Having trouble getting through to your kids? Here is an overview of two common ways to get your kids to listen.
Throughout history the young have been ignoring their parent’s advice. How is it that seldom anyone ever gets it? “Do not do X or Z will happen.” So they do X anyway and watch as Z unfolds and are some how unable to figure out the simple logic. reprimand
Little kids aren’t any better, but by stressing the concept to them over and over it will certainly be more likely that repetition engraves it in their minds. The key to this is how you present this logic. There are plenty of ways to go about this, but here we will cover two.
Method #1: “Do what your told or else.”
Of course as a parent it is extremely important that we not forget to discipline our children, it is a necessary step in preparing them for the world. However, the idea of using the phrase “Do what your told or else” is that it inevitably leads the child to a different logic. He will reason poorly that if he does X and no one notices that Z will not occur. This leads him to believe that Z is the enemy, one which he must do all in his power to prevent without sacrificing his practice of X.
With this reasoning a child will lose all care for right and wrong/cause and effect and worse yet is that if he continues it will become habit. If unnoticed the child will develop pride in what he is doing, if his actions are spotted but not strictly checked he will learn to manipulate to get his way. So how then, do we prevent our child from developing this self destructive reasoning?
Let us take a look at Method #2: “Just do as you’re told and you will never be in trouble.”
I heard this saying from a very wise man, who had in turn heard it from a wiser man. He used this maxim to stress to his children the importance of seeing what their actions had caused. His children (he has many of them) were of a particularly troublesome sort; they were hyper, destructive, and all boys. In order to control the chaos in his household he used Method #2 to maintain order. Humans are very self-conscious creatures, and even more so as children.
Before he grounded them for smashing the TV, for breaking the bed, or for setting the kitchen on fire he would explain to them: “What did I tell you would happen if you didn’t stop sitting on the T.V.?” “Why do you think I told you to stop jumping on the bed?” “What did I tell you would happen if you stuck a diaper on the burner while dinner’s cooking?” Then he grounded them, but it was clear to them why, and they knew they were in the wrong. After that no one broke anymore TV’s or beds, and the physical properties of fire were better understood. They understood that it was better to not do X, because it was probably stupid.