Parenting comes with many joyful moments, but it’s far from an easy job. It can be exhausting, and sometimes, very stressful as well. As a parent, you will go through more than a few situations that will require a lot of patience, and one of them is definitely getting your child to pay attention. Most kids go through that stage of short attention span when everything just goes in one ear and out the other, but there are ways to make the best of that stage, too. So, if you could use a bit of help, here are a few suggestions to try!
Help your child identify their feelings
Sometimes, kids don’t talk to you because they don’t know how to express themselves. So, the first thing you need to do is teach your child to identify their feelings, so they can tell you how they feel. There are many ways of doing this, from talking about emotions to pointing them out when you see them. The thing that matters the most is to start early, because the sooner they learn how to identify their emotions, the sooner they will talk about them – and the sooner you can teach them how to express those emotions in the right way.
Make sure to limit their screen time
Computers, phones, and other technological gadgets are very often the main reason our kids ignore us when we talk to them. So, it’s very important to set boundaries when it comes to technology. For example, you can limit their screen time to a few hours per day, depending on their age, or you can simply forbid any technology in the kitchen, dining room, or living room.
Always provide clear directions
Sometimes, kids ignore us because we tend to order them around expecting them to listen to us without questioning what we say. So, to you, it may sound logical that they should come down when you call them for dinner because the food will get cold fast and it won’t be as tasty, but they may not know that. So, when asking them to do something, don’t just say tell them what to do – give clear directions, but also explain why that should be done right away to benefit them and/or others around them.
Recognize your kid’s limits
Every child is different, and every child has a different attention span. So, if your child’s attention span is a bit shorter than you’d prefer it to be, don’t blame them for it, and don’t try to force them to change. Instead, be patient, and look for other, more creative ways to get your child’s attention. For example, if your child is having trouble focusing in school, or if they are struggling with one specific subject, like Math, you should consider signing them up for maths tutoring classes. This way, they’d work in smaller groups, which means that they would both get and pay more attention, and thus, do better in school as well.
Be a good role model
Last but not least, if you want your kids to pay attention to you, you also have to pay attention to them. Set a good example by actively listening to them, and they are more likely to listen to you as well. After all, kids look up to their parents, and if you stare at your phone screen while they are talking to you about their day, how can you expect them not to do the same?
Getting your child to listen to you can sometimes be a challenge. However, there are still plenty of ways to achieve that with a bit of patience and creativity. So, think about the listed suggestions, apply them, and your child is guaranteed to pay more attention to you!