Many children in their developmental stages will shy away from following directions and listening. It’s a natural reaction; children don’t want to be told what to do, because the world is so fresh and new. However, it’s important that, as a parent, you understand the necessity for developing these skills at an early age. If your child chooses not to listen to your directions, they may do the same in school and continue to do so for the rest of their life. By instilling a sense of importance and urgency around following directions and listening effectively, you can help your child come to understand why it’s so important to you and the rest of the family.
When a Child Doesn’t Listen, Employ Defensive Strategies
Let’s say your child throws a tantrum in the middle of the grocery store and won’t stop screaming. As a parent, would you leave the store with your child immediately, or give them what they want? Many parents would choose the latter simply to make their child be quiet. This is not the optimal choice for teaching children how to listen and follow directions in the long run! Gentle but firm is the prescription for these situations.
Just because you think it’s okay this one time, it isn’t — your child will automatically resort to crying and fits to get what they want from that point forward. It is far better to experience the momentary discomfort than set this pattern up for future repetition.
Listening Is Just as Important as Following Directions
Helping your child become a better listener is the second step. When you tell them to do something and they give you an attitude, have them repeat your first direction. If they still refuse to listen, you might have to resort to disciplinary action.