Do you ever feel like your questions and requests are ignored? You ask your kids if they have homework or to put their shoes away and you get no response. But you’re certain they can hear you because as soon as you even whisper “ice cream” everyone looks up and says, “yes!”
You are not alone!
It’s frustrating when we think we’re being intentionally ignored; it’s easy to become angry when it seems our children have “selective hearing” because they only tune in for the fun things, and otherwise tune out the more mundane daily life tasks. And like any time we feel our children are intentionally doing something to us, this is an opportunity to apply our “step back and reflect” peaceful parenting skills and ask ourselves how we would respond in a similar situation. When we take the time to step back and reflect on how we would respond, we often conclude that our child’s response (or lack of response) really isn’t personal at all.
When I’m reading, emailing, texting, watching tv, or involved in another such task, it’s difficult for me to “tune in” when someone asks something of me. Sometimes I’ll tune in with a certain word, but oftentimes I need something to “snap” me into the present moment. And children are no different.
In our family when we realize our requests are not being heard we take responsibility ourselves by going up to the person, touching them lightly to get their attention, and then repeating our request or question. Taking personal responsibility for the delivery of the message takes a little extra effort, but bypasses the frustration of repeating ourselves and helps everyone remain respectful in their communication; no yelling, shaming or blaming needed.
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