“We’re going home now, okay?” The tiny ‘okay’ unconsciously added to the end of the sentence has turned Lisa’s intended statement into a mild pleading question. Her 3-year old resourceful son grabbed the opportunity to outsmart the pleasing mom: “No, mommy, we are staying!” In the long run, the toddler took charge of the situation.
Outwitted and defeated, Lisa had no other choice but to start negotiations with her miniature psychologist talented in mom-influencing whining techniques, creative tantrum throwing and lying prostrate on the rug at her friends’ house. It took Lisa a long time to realize that trying to 100% please and comfort a child is a fruitless endeavor when it’s about getting kids to listen and obey.
Why is it so difficult to make misbehaving children obey and listen to you? Because most moms and dads know their parenting style influences their children’s personality and self-esteem. As a result, we all do our best to get it right and avoid our parents’ mistakes. Shouting at kids is not the best option, that’s clear to almost everyone. But parents often don’t exactly know how to make kids obey effectively.
How to get your kids to obey
If you don’t want to be mired in useless begging and never-ending ‘philosophical’ discussions with your three-foot-tall professor(s), it is time for you to learn how to get your kids to obey by establishing reasonable boundaries in your home. Morphing into an alpha mom (or an alpha dad) who is determined, calm and in control of their emotions is not easy. It takes some time and effort.
You should be aware of and try to implement the following take-charge techniques to teach your children to respect authority:
- don’t let useless discussions with your kid run you ragged: end the discussion along with the whining that comes with it
- observe each situation from a distance: it’s easy to see bad behavior for what it is and take action when it comes to watching other people’s children, while with your kids you may fall into a trap of explaining it away
- realize that most of the time your attempts to make everyone in your family happy are futile: root out that pleasing “okay?” from your vocabulary, stay consistent in your calm decisiveness and rule the roost
- don’t let your kids’ whining work you and make you think you’d failed as a parent: step back and let your kid cry a little bit; it may not be easy at first but you should realize that crying passes very fast – especially when your misbehaving tiny scientist figures out that a little fussing won’t give her what she wants
- give your kids more responsibility: let them get dressed by themselves, brush their teeth, fetch their favorite toys, take part in doing the chores etc.; give little rewards to your children to motivate them, and soon they’ll happily get used to being independent
If (after reading one of them numerous books on parenting), you’ve decided to give your child the absolute decision-making power, you may come across the situation when your 3-year old daughter can’t figure out what to wear while you’re being very late to work. Choose the outfit for you daughter yourself or set the time limit. Say, if your little lady can’t choose which dress to wear by the moment when time is up, she owes you a few cents from her allowance. This ends all discussions very quickly.
How to make your child listen to you
There’s one important difference that lets moms with well-behaved kids stand out from the rest: they never demean and disrespect their children. When kids feel that they’re being disrespected (they feel it very easily), they think they don’t matter and start misbehaving. The best solution here is paying attention to your kids: take them to the park, play with them, become involved in their life, focus on what interests them and help your kids learn about the world outside your city’s ‘box’.
Now if your kid still doesn’t want to listen to you, you may want to firmly and gently insist on what you know is the right thing right to do at a particular moment. If your child starts whining, set the timer and remind your lil princess or your tough cowboy that you will become rich if they misbehave that often. What are your most effective take-charge strategies and tips on how to make your children listen to you? Share them in your comments!