Not able to get your child’s attention after repeated instructions?
It’s your problem, not theirs! Know how?
Getting the children to listen to us is the toughest task! To get the children to listen to us at the first go, we adults need to be more proactive.
Coz, at the end of the day, children follow us. They want themselves in their mother’s or father’s shoes and feel proud while imitating them. We, the parents, are their role models. So if we want our children listen to us, we need to know and understand what does listening exactly mean to a child?
Listen to Your Child First:
‘Have you ever sat with your child and made an eye contact when he is sharing his experience on his favourite comic?’
‘Have you ever stopped and paid attention to an issue that he felt bad at school that day?’
‘Have you ever waited to answer a query of his in his studies or a question that comes out of his natural inquisitiveness?’
Most of us have never done any of the above acts though our motto was not to hurt our little one. We generally multitask and are engaged in so many things day-in and day-out. We all are time bound and at times we have to devote the same time for two or more things. Unfortunately out of those tasks, listening to our beloved child is one.
What do we generally do?
We are busy loading the laundry or doing dishes or sometimes mopping the floor when our little one wanted to share his experience at school that day. We seldom listen and just keep nodding our head without really paying attention to what he is saying.
By doing this, we are showcasing a wrong example of a good listening skill.
Let me share my experience with you when I first realized what I have been doing!
Daily after school, I ask my son how his day was. He ardently narrates his experiences at school and I am busy getting his food ready and other stuff. This is a regular practice that we have been following since he started going to play school. I didn’t realize this act of mine would provoke the little brain for multitasking which really is not a good sign at that age according to me.
One day, I was sitting with him explaining a math concept which he is confused of. He is trying to solve a jigsaw puzzle in one hand and on the other hand scribbling the sum in the note book. I patiently waited to get his attention back. I at last got really irritated about it. When asked he just said, ‘I am following mamma, I am multitasking. Don’t worry! This is what you all do, so many things at a time. It’s nothing wrong!’ Flabbergasted by his answer, I didn’t know what to say and how to react.
Listening is the First Step to Learning:
Let me tell you, this article is not about multitasking but about the basic listening skills that everyone needs to follow. Coz, listening is the first step to learning.
I strongly believe, a good listener will surely become a good learner. So it is necessary that we develop our child’s listening skills and it is our due responsibility to tune them to become good listeners.
So, Adults need to be good listeners first to make our children to listen to us.
Here are 3 magical tips you can follow to put things in place and get your child attentive.
1. Pay attention:
When the child wants to share his experience on something, sit with him and listen. Your attention is very important for him. He should know that you are really looking forward to what he wanted to share. Your body language, your gestures play an important role in building confidence and importance of sharing feelings with loved ones. Make sure you don’t interrupt in between which will dilute the flow and child might feel lost and might not be able to express it the way he wanted to.
2. Maintain eye contact:
Try to maintain eye contact when the child is speaking. It gives him an assurance that you are listening to him. If possible, bend down to his level and make an eye contact to reassure him that you are really interested in whatever he is speaking and nod your head in between (not just for the sake of doing but wholeheartedly)
Hold his hand or place your hand on his shoulder to make him comfortable and open up. Touch is the primary perception which gives a child the sense of belonging and ownership of that relation. It gives him the confidence that you are going to listen to the silliest thing that he is going to speak.
Something To Remember:
If you can do this in the beginning, he will approach you for any small problem or an issue in his later years. Trust me!
If you haven’t done till now, it’s never late. Start it right away!