Tips for parents so that the child listens to them

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Whether it’s washing hands, being quiet or cleaning up, parents know quite a few situations where their child “doesn’t want to” hear. You can do it!

Everyday life with children is turbulent, exciting, loud, fun, emotional and often frustrating – especially when parents have the feeling that their child reacts rudely, follows along and does not listen to them. Kids do this “on purpose”? No, not in most cases. Behind the behavior of the little ones is usually a need that wants to be satisfied: tiredness, desire to be creative and play longer or (not) hungry. But it can sometimes seem that way to parents, especially if they make a request or request several times and the little ones don’t respond. If the situation where parents want their child to cooperate is also associated with time pressure, this can also result in heightened emotions and a tantrum in the child.

It is not at all easy to remain calm in such moments – as educators always advise parents – and see your own child and the motives for his behavior as objectively as possible from the outside. Tips from psychologists can help parents in everyday life so that their own child is more likely to listen to them.

Education: Is ease or rigor required?

What can parents do to make children listen to them better and, for example, tidy up their room? (Iconic image) © alimdi/Imago

There are numerous parenting tips on how parents can do some things better or differently. So it is not surprising that parents often feel insecure. The style parents use to raise their child usually becomes apparent during parenthood, often shaped by their own childhood experiences. Whether helicopter parents, strict parenting or submarine parents, they all share one challenge: what to do if the child does not listen?

Parenting tips from psychologists: What parents can do to make sure the child listens to them

  • Address the child directly and at eye level: do not shout from one room to another or even shout. “It is important that the parents are present. So go there, look at the children, preferably at eye level. The child must remember: I am only busy with you at the moment!”, just like the portal family quoted the qualified psychologist Jürgen Plass, head of the educational counseling center in Fulda.
  • Voice and pitch convey clarity to children and encourage their attention: not only what parents say to their child is crucial for possible cooperation, but also “how”. This means that voice, body language and words must fit together, as the well-known Danish family therapist Jesper Juul explained. “A voice that is controlled from top to bottom conveys clarity and resonates with the child. But often the parent’s voice is thin and unconsciously raised at the end of the sentence. It signals to the children that the parents take what has been said to them as a question, or that they don’t really know how to feel about the situation,’ says teacher Monika Kiel-Hinrichsen. Parents should not frame clear requests as a question, with something like “okay?” finally.

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  • A positive reaction with praise helps more than scolding the negative behaviour: “Parents often reward the unwanted behavior – with attention,” says psychologist Jürgen Plass. “Correct behavior, on the other hand, is often ignored because we take it for granted. For example, if the teeth are actually brushed immediately. But then it doesn’t pay off for the child to do so well again in the future. Praise is the royal road to change.”
  • Humor soothes and promotes cooperation: Laughter in conflict situations can relax the situation, for children and parents. Let your favorite “talking” stuffed animal brush your teeth or clean up together with music, song and dance – it’s fun and can motivate the little ones.

This article contains only general information about the respective health topic and is therefore not intended for self-diagnosis, treatment or medicine. It in no way replaces a doctor’s visit. Unfortunately, our editors are not allowed to answer individual questions about clinical images.

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