by SARA AHMAD
Stop repeating yourself. Your child will be all ears once you start following these attention-getting tips
Ever notice how your child's bionic ears pick up every word of your private conversations, whether it is about a family matter, or a discussion with your friend on kids and their behaviour, yet when you really need him to listen it's like he's switched off his hearing? Between school and home, kids this age commonly grow tired of paying attention and decide they need to tune out. While your child may be interested in your private talks, you need your kid to listen to other important things like "It's time to turn off the TV, and go to bed", so tailor the way you're delivering the message to prevent a communication failure. Try these tips to break your child's sound-free barrier.
Be A Guide
Kids this age still have a way to travel in terms of motor and cognitive development, as well as emotional growth. It's possible that she's giving up because the task is beyond her reach. For example, unless you actually teach her how putting on a jacket or socks can be impossible for a newly minted 3-year-old. Make sure you set aside pressure free time to share those skills, and give her time to practise.
Your job is to model the benefits, as well as the joys of self-reliance. If you're frustrated because you can't get your pictures uploaded to your Facebook page, or once again have forgotten one of the key ingredients you need for what you're about to make for dinner, get your sense of humour on and let your child see you pull it together – it might be just the moment to teach your kid that fabled mantra: I think I can, I know I can.
Avoid Providing An Information Overload
Your child's brain can only process so much. Hit her with too many details "Turn off the TV, then go upstairs, get changed, brush your teeth, and comb your hair" and she won't be able to recall anything past step one or two. Be too vague "Get ready for bed" and she won't take your request seriously, or chances are she'll probably skip a couple of steps. Instead, split your request into two parts. Start with something like, "When cartoon is over, it's time to turn off the TV and get ready for bed." Then once the TV is off, continue with, "Okay, honey, night suit and tooth-brushing are next. Do you want to skip or hop into the bathroom?" This way your child will get the things step by step, and is more likely to follow all your instructions. Try it out!
When you dwell on a topic for too long, your child will tune out. For instance, if you say, "Honey, we're meeting your aunty in the park and you'll want to climb at the playground. So you have to change out of your sandals before we leave home," it's unlikely that he'll change into appropriate shoes. Instead, be concise and make the request up front: "Honey, put on your sneakers now because we're going to the playground."
Work On Your Delivery
Your child will listen better if you engage more than just her sense of hearing. A visual approach (looking her in the eye) combined with a tactile one (placing your hands on her shoulders) can help her focus better on what you're saying
Don't Sound Like A Broken Record
If you feel like you're saying the same things over and over, stop. Kids can become conditioned to wait to respond until you've said something for the fifth time. Your words become nothing but background noise. Your kid will be more inclined to do what's asked of him – if he understands that his actions have clear, enforceable consequences. Give him specific instructions no more than twice, and be sure to follow through with appropriate disciplinary actions if he doesn't comply. On the flip side, acknowledge when he follows directions the first time. Saying "Thanks for being a good listener" will reinforce his desire to pay attention.
Make Listening A Game
Your child spends a significant portion of her day being talked to and that's tiresome. Sometimes little ears need to tune in to some fun. Fine-tune your child's listening skills by exposing her to a variety of auditory experiences. Take a walk together and listen for sounds like birds or insects, the wind in the trees, and the crunching of grass. Groove to kid-friendly tunes on your iPod and discuss what they mean.
Give Your Full Attention
You may think that you're able to listen to your child while watching the news or texting your best friend. But what your child sees is that mom is only half listening. And if you're not paying attention, why should he? Try to focus on one form of communication at a time. Give him your undivided attention: You can make eye contact, acknowledge what he's saying, and ask questions in between. Kids feel appreciated and valued when you take the time to really listen, plus they learn to reciprocate.