Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Auto Self Correct and Getting Your Children to Listen to You

Have you ever had a thought, then not long after, had another thought that totally contradicts the previous thought.   Well I had that happen today.  After a long day and night of telling my children to do things 15 times before they actually did them, I sat folding laundry contemplating how my day could've gone better.  I had the thought that my children's minds are too busy.  They are thinking of all sorts of things and the last thing they hear is my voice telling them to do homework or go to bed.  Then, I had the thought, "How can I quiet my children's minds so they will listen to me?"  Sounds harmless enough right?  Almost immediately after I thought, "NO! I don't want to quiet my children's minds so the only thing they hear is my voice telling them what to do.  Do I really want brain dead children who sit around all day doing nothing but waiting for the sound of my voice to tell them what to do?  That would be horrible!"  I should be happy they are thinking about things, using their brains and being innovative.  It's not my children's fault, it's mine.  How often do I tune them out when I'm on a phone call, or reading a good book, or surfing Pinterest...They are only doing the same thing.  I shouldn't be frustrated with them, I should be frustrated with me.  They are normal and that is what I really want, nice, normal, ok brilliant, healthy children.  So how do I get them to listen to me amongst all the colorful, wonderful, creative things going on in their brains?  Then, I had this thought pop into my head:

Instead of trying to figure out how to get my kids to listen to me, I need to figure out how to get their attention. 

Jana's revelation of the day!

Step One:  Get my child's attention.  How do accomplish this?  I've read a few books, so I'll start with what I remember.

1.  Ask them what they are doing/thinking about.  Get into their world for a bit, share in the fun.  Then, once you've had a good taste and they are in the same hemisphere as you, go ahead and ask that question.

2.  Stand on your head.  Ok, maybe not that crazy,  but do what it takes to get their attention.  Shut off the TV, touch them, wait for their eye contact and then ask the question.  Don't tell them from across the room, shout it down the stairs or murmur it while you're running out the door.  Stop, focus and ask.

3.  I'm not sure why I put a number 3.  I have no other answer.  It just seemed like I needed to have at least 3 ways to get your child's attention..  Let me think....  Food, yes.  Bake cookies and then you will have your child's full attention and they will sit eating cookies while listening to everything you have to say.  That one I made up myself.

Ok.  So, my goal is to get my children's attention tomorrow and see if my day goes a little better, and maybe I will make cookies too.  :)    


JaNae said...

You're cute Jana! I love how deliberate you are. I'm with you on the investigation of this topic! I'm currently studying (not just reading!) "How to talk so your kids will listen and Listen so your kids will talk". It's got simple skills that you add to your repertoire. They even have little summary pages you can copy to post around the cheat sheets. Simple, good ideas! I ended up going online & bought the audio version cause I just wasn't reading it fast enough. Now I'm getting somewhere!

Jana said...

Great, sounds like a good book! I'll check it out. Thanks JaNae!