Like most dads, there are times I find myself in a constant state of frustration. I’m not always there, but there have definitely been a few days when I’ve felt like all I do is discipline. I feel like all I’m doing is telling these kids the same stuff again and again. Without exception though, there always is that moment when we connect. When what I say finally gets through and it’s as though for the very first time in several moments… they listen.
I can’t think of anything more frustrating than having to go through this process again and again. So how can we break the cycle and actually get our elementary aged children to actually want to listen to what we have to say?
Here’s 4 tips:
1. Teach – Don’t over-protect
One of the hardest transitions that you will make as a parent is the transition from having protection as your primary goal to that of teaching.
Naturally, you will never fully abandon the role of protecting; however, that role does shift when you’re parenting an Elementary aged child. Protection answers with “because I said so” when teaching answers with “let me explain”.
2. Ask open ended questions
by doing this you keep the conversation going
by doing this you actually are asking your child to express him/her self
by doing this you’re teaching them how to listen
3. Tell stories
Kids love stories. They all do! Every child! This is a lesson I learned years ago as a Children’s Pastor. If you really want your child to want to listen to you… you just need to tell it to them in the form of a story. Lectures rarely work… stories do. Don’t believe me, give it a try.
4. Have fun with them
We’ve all heard it said, “a family that plays together, stays together…” There’s a good reason why we say this : it’s true. When we as parents take the time to enjoy our children and enjoy our time with them we build a necessary bond that is essential to connecting with our kids. It’s during these times together that we build trust.