Many parents find themselves repeating sentences such as 'tidy up your room' or 'empty the dishwasher' a million times without any success. Children who do not listen to their parents are not a new phenomenon, but surely there must be some measures parents can take to encourage their children listen to them. Emma Willars, Coaching & Consultancy Development Manager for Emergency Childcare and a consultant for Tinies Childcare, gives some useful advice on what mothers or fathers can do to communicate in an effective way and help create a better bond between them and their children.

Making more use of 'I' instead of 'you' statements

We all know that when we get into an argument with someone, whether it is our child or partner, we often tend to use phrases like 'you upset me when…' or 'you disappointed me…' However, it is much more beneficial to swap 'you' for 'I' using sentences such as 'I feel upset …' or 'I feel disappointed…' This shows the other person how you actually feel and encourages them to be part of the solution rather than making them the reason why we feel bad. This is also a method that can be used to encourage conversation and avoid conflict.

Good enough is actually good enough

Many people find it difficult to aim for 'good enough'. Striving for perfection in the workplace is often an attribute which finds its way into the home after we leave work. We need to stop having unrealistic expectations and most importantly stop expecting our children to be perfect. We need to understand that we are unable to achieve perfection in every aspect of our lives and when we make a mistake, it's important to admit it. By doing so we are setting an example for children of how to acknowledge errors and apologise. Positive reinforcement, meaning praising a child more often and criticising less, will encourage them to do the right thing.

Making time

Living a busy lifestyle means working long hours, having responsibilities at home and having very little spare time is rather common for people living in large cities today. How do you manage to finish all the things on your to-do-list and still find time to spend with your family? A good way to make family time count is to set a specific time i.e. dinner once a week where the family enjoys a meal together without watching television or using the internet, but instead communicate with one another. It is important to stay consistent when implementing such activities so that they become routine.

In order to make our children listen to what we are saying, set an example by encouraging conversation rather than conflict. Even though making time can be incredibly challenging in today's society stay persistent in creating a routine for family time together. By implementing the three simple measurements above we can build an environment for our children where they feel they both listen to what their parents say but also feel that they are listened to by them.

For more information on how to communicate more effectively at home listen to a webinar held by My Family Care -


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