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Why isn’t my child listening?

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Why isn’t my child listening?

At some point in every parent’s life the question is asked “Why isn’t my child listening?” While caught up in the emotion, it is difficult to remember the stages of development your child goes through.

Egocentrism – They view the world from the standpoint of how they feel and what they need.  It’s not important to them how others are feeling or need.

Concrete Thinking – If the conflict is related to an object, it helps if the parent holds the object that is in question.  They need to see the disputed object to envision a solution.

Limited Verbal Skills – It can be challenging for young children to find the words that clearly articulate their feelings and needs.  When asking your child “What happened?” remember to give them enough time to respond and not jump to inaccurate assumptions.

Physical Expressiveness – Children express what they feel with their bodies.  They show frustration or anger by sometimes hitting or grabbing.  They need time and practice to learn to express themselves in words.

Striving for Independence – Doing things without a parent’s help is of great interest to children.  Share control with children and give them plenty of opportunities to exercise their emerging skills.

“One-thing-at-a-time” Thinking – Children can focus on only one thing or two ideas at a time.  Limit the number of directions you give your child at a time.  Split one large task into many smaller ones to create a feeling of confidence.

When we have a clear picture of how children think and feel we can become more aware of our response as parents.

* Margaret Czajkowski is the Executive Director of Pathways Academy.