You can find me at FamilyVolley.com. On PinterestFacebook, and Twitter. Or send me an email. I love making new friends.



Helping Children Prepare for End of School Year Testing

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Hello Idea Room readers, it’s Heather from Family Volley. With the end of the school year right around the corner, it’s time for end of the year testing. Here are a few tips for helping our kids handle test week.

1. Explain to our children why we take tests. Help them understand that tests are used to show how much we have learned. Encourage your child to do their best, but don’t put so much emphasis on them that they feel stressed. Help your child understand that they are not meant to trick or trouble your child. Only an opportunity to share what they know.

2. Practice the test format ahead of time. For example, your child might have to read a paragraph and answer questions. Using one of his text books, have him look at the questions at the end of the section first and then read the passage. That will help him know what to read for and how to find the answers. Maybe the test is going to be multiple choice. Put together a few fun multiple choice questions for your child to answer. Help them understand how you mark the correct answer and how to work through the process of elimination. This will take much stress out of test taking.

3. Limit activities the night before the tests. Most of our children’s teachers are really good about letting parents know ahead of time, when tests are going to be taken at school. But, if your child’s teachers are not sending that information home, ASK. Know when tests are going to be taken and limit the activities that your child participates in the day/night before. Avoid having guests over for dinner the night before, or even consider having your child skip their siblings sporting event if it means they are going to get home late.

4. Get a good night sleep. Although this is obvious, it is a good reminder. Sleep is one of the most important ways we can help prepare our children to take tests. And not just the night before. Sleep builds on itself, so be sure that they few days before those big tests, children are getting enough sleep and rest.

5. On test day, give them a good breakfast, full of energy. Try to include both protein and carbohydrates. So eggs, yogurt, milk and fruit, oatmeal and toast.

6. Ensure a stress free morning. The morning of a test is not the day you want to point out how slow your child is at getting ready for school, or fill the morning with stress and contention. We never want to send our kids to school that way, but on test day in-particular, steer clear of arguments and disagreements before kids head out the door. It will be hard for them to concentrate on their tests, when they are replaying arguments and trying to make sense of the disagreement you just had. It is also not the morning to have to rush. Be sure there is adequate time to get ready and get to school so no one has to rush and push.

Take a few minutes to think about ways you can make end of school year testing less stressful for your children. The extra preparation will help them get ready for the any test questions thrown their way.

Have a question, or just want to say hello? You can find me at FamilyVolley.com. On PinterestFacebook, and Twitter. Or send me an email. I love making new friends.



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