Giving orders to children is something normal in their upbringing, but there are different ways to do it depending on your educational style. Ideally, they should be orders from positive discipline where empathy and active listening with the child are always the basis of good communication.
It is possible that at some time you have given orders to your children and they have not listened to you or you believe that they do not want to listen to you and that upsets you. Most of the time when a parent believes that his son does not want to listen to him, it may be that he has not listened to him because the communication has not been successful.
Listen so that you listen
If you want to give orders to your child, the first thing you should keep in mind is that he has to listen to you, but to do so, teach him to do it by listening to him first. Children tend to focus on exploring their environment, even when they are older, for example when they are 12 years old, so you must be patient.
Children think a lot and have other priorities, so sometimes they do not understand why why your order is so important at that moment. But of course, when you need to give an order, how can you make them listen to you and, of course, obey you?
How to get them to your children pay attention to you
The first thing you should keep in mind is that you should not instill fear in your child or show yourself too much authoritarian or aggressive, as this will only make your child block and stop listening to you. If he listens to you, your child will know what you are saying!
1. Do not speak to him or give him an order until you have his attention
Do not speak to your child until you have captured his attention and for this you have to connect before speaking. This means that you cannot give orders from another room or away from your child and then scold him because “he has not listened to you”.
To do this, you must be close, go down to your child’s level and lightly touch him. Observe what he is doing and connect with him with a comment such as: “Come on, look at that train”. When you connect with another person, the mind opens and listening is facilitated. This is not manipulating, it is simply recognizing respect for what is important to him.
When he has looked up you will have to look him in the eye and that is when you should begin to speak. If he doesn’t look up, that’s when you should get his attention by saying something like, “Can I tell you something?” And when I look up, you start talking.
2. Do not repeat yourself
After having done the previous step, if you have asked or said something once and you have not received an answer… do not just repeat yourself. When you don’t have your child’s attention, you should go back to what we discussed in the previous point.
3. Use few words: be clear and direct
Most of us parents tend to ramble on the message and lose our children’s attention by using too many words or a language they don’t understand. In order for him to really understand you and pay attention to exactly what you want him to do, try to use as few words as possible when you are giving him instructions.
4. Look from their perspective
If you were busy doing something you love and your partner ordered you to do something that is not a priority for you, how would you feel? could you easily disconnect so i can do it? Your son doesn’t have to share your priorities, he just has to meet her needs. You don’t have to share them because you’re their mom or dad… It helps a lot if you can recognize when they want to continue what they’re doing. You can say something like, “I know it’s hard to stop playing right now, but I need to…”.
5. Get him involved in cooperation
No one wants to listen to someone giving orders; in fact, it always stimulates resistance. Think about how you feel when someone orders something from you. Therefore, keep your tone affectionate, when possible you have to give him orders and always remain calm. For example, you can say something like: “It’s bath time, honey. Do you want to go now or in five minutes? Ok, 5 minutes and then we go to the bathroom.”
If you really need to do it NOW, you will have to say it as a command, but keep it warm and empathetic: “We agreed to come in in five minutes, and it’s been five minutes. I know, you wish you could stay and play all night, but now you can’t. When you’re older, you can stay longer! Now, it’s time to go inside and go to the bathroom. Come on”.