Saturday, March 31, 2012

Why Won't My Children Listen ?!?!?

Sometimes we give orders to our children and they don't obey.  Why is it that they don't get it? There are many things that influence obedience: the perception of Authority, Prestige, Service, characteristics of our demands, age of our children, etc.

Children disobey for many reasons:
- to call our attention, or they want to do something with you and you might just want him to go and do something on his own.
- because they are distracted on doing a more pleasant activity; they are watching a funny TV show, or playing at the back yard, they don't feel like changing activities.
- they simply didn't listen to the order or didn't comprehend what we said.
- they could have received many orders at the same time, like: "go call your dad, tell him to pick up your brother at baseball, and buy milk, and tell him that the doctor called and said to call him back, and please take a shower, and pass me my purse, and hurry up, dinner is almost ready."  The poor child might call dad and tell him to buy milk, but he most likely will forget the rest.
- if you prove to be not firm regarding your orders, they know that by the time you said that order 5 times, you will end up doing it yourself, so they simple don't do it.
- we as parents might not know how to enforce authority at home.

Next time before you scream in despair:
1. stop!
2. observe, ask yourself how? or why?
3. inform yourself, ask them what they are doing? what happened? when?
4. be objective not emotional; think, should I be firm or flexible?

Work on your communication - tone of voice and chosen words - be clear; don't repeat the order.  Positive reinforcement, organizational skills, routine, just a few norms and rules on important matters, in accordance with their age - this will do.

A good idea is to post a chart with rules and chores, so they can see it and know what you expect from them and at what time. This will make them work on freedom of their time, but respecting house rules and routines.

Also: enforce obedience with incentives, rewards or punishments, according to their age and with justice.

Good luck!