Try This Next Time Your Kids Ignore You - And Before You Start Yelling

by Parent Co. August 10, 2015

As parents, most of us will ask our kids to get dressed, or brush their teeth, or go get their homework so we can get in the car. As kids, they typically ignore that first request. We then follow with a few more requests using a really nice calm voice. The kids continue to ignore us. And it’s at that point that we change from nice to screeching, yelling, demanding, and threatening. It appears that this is the way our children get engaged - when we escalate into screaming, which of course isn't what we want to be doing. It’s important for parents to understand that most kids are parents deaf. It’s a little bit like the Charlie Brown scenario. What they hear through those first requests is . All of these requests and reminders train the kids that they don’t really have to move until we escalate. So one of the ways to break that pattern is to start out by giving our kids choices, because they have to answer you. When you speak to your kids change from a direction to a request or a choice. “John, would you like to brush your teeth now or after this commercial? Mary, would you like to get your homework now or after we finish dinner. Jamie, do you want to brush your teeth now or after we finish reading the book?” The child is required to then respond in some way. Once you receive a response, you can move the conversation forward. Even if the child replies by saying, “neither”, you have the beginning of a conversation started and you can answer, “I see. When would you be willing to…?” Try it and see if this helps you to stop screaming.


Parent Co.

Author



Also in Conversations

father in field with kids
7 Signs You're Parenting Right According to a Clinical Psychologist

by Parent Co. July 21, 2021

In my work as a clinical psychologist, there are seven signs I see that tell me a child has an awesome parent.

Continue Reading

mom and son walking in a summer park on the grass with yellow flower, holding a kite
Learning to Be a Peaceful Parent

by Parent Co. May 07, 2021

My commitment is to be the adult. It is my job to do the work on my self-regulation so that he'll be able to reach his potential in life.

Continue Reading

young woman sleeping on a bright white couch with a hat covering her face.
8 Common Parenting Phrases That Backfire

by Parent Co. May 07, 2021

If you're a parent, chances are you've used some or all of these phrases at some point or another.

Continue Reading