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When You Hear My Voice
Many times the parent/child relationship is strained because as parents we fail to properly communicate to our children what we expect of them. The result of this failure on our part is angry parents and frustrated kids. Parenting is one of the areas in my life where my failures are often brought clearly before my eyes and I can see where I "messed up". Its easy to just "chalk it up as a loss" and then move on, but the reality is that I need (we need) to figure out why that didn't work and develop a plan to fix it next time.
If you ever find yourself raising your voice at your child, if you ever find your child seemingly ignoring what you have just told him to do, then the below bit of wisdom might be helpful to you.
It is vitally important to teach your child to listen to you! for many reason, 1. Because its required of them by God to be under His umbrella of blessing. 2. Because it's vital to having a proper parent/child relationship. 3. Because they will learn from you how they are to respond to others in life and even God.
Teach your child how to listen:
At the McCreight household we often recite this with our kids. It's not because we have it all figured out that I share this, but because I know that it works when properly practiced. It looks something like this, my kids (I have four) are talking and playing when suddenly I walk into the room and begin to speak. I say something like, "I need you guys to go get your shoes on and get ready to go, we are leaving in just a minute." The kids keep wrestling and laughing and no one has shoes on when its time to go. The result of this could be me getting frustrated and yelling at the kids. After this yelling episode transpires the whole atmosphere of the home changes and the kids wonder "why is dad yelling at me? What did I do?". I realized that this cycle was present in our home and I wanted to try and find a way to stop it.
Now we remind our kids, "when you hear my voice this is what you are supposed to do"
- The child is to immediately stop whatever it is that he/she is doing. Pause the movie, set the crayon down, halt in the wrestling match, etc.
- The child is to look the adult directly in the eye.
- The child is to refrain from speaking or even thinking up something to say while the adult speaks.
- The child is to listen intently to what mom or dad is saying.
Once the parent is finished speaking then the child can ask a question, if necessary, or they can do what it is that they were asked to do. This can help prevent frustration, disobedience, and the necessity of discipline being divvied out in many cases.
There are many other factors at play in this scenario for sure. But we can't expect nor inspect obedience if we are not even certain our kids heard what we said. And where else will Jr learn respect?
image from https://msutoday.msu.edu/news/2016/helping-parents-of-children-with-type-1-diabetes/