I just had a great first session with a new client. This mom’s biggest frustration right now is that her two children (11 and 9) “do not listen.” Once she shared that her daughter has an auditory processing disorder, and realized that most of her instructions are in spoken word only, she had an ah-ha moment. Love it! It never dawned on her that her daughter was simply not processing the information the way it was being delivered. Now she is going to be using eye contact on a regular basis, ensuring that the communication is getting through, and that they are connecting. Yay!
With her son, he has ADHD, and is unable to handle more than one task at a time. The task she gave him was “clearing his plate from the table.” In reality, because she wanted him to clear off the food and put it in the dishwasher, she was asking him to do four tasks: (1) pick up the plate, (2) go to the sink, (3) clear off the food, and (4) put it in the dishwasher. He never got to the dishwasher, and was always in trouble for that. She is now going to work with him on truly making it one thing at a time. She can build from there.
There are so many reasons your kids may not be listening. Assume the best. Assume they would “if they could.” Is the message getting through? Are they understanding what you want? Do they hear you? Are they able to do the task at hand? Those are some great questions to start with. Come from a place of curiosity, of wanting to understand. It makes a huge difference.
Enjoy your day!
[Traci Carman is the Founder and CEO of A Loving Way ~ How I Parent Makes a Difference. Join our free monthly Q&A calls. To get more information and to register, visit us at www.alovingway.com/monthlycall.]