Boy with hands on head screaming

Ever Wonder Why Your Child Doesn’t Listen to you? Here’s Why.

I was reminded this week just how much our kids don’t really listen to us, they observe. This is something that I wish us as parents would stop trying to eliminate from our children’s psyche. We are growing into a society of unobservant and obedient lapdogs who cannot think or move on our own without the approval of someone else. If you want your children to listen, set your ego and need to be heard aside and show instead of speak.

My son’s room was a mess!

We had been after our 11-year-old son to clean up his bedroom. It was a mess! Now, granted, he usually is pretty good with his bedroom and sometimes cleans it up without our cue. But, for whatever reason, he had neglected it for too long. Between his collection of rocks, sticks and just about anything else he can horde, his room was disgustingly messy. I was sure I would have found a live raccoon in there if I dug around.

Messy room funny

After about two days of “nagging” him to get his room clean, we were verbally getting “tight’ with him. Threatening him with this, or that. Calling him lazy and pretty much giving him the gears every time he would tell us: “I’ll do it tomorrow!”

Well, the discussion came to ahead.

Every night, he likes to have one of us lay down beside him in bed and discuss our day or anything else that may be on our mind. It has become a tradition and perhaps even a comforting thing for him. I like it because it is the one time during the entire day that we can speak with him without absolutely any disruption. Some nights, we really can get into a good deep conversation, that sets us up for the next day.

I put my voice away and showed my weakness.

Anyway, after three days of trying to get him to clean his room, I decided to use another “tactic.” As he shuffled his stuff to make a pathway to his bed, I stopped at the door, refusing to enter his room. He wondered why I stopped. I simply responded in a calm voice: “I’m not comfortable entering your room. Your mess gives me anxiety, and I can’t be at ease talking with you.” I didn’t raise my voice, and I didn’t repeat myself. He got the message.

It killed me to hear him sobbing himself to sleep, but I knew, this was a lesson he needed to learn. His sobbing did rip a hole in my heart, but I was honest with him, and I didn’t try to protect that soft part of me with my loud voice. Mess and dirt in my house give me anxiety. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not obsessive with cleanliness or order. But there is a ceiling of my comfort. His room was barely passable as a room!

The next morning, he got up and instantly got to work clearing up the messes that were scattered throughout his room. After a good 45 minutes, he had his room looking top-notch. He had learned a lesson that day, and so did I. I don’t need my son to listen to me, I need him to feel with me.

Stop feeding your ego with your kids’ ears.

Our children, and anyone for that matter, never really listen to our words. They listen to our tone, our pitch and the force of our voice. They can hear your words loud and clear, even if you sounded like the teacher from Charlie Brown, but they won’t move to change until you feel for them.

When our kids don’t listen to us, we feel invalidated and disrespected, so we get louder and more forceful, but they get more and more distant because they can’t feel what you feel. Leave your need for validation for your Facebook feeds. Your kids’ job is not to validate your weak self-esteem! Don’t be scared to feel in front of your children, be honest and be weak for them. They don’t want superheroes, and they certainly don’t want prison wardens either. They just want YOU.

I was reminded this week just how much our kids don’t really listen to us, they observe. This is something that I wish us as parents would stop trying to eliminate from our children’s psyche. We are growing into a society of unobservant and obedient lapdogs who cannot think or move on our own without the approval of someone else. If you want your children to listen, set your ego aside and your need to be heard and show instead of speak.

My son’s room was a mess!

We had been after our 11 year old son to clean up his bedroom. It was a mess! Now, granted, he usually is pretty good with his bedroom and sometimes cleans it up without our cue. But, for whatever reason, he had neglected it for too long. Between his collection of rocks, sticks and just about anything else he can hoarde, his room was disgustingly messy. I was sure I would have found a live raccoon in there if I dug around.

After about two days of “nagging” him to get his room clean, we were verbally getting “tight’ with him. Threatening him with this, or that. Calling him lazy and pretty much giving him the gears every time he would tell us: “I’ll do it tomorrow!”

Well, the discussion came to a head.

Every night, he likes to have one of us lay down beside him in bed and discuss our day, or anything else that may be on our mind. It has become a tradition and perhaps even a comforting thing for him. I like it, because it is the one time during the entire day that we can speak with him without absolutely any disruption. Some nights, we really can get into a good deep conversation, that sets us up for the next day.

I put my voice away and showed my weakness

Anyway, after three days of trying to get him to clean his room, I decided to use another “tactic.” As he shuffled his stuff to make a pathway to his bed, I stopped at the door, refusing to enter his room. He wondered why I stopped. I simply responded in a calm voice: “I’m not comfortable entering your room. Your mess gives me anxiety and I can’t be at ease talking with you.” I didn’t raise my voice and I didn’t repeat myself. He got the message.

It killed me to hear him sobbing himself to sleep, but I knew, this was a lesson he needed to learn. His sobbing did rip a whole in my heart but I was honest with him and I didn’t try to protect that soft part of me with my loud voice. Mess and dirt in my house gives me anxiety. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not obsessive with cleanliness or order. But there is a ceiling of my comfort. His room was barely passable as a room!

The next morning, he got up and instantly got to work clearing up the messes that were scattered throughout his room. After a good 45 minutes, he had his room looking top notch. He had learned a lesson that day and so did I. I don’t need my son to listen to me, I need him to feel with me.

Stop feeding your ego with your kids’ ears

Our children, and anyone for that matter, never really listen to our words. They listen to our tone, our pitch and the force of our voice. They can hear your words loud and clear, even if you sounded like the teacher from Charlie Brown, but they won’t move to change until you feel for them.

When our kids don’t listen to us, we feel invalidated and disrespected, so we get louder and more forceful, but they get more and more distant because they can’t feel what you feel. Leave your need for validation for your Facebook feeds. Your kids’s job is not to validate your weak self-esteem! Don’t be scared to feel in front of your children, be honest and be weak for them. They don’t want superheroes and they certainly don’t want prison wardens either. They just want YOU.

Parenting