Have you ever thrown up your hands and said (or screamed): “Why doesn’t my child listen to me?”
If so, you’re not alone.
We all want our children to pay attention and respond when their safety is at stake. But most of our struggles are not life-and-death situations. And while we want collaboration, we really don’t want compliance. Compliance leads to poor boundary-setting in relationships and even a greater potential for abuse.
When we’re trying to use respectful parenting tools, we want to support our child’s autonomy—but we still have to get out the door in the morning. (And that’s only one reason respectful parenting is so hard!)
How are we supposed to do both of those things when it seems like our child is ignoring or even disrespecting us?
There are 13 common reasons why our kids don’t listen.
When we understand which is the reason(s) that our child isn’t listening at a give moment, we can do something about it. Then, instead of us dragging them along kicking and screaming, they’ll want to collaborate with us.
1. Your Child Feels Disconnected.
2. Your Child Doesn’t Want to Stop What They’re Doing.
3. Your Child Didn’t Hear You.
4. Your Child Doesn’t Have a Complete Grasp of Time.
5. Your Child Doesn’t Want to Do the Task.
6. Your Child Can’t Remember Multiple Instructions.
7. Your Child Wants to Do a Favored Activity Instead.
8. Your Child Has Been Conditioned to Wait Until You Yell.
9. Your Child Doesn’t Like Being Reminded.
10. Your Child Feels Judged by Your Language and Repeated Requests.
11. You Don’t Listen to Your Child, So Your Child Doesn’t Want to Listen to You.
12. You and Your Child Don’t Understand Each Other’s Needs.
13. Your Child Has a Need for More Autonomy.
As a bonus, here’s another insight to consider…:
14. The Child Refuses to Do What You Ask.
Embrace the opportunity to learn and grow alongside your child. Celebrate the small victories and navigate setbacks with patience. You may still find yourself having a big reaction after your child “doesn’t listen.” It’s part of the process! As you incorporate these ideas, you may find yourself feeling at the end of your rope a little less often.
Then you’ll be on your way to creating a relationship that’s in much greater alignment with your values.