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  1. #1
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    Default Getting kids to listen to you

    So I currently have to ask my kids at least five times before they take notice of me and even then I have to argue with them to do simple tasks. They also won’t answer me when I ask questions even if it’s something that they are invested in like “do you want honey or jam on your toast?” They just ignore me and when I ask if they heard me they say yes. WTF I’m starting to get really annoyed all the time because I’m wasting a lot of time asking them questions and then checking whether they’ve done what I’ve asked because usually they say they have done it when they haven’t. Any idea of what I should do besides losing my proverbial s$&t all the time? They are 12 and 9.

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    From reading your previous posts and now this one, I think you need to step back. Refuse to do some of these things and start letting them do things for themselves. They are doing this because you let them.

    They are old enough to get their own breakfast. Stop asking them what they want. They are old enough to pack their own school bag.

    What are they doing whilst you’re running around like a headless chook trying to do everything for them?

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    Are they doing something when they ignore you such at watching TV, reading a book, playing on a tablet? If our kids do not respond when spoken to, then whatever it is they are doing gets turned off or taken away from them. Not 1st time said, 2nd. As in "DS, have you washed your hands?" [get ignored] "excuse me, DS! Have you washed your hands?" [still no response] consequence happens.

    DS7 has inattentive ADHD, so a tap on the shoulder is a good cue that he needs to listen. He is also suspected of having autism, so communication is not an area of strength. DD13 has actually been asking a lot about ADHD as she is becoming self aware - she certainly has a lot of tell-tale signs.

    I mention all this to point out that I have 2 kids who are not naturally good listeners, in fact they're off in their own world most of the time, but I don't excuse their behaviour because of it. It is a habit they need to have formed - a person of 'authority' speaks to you, you respond or acknowledge. Action = consequence. I talk, you respond. You ignore, negative consequence.

    I am also big on positive reinforcement alongside this. So when they do show me good listening, I am quick to thank them and let them know I appreciate it.

    I agree with PPs comment about passing responsibility. I had to go into hospital recently. I was so worried about my 13 year old not getting up in time for the bus, as usually I have to go and practically drag her out of bed. But, what do you know, once she knew mum wasn't going to be there to do all that she set her alarm, woke up when it went off and got herself on the bus on time every day I was gone. It was a bit of a wakeup for me that sometimes when we think we're helping someone, where actually perpetuating their lazy habits.

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    Default Getting kids to listen to you

    I agree about the more you do for them the less they’ll do for themselves. This also means they’ll ignore what you say or ask because eventually you’ll give up and do it for them.

    I say this from experience. Last year I told my then 9&11y/o’s that I would not be making their breakfast or school lunch anymore and they needed to do it. My DH could not cope with them not eating breakfast every day so he took over making their breakfast. They were making their own lunches for school until early term 1 this year when DH thought they were going to be late one day and did it for them. He’s now doing it every day because they now stay in bed until the very last minute knowing Dad will make their lunch.

    My DH complains endlessly that the girls don’t do anything for themselves yet he’s the one who took over 2 things they were doing.

    As for getting them to listen, I haven’t mastered the art of that yet.
    Last edited by GirlsRock; 04-06-2021 at 15:23.

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    I get it, perhaps I don’t know what consequence I should use? I do take a book away or tablet or whatever they are playing with if they don’t answer, but sometime they are standing right in front of me and outright ignore me and I know this is a habit what consequence do you give besides taking stuff away that is distracting them?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Squrchi View Post
    I get it, perhaps I don’t know what consequence I should use? I do take a book away or tablet or whatever they are playing with if they don’t answer, but sometime they are standing right in front of me and outright ignore me and I know this is a habit what consequence do you give besides taking stuff away that is distracting them?
    I honestly don’t know what advice to give you.

    If it makes you feel a little better I have to tell my girls 4-5 times per night to brush their teeth, get off devices, put on their pyjamas, get into bed. It’s beyond frustrating as every single night (it feels like it anyway) my hormonal, eye rolling pre-teen makes some smart @rse remark about “Mum’s grumpy at bedtime AGAIN”. Yep! She’s right. It honestly shouldn’t take repeated requests to do something. It’s not like it’s new to them, they’ve been doing this for most of their lives, yet somehow they don’t get moving until I’m using my most frustrated, ****ed off tone!

    So yeah, no advice. I get where you’re at.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GirlsRock View Post
    I honestly don’t know what advice to give you.

    If it makes you feel a little better I have to tell my girls 4-5 times per night to brush their teeth, get off devices, put on their pyjamas, get into bed. It’s beyond frustrating as every single night (it feels like it anyway) my hormonal, eye rolling pre-teen makes some smart @rse remark about “Mum’s grumpy at bedtime AGAIN”. Yep! She’s right. It honestly shouldn’t take repeated requests to do something. It’s not like it’s new to them, they’ve been doing this for most of their lives, yet somehow they don’t get moving until I’m using my most frustrated, ****ed off tone!

    So yeah, no advice. I get where you’re at.
    Yep, later in the day it just gets worse and worse. Working with kids I'm pretty used to repeating myself A LOT. Routines help a lot, that way I can say "ok, you've cleaned your teeth, now what do you need to do?" Rather than do this, do that all the time.

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    The consequences can be natural ones, i.e. if you don't tell me what you want on your toast, you don't get toast. If you don't pack your school bag, you won't have what you need at school, etc. It also helps to have their full attention before you speak - that is, eye contact before asking a question.

    They should be pretty self sufficient by 12, and on the way aged 9, with you in the support and managerial role rather than just doing everything for them. Gently though if they're used to it, one job done solo until it's habit, then add another.

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    I guess it's the same way our parents got us to listen to them...a touch of fear lol

    That's not to say you have to get out the cane or anything but they need to know you mean business, especially since they're older and should be more autonomous. In my experience, some kids don't respond to being told off so consequences can help drive the point home. If they don't tell you what they want for breakfast, then they go without or make it themselves. Any other instances where they fail to respond to requests- loss of ipad/game/sport or whatever else for x amount of time.

    Sit them down with no distractions and explain your expectations and the consequences that will occur so you can be sure they've heard you. The rest is up to them.


 

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