How To Make Your Kid Listen (WITHOUT RAISING YOUR VOICE OR REPEATING YOURSELF) | conscious parenting
Like me, are you tired of repeating yourself to your children? Do you hate that you have to raise your voice or shout and yell to get their attention?
Then stop repeating yourself and try the One Chance Only System, a conscious parenting tip to make your kid listen without raising your voice or repeating yourself.
If you’re struggling to push away worries about birth that randomly pop into your head (scroll down for pregnancy application)... OR if you’re struggling to get your kid to listen — this one tip is gonna get you 100% more productive focus and results for you and your kids.
About a year ago, my parents were watching me attempt to catch my daughter’s attention. Bibi wanted to go to the park, and I needed her to put on her shoes. I’d TOLD her to put on her shoes at least half a dozen times, but there she was, racing around in stockinged feet, while my frustration simmered.
“Come, darling, put on your shoes,” I said lovingly, except that it may have sounded more like, “PUT ON YOUR EVER-LOVING SHOES ALREADY!” and it may have been… shouted.
“You’re doing it wrong,” they said.
My mum’s a psychotherapist and my dad’s become a friend beyond just a dad over the years, so my ears pricked up. “This better be good...”
They went on to explain that by giving Bibi so many chances to listen, to process and action the information, the repetition was just becoming background noise, annoying to me and ignored by her…
I was only making my life more difficult, and thus, the One Chance System was born.
From that moment on (fine, perhaps with a few slip-ups now and then), I would give an instruction once.
I get down to her level so she already knows I’ve got something to tell her. I
lock eye contact and even gently hold her chin if something else is distracting her.
I tell her, “I’m only going to say this one time, so focus.”
I made sure that she was ready to listen, and then I would tell her just once what she needed to do — put on her shoes so that we could go to the park, play her turn in the game, tidy her toys before story time, or whatever it was.
If Bibi didn’t do what she was asked to do, the park trip couldn’t happen. The game ended. The reward was lost.
One chance. One time.
No repeating myself endlessly.
No making myself crazy.
And, on top of that, I began teaching my daughter about the importance of listening and following through. Plus it’s in line with one of my own favourite mantras:
“ONE life baby, ONE chance, SEIZE IT!”.
The trick here is to work with what you have. A small child can’t focus intently for more than about a minute — so you need to keep your instructions simple and precise.
If you try to give your four year old a complete list for organising his room, you will be disappointed. If your instruction is, “Put all the legos in this box,” you have a much higher chance of success.
My husband Joe is a teacher who has spent years working with children. He knows firsthand that getting a classroom full of boys to pay attention can feel like herding cats.
But over the years, he’s done an enormous amount of research and learned a lot about how to be patient with children — and how to set appropriate expectations.
When we hears parents and educators handing out ADHD-like diagnoses like Christmas cards, he’s quick to point out that preschool children simply shouldn’t be expected to focus intently on a single task for more than a few minutes at a time.
When Joe visited China on a specialist teacher exchange programme, he saw that classes there lasted ONLY 30 MINUTES — which allowed students to focus on the material being taught. They have amazing school results and this less-time-more-quality-focus plays a big part in that.
Stop setting yourself up for frustration by expecting your child to stay in the zone for an extended period of time. Work on slowly building that focus muscle — aim for 30-60 SECONDS at first, and consider anything beyond that a bonus.
How can you apply this to yourself and pregnancy worries popping up uninvited into your head?
Use the same 30 second rule to manage your stress and fear so that it DOESN’T turn into a never-ending cycle of doom.
When you feel that stress or fear hit you hard, do this:
Take 5 seconds to feel the fear/stress and identify the thought or thing that is causing it.
Take 5 seconds to find the mantra or micro-meditation or affirmation that you need.
Take 20 seconds to repeat your mantra with 100% of your focus.
Here’s what this might look like in real life. You’re at the grocery store when a wave of panic hits you.
Feel and identify the fear. Admit that you’re afraid of going into labour in a public place and losing control. Deep breath in and out as you “call that fear out”, as if it were a naughty child throwing a tantrum in the sweets aisle.
Find your mantra. “I have everything I need inside to birth LIKE A BOSS A-NY-WHERE... in a field, at the back of a taxi and YES in this darn supermarket too, because my HEADSPACE is my WHERE, no the bricks and mortar around me.”
Repeat your mantra out loud for 20 seconds with 100% focus on your hypnobirthing training.
30 seconds, 100% focus. Feel the results in yourself.
When do you find yourself most frustrated, and what do you want to learn about patience and mindfulness? Come join in the discussion and find more resources in my Mindful Mamas Raising Tigers Facebook group,