Toddlers can really be quite a handful. Their development in this stage of life is pretty rapid which makes it amazing to watch and exhausting to keep up with. At this age, children’s physical growth and cognitive development make them naturally curious about their immediate environment. Kids tend to get hold of objects and use their senses to explore, yes, this includes putting almost everything inside their mouths. And there is also a typical explosion in their emerging language skills: they tend to echo and copy words they hear often.
The combination of these changes in toddlers sometimes make them appear unruly and for lack of better words—naughty. It just seems like they’re all over the place and they won’t pay attention! Most parents would agree that there is such a truth to the term “terrible twos” for this age group. How to get your toddler to listen is a topic most parents encounter.
Talking to your kids effectively means the combination of two things: getting them to pay attention to you and getting them to respond to what it is you are trying to put across. Getting your little one to obey your instruction is a challenge because they tend to be egocentric and want things their way. Before we talk about some tips, you have to keep in mind that kids are not little adults. What works for grown-ups will not work for them. Dealing with children entails ample patience and respect for their individual differences.
3 Tips on How To Get Your Toddler To Listen:
1. Establish a routine
Children respond better when they know what will happen next. Simply put, kids do not like uncertainty. They want to feel secure about their environment. The reason why children work well in preschools is that these places have a set of routines the children follow; they have time for play, eating, drawing and more. Your child’s routine at home doesn’t have to be complex or to mimic that of a school. A simple list of what happens at home will suffice like ‘bath comes after breakfast’ ,‘tv time is only for 20 minutes’ or ‘two stories before sleep time’. Establishing a routine at home doesn’t just give your child security, it also teaches reading directions such as verbal and non-verbal cues. Once your child gets used to a routine, talking to your toddler would be easier since you wouldn’t have to go through the trouble of explaining why things have to be done or why rules exist.
2. Do not use baby talk
Your toddler may be young but he or she is able to distinguish sounds well. Your child needs to be able to tell by the tone of your voice when you are asserting authority, when you are giving praise or whatever mood it is you are in. Using baby talk with young children will not work because to them, high pitched, sing-song voice will always mean happy. You will get their attention but you will not get them to follow you later on.
3. Respond to their needs
Responding to children’s needs isn’t about smothering them with attention. It means giving them what they need when they ask for it, most preferably, when they ask for it verbally and nicely. Why is this important? Responding to children’s needs gives them the sense of trust in you and a respect for you–that you are a person to look up to and listen to.
How to get your toddler to listen is a challenge at first, but once your child knows how you manage things at the home, it’ll be much easier. Of course, it has to be emphasized that for these tips to work you need firmness and consistency, yes, firmness and consistency even if your little one makes your heart melt or wraps you around her finger with a single look. After all, it is up to us, parents and grown-ups to nourish and guide them and that begins with getting them to really listen.
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