There is no guarantee even for the one who did masters on parenting to cover all the bases of good parenting. Every grownup is raised in certain way, with parents having some (if not most) differences, Still the commitment and uniformity of parents in judgments stumps impact in a child. I have a vision about parenting that is a united form of my research, perception and take from my parents. We all have this hit and miss parental dos and don’ts that are carried to us from the parents.We take it forward to the next generations. So rather than worrying How to make children listen , it will more helpful to start the process as soon as possible.
Set an example-
I was watching a cricket match the other day and soon found my 1 year old who hardly started speaking was raising his hand showing his index finger to utter the word ‘OUT’. Yes he was copying the player’s urge.They start copying even earlier than that. What they see most, they do most. As they watch us as the most visible grownups around them they do copy us. This way it becomes easier for parent to make children listen to them if they do things consciously in front of kids.
If we are not exhibiting kindness, bravery, maturity, attentiveness we are better not to expect those traits from them.
Practice good habits-
Darren Mays public health researcher with the Cancer Prevention & Control Program says in a study “Our analysis showed that the longer adolescents are exposed to a parent’s smoking when the parent is addicted to nicotine, the more likely they are to begin smoking and to become regular smokers in the future,” It was also found that children with a smoking parent has 10 time more chance to smoke or try smoking than a child from non smoking parent.
We expect our children to eat veggies, watch less tv, engage with us more than engage with gadgets. However when we are to do the same we cannot always be conscious enough to love us so much to take good care of ourselves and change bad habits. So while trying to make children listen we are to try healthy habits too, as we are their first role models.
Be there to love-
We the parents by nature are more or less the most care giving people on earth to our children. Still there are moments when we cannot keep a promise or put our children first .The less such number of events occurs are the better. Because to raise a confident child with strong self esteem we need to build a secure and dependable base.
A British child psychiatrist John Bowlby shows that a “secure base” is one of the most necessary things to raise a confident kid with high self esteem. He showed in his research that the loving and trusting relationship between a parent and child gives him the signal of a trusted environment, where he feels free to move and explore.
Show accountability in your child’s presence-
We cannot always have the best self control. There are times when we lash out or behave improperly in front of kids. In such circumstances best solution is to let him know that it was wrong though it was done by us. Like we can start a conversation –“I think I should have been more active in helping your mom to do the dishes” or “I wish I did not skip bath the other day, taking a bath every day reenergize me.”
If we engage our children into such conversation we are reinforcing them into wish full thinking and letting them know even matured people have room for betterment.
Loyalty or faithfulness is one hard to engrave quality in people. Especially in today’s world when our child’s best friends are virtual characters in games. To practice sense of loyalty and bonding we need to share the glorious stories of our country and history with our children. Need to show how important friends are at their trying times.
However we need to be aware of not confusing loyalty with misplaced loyalty. We need not to indulge our children with unnecessary pleasure items whether it’s a food or a toy just to show our love or loyalty.
Keep promise and be the strong shoulder-
To raise a dependable child again we need to set forth an example. If we fulfill promises made to them they will learn the value of keeping word. It also requires us to come forward for our family, friends or other people who need us most at their time of need.
Be a parent
Though after a point children want more freedom and privacy but while giving them space we need not to transform into their dream parent .Because irrespective of the fact that they have grown, as a parent our job is to be observant and to be careful so that they are not harmed any way. However we need to make our position acceptable too by letting them know we only mean good and do, whatever they find as annoying for their safety.
Let them know good and evil co exist
Children are pure and trusting. As parent we want them to be positive but letting them aware of the presence of unreliability is also crucial. For example, at a super store one can tell his kid-“Hey both this toothpaste claims to be no 1, but how can both be number one at a time? I guess that one or both of them are not telling the full truth”
Be consistent in implementing consequences
It is not possible to expect right manner and good behavior from a child when we ourselves let them get away with mistakes and bench of trusts. Children understand consistency and when we do not show consistency on reaction they get confused. At times it may seem hard to implement a consequence but without enforcing it they will be misguided.
While enforcing consistent consequences through cause and effect mechanism, certain things should be taken into consideration
What we like and dislike; what we perceive as normal or abnormal greatly depend on what we have so far experienced. The habits that we have had till childhood are more or less our lifetime companion. So if we want our children to have a saving habit, thoughtful eating habit or any other good practices which we value than we should try to engrave them from very tender age; in an age appropriate manner. For example-My spouse taught my daughter to clean the toilet sit cover with tissue before using it at an age of three .With so many lessons she received some of which she chose to ignore with some she liked to keep, this one was somehow rooted down.So sooner the better completely goes with cultivating the good habits or stopping bad habits to grow (like-nail biting, swearing) .
No matter how obnoxious we behave with an irritating sales person over phone, how insensitively we ignore a plea of donation for a sick child in internet. We expect our children to be always polite, nice and kind. For ages all parents were inquisitive about ‘How to make children listen to you’. However it is more often ‘Us’ who come in our way to good parenting and setting good example as a role model.