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As parents we have a lot of challenges
how to get our children to listen the first time. popular topic here about
getting kids to listen the first time? Instead of the fifth time or the twelfth
time, I’ve got 5 tips today that I think will be helpful. Number 1 – “learn
to think like a child”. Sounds simple? Well, here’s what I mean. Why should your kids
listen to you? Now, you’ve got 12 reasons why they should. But you’re an adult,
you’re a parent, you’ve got all this life experience and you know all the reasons
why they should listen. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about why
should your child listen to you? In their mind, learn to think like a child why
should they from their perspective, if you can’t come up with a good reason
why they should listen to you from their perspective? They probably can’t either.
And they don’t think like you do. So think about this kid and there’s
different developmental stages. I’m going to acknowledge that. But for the most
part, kids are very efficient in their thinking. So when they hear something,
that’s going to interfere with their regular plan, they’re going to put it in a
little algorithm where they get to decide, hmm… should I listen to
this or not? Is this important or not? Really? Why? Should I do this thing versus
why should I keep doing what I’m doing? Do you see how the child is thinking? Now
if they’re doing something fun already, and you’ve just invited them to do
something that’s not so much fun, why would they do that? Well, they wouldn’t.
That’s the point. This is more fun. So from that child’s perspective, learning
to think like a child helps us to approach this in a way that gives them a
compelling reason to listen and to respond the first time. Because they
might be weighing it out should I listen now or should I wait until moms really
serious? And how can I tell if she’s really serious? Oh yeah, she yells. That’s
why they trained us to yell. So from that child’s perspective, why should I listen to
mom? Why should I do this the first time? Let’s give them a really good reason to
do that. So usually that’s tied to the consequence. We’ll come back to that here
in just a sec. Now, let’s go to number 2 – “manage your affect”. Manage your own
affect. Your emotions. Affect is the psychological word for feelings or
emotions. Manage your own. If you’re freaking out, if you’re yelling and
screaming, then you are out of control. Getting our kids to listen the first
time, implies that we as parents, are coming at this from a place of what
Nicholeen Peck calls a calm face, calm voice, calm body, calm voice, face and body.
That means you’re controlling yourself. That mode is something really important
for your children and it also allows you to stay in a position of power as a
parent because you’re still in control not out of control. If you’re out of
control, why should your kids listen to you? Well, they’re probably not going to
is my point because now you’re out of control. They’ll just kind of chill until
they can see that they need to pay attention. Coming at it from a calm voice,
face and body, communicates a real sense of power to that child and it helps to
keep you in a position of power as a parent. So manage your affect. Number
3. Now this is where it gets really exciting and powerful. We’re going to tie
consequences to communication tie consequences to communication. In other
words, what were communicating is a reasonable predictor now, for
that child of what consequences are on the way. Do you remember back in the
introductory psychology. If you had a class in Intro Psych, you probably
learned about Pavlov and his dogs. In this experiment, Pavlov would ring a bell
just before introducing food to the animal. They had some crazy apparatus
that puffed a little meat powder or something into the dog’s mouth, right
after the bell sounded. Well, what happened is the dog, started to pair the
consequence with the communication. The communication being the bell, ping! puff
of meat powder, okay? Which caused them to salivate. Ping! Food. Ping! Food. We’re pairing the consequence to the communication. What happened after
that? Eventually Pavlov could just do the ping
and the dog would salivate, without the food being introduced at all. This is
called a conditioned response. It’s behavioral psychology. It’s how we train
our brain to respond to certain things. So what we’re trying to do with our
child is ping the request, consequence. In other words, if I don’t respond, I get a
negative consequence. If I do respond, they get a positive consequence. Hmm… which one
goes better for me? I say something to my child,
boom they respond. Why? Because we’ve trained them that the communication is
followed by a consequence. And their behavior matters because the kind of
consequence they get is determined by what their behavior is that’s what I
mean by pairing the communication with the consequence. Another quick example of
this, I did a video several months ago on bedwetting. You can link to that video
right up here and in this project that I did this was my doctoral
dissertation folks. In this project that I did on bedwetting for my doctoral
dissertation, I did the same thing. I was pairing a communication with a
consequence to help kids overcome bedwetting and in my treatment program
basically what we’re doing is pairing the feeling of a full bladder with
getting up and going to the bathroom. So that they don’t wet the bed anymore.
Those of you who have kids who are bedwetting, you know what I’m talking
about. If we can get them to get up and respond when their own brain and body
sends them a signal of a full bladder, then we’ve solved the problem. Quite
frankly I don’t even care if the kid wakes up as long as ping! I feel those
sensations that tell me I’d better get up and go and then boom the consequence
and the behavior that follows. We were training kids to do this in their sleep
So this is a powerful concept as we tie the consequence to the communication. Now
that ties right into number 4 and this is one I’ve mentioned before as
well. “Turning our words from garbage into gold”
We want to increase the value of the words that we’re using. The way that we
do that is what we talked about in number 3 as we tie the communication
to the consequence. That’s what teaches kids that there is some important reason
to listen to that communication that’s coming from my mom or dad because it’s
going to predict some kind of a consequence for me and I better pay
attention to that. Normally, what happens here is that we get into a trap as
parents. Kids start to esteem our words to be garbage instead of gold. Why?
Because we say something and then nothing in particular happens and then
we say it again and nothing in particular happens and then we say it
again usually a little louder and nothing in particular happens and when
it gets to a certain level or volume, that’s when the lights go on for
the kid and he’s like, “oh, time to pay attention because now something’s going
to happen. And what did we just train them that our words are garbage or gold
well the words are garbage, the tone of voice is what I need to pay attention to.
The kids are pretty bright. We want to reverse that training and get them to
see our words as gold not garbage. That means the words are delivered and the
consequence shows up. Oh these two things go together.
The words are important. The words are gold to me if they predict what’s going
to happen. And we take the tone of voice out of it. So our tone is always calm and
pleasant. Remember number 2? Manage your affect. calm voice, calm face, calm body
and that’s how we’re going to turn the words from garbage into gold. Now, one
final one and this gets back to our main job as a parent. What is your job as a
parent? It’s to love them no matter what and even if. Love them no matter what me
even if. So step number 5 let’s put it this way, “work on the relationship”. Work
on the relationship. tThat is the most important thing. Kids need to know that
they have someone in their life who is more powerful than they are. There’s
reasons why that’s important. Who loves them. You think about how you feel if you
know that there’s someone in your life who is more powerful than you are and
loves you. Oh wow! that is a great position to be in. We want to provide
that for our children. So as we work on the relationship and remember, our job is
to love them no matter what and even if. That solidifies a position for them
where when we speak, they listen. Can we get our kids to respond to that first
time? Well, sure we can if we’ve got that kind of a relationship
and if we’re using some of the other principles we’ve talked about in this
video. You’ve got this. Parenting is one of those challenging things and I’m so
glad that you’re here part of our parenting community at Live on Purpose
TV. We’ve got some other resources for you. Check out the description and come
and check out our parenting power up. I think you’ll like it.

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