I have heard a lot of parents complain that their children do not listen to them. I am sharing my thoughts on this based on my experience teaching children for over a decade.
You wonder why your kids seem to be ‘programmed’ to do the exact opposite of your instructions and directions? They seem to be unable to listen and follow your direction. These are probably part of the reasons:
- Your kids do not listen because you do not listen: So many parents believe so much in what they think; in their own ideas and plans. What you might forget is: you could be wrong sometimes. It is risky to force your will on a growing child for a couple of reasons
- Their trust in your “plans” gradually diminishes when you’re proven wrong, especially if you engaged them in a fight to follow your own directions. They’d probably be inclined not to listen to you as much next time.
- You might consider letting them have their way in smaller things so that in major things you can have the grounds to negotiate with them with a little coercion. If for instance, you’re uptight about even the tiniest things, they’d rebel against you in everything including serious matters. Pick your fights carefully.
- You do not want to appear like a know-it-all to your kids. Make them see everyone can make mistakes; everyone is in need of salvation and help. They’d likely listen to you if they have the feeling you think of them as equals and are probably more experienced to help them based upon your previous experience (and mistakes) in each matter. When you establish yourself as a god (who doesn’t make mistakes) before them, they cannot relate with you, they cannot share with you because you’ll judge and condemn instead of encouraging them.
Listen to your kids, to what they want and need. When they give you corrections sometimes, accept it and try it out. It shows them they matter and that anyone can be wrong. This will make them more likely to listen to you when you counsel them.
- Do not be negative all the time: So many parents have configured their minds to notice only evil and mistakes and ignore good acts and accolades. There must be a balance. If the only time you have something to say to your child is when they make mistakes they’d feel discouraged to keep trying. If you use positive reinforcement if might help more than punishments and ill words. Try comparing their past performances and how they thrilled you with their present, NEVER COMPARE THEM WITH OTHERS, NOT EVEN THEIR SIBLINGS! If you must compare them with anyone, compare each child with himself. Say “You really surprised me the last time, what happened today, are you okay dear”. Let them know they have the power and strength they need to achieve great things and they’ll grow with a mind packed with energy and vigour.
- Be patient: Do not pretend like you didn’t make some of the mistakes they’re making like you grew up without any rebellion. We know you did. Thankfully you turned out okay (I presume); you need to be patient with them. Pray, counsel, and help them. Do not expect them to have the wisdom of an 80-year-old as teenagers. Babies poop their diapers and teenagers poop all over the place too with their mistakes. Clean up, help them develop their minds and grow.