Children live in their own world of realities. Although every parent tries to give the best advice to their kids, a naturally stubborn child may simply not want to listen. What are you going to do to get your child to listen to you?
Please keep in mind that any extreme punishments can have adverse effects on your child’s health. According to UNICEF, 2 out of 3 children get disciplined violently in many countries worldwide.
If your child has consistently been ignoring you, it’s time to turn around the tide by exploring other alternatives to address their problems. Here are 5 ways to make your child stop ignoring you.
Do Away with the Distractions
If your child is having a great time playing video games in the living room, he may not hear you if you yell at him from a distance. They like to give their full concentration to the games when they are playing. That means external interference doesn’t really bother them. What does that mean to you as a parent? Well, you can shout at them from the kitchen or bedroom – they won’t hear you. If you want to draw their attention, walk into the room and ask them to pause their game and look at you. This helps tremendously. If you feel like the distractions are becoming unhealthy, consider limiting their TV time and encourage outdoor play. These constitute healthy discipline strategies.
Ensure they understand your instructions
A child who does not understand your instructions may choose to ignore you without feeling any guilt. Therefore, before you get mad at your child, ensure that he/she understands your message. You can try to find out whether they understand your instruction or not by asking them to repeat what you instructed them to do. Assuming they struggle to repeat your instruction, you have to reword your statement and break it down to their understanding. Hopefully, further clarification of your instruction will be firmly planted in their mind, and they won’t ignore you the next time.
Find out if he/she has hearing or other cognitive issues
Hearing impairment can also cause children to ignore instructions unintentionally. If your child constantly refuses to listen to instructions, it could mean that he/she has a hearing problem that deserves special medical attention like cochlear implant surgery for example. Post-surgery, rehabilitation as well as cochlear implant speech therapy may be required to help children to hear better using the implant and improve their spoken language if they have any speech challenges.
This solution can help your child to pay attention to your instructions and stop ignoring you. Cognitive problems such as learning disorders can also affect your child’s ability to process information and respond quickly. Be sure to consult pediatricians when you suspect that your child may have any of these challenges.
Issue a strong warning
For unruly children who take delight in ignoring instructions, you can consider measures to correct their behaviour before it becomes too late. If a child stares at you for some time without showing any interest in your instruction, then they are clearly ignoring you. Instead of ignoring it, consider giving them a warning. For example, you can say something like, ‘put your shoes on now or else you won’t have a sleep-over tomorrow.’ A wilful child will rush to perform his chores if he knows that his failure to do so will deprive him of something he so much loves.
Enforce your warnings
It’s not enough to issue a serious warning to your child. You must enforce the consequences of your warning. He plainly knows that you have threatened to seize his electronics if he doesn’t do one thing or another. Yet, a stubborn child will want to test whether you really mean your words. As a principled parent, you must go ahead to forfeit the privileges your child enjoys until he does what is required of him. Seize his favorite toys and gadgets, and he’ll get the task done in minutes.
There are two things involved when children ignore instructions — intentional and unintentional reasons. It’s important for parents to realize that sometimes their own behaviors cause kids to ignore them. For instance, giving lengthy instructions and begging can also cause children to ignore their parents. Use the methods mentioned above to address the real issues as to why your child may be ignoring you.