Stop The Eye Rolls From Your Child
4 tips parents can use to stop the eye rolls and start connecting better with their child. These 4 tips will have you talking to your child and connecting better during the rough pre-teen and teenage years.
It is Question and Answer LIVE and today’s question was: My pre-teen and I are starting to butt heads. It feels like they aren’t listening to me anymore, and my sweet daughter is becoming a diva. What irritates me the most is how much she seems to ignore my requests. How can I stop this now before it gets worse?
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Transcript of Stop The Eye Rolls From Your Child:
Today we are going to talk about getting your child to listen to you better!
Today’s question is: My pre-teen and I are starting to butt heads. It feels like they aren’t listening to me anymore, and my sweet daughter is becoming a diva. What irritates me the most is how much she seems to ignore my requests. How can I stop this now before it gets worse?
Step 1: Calm yourself down first. When our kids get us angry or annoyed, we tend to talk down to them in our anger. This is a bad habit that many parents get hooked on when kids are small because younger children will take it. As your children get older, they begin to resent you for how you may be talking “down” to them. To stop yourself from yelling or speaking from anger or disappointment, it is important that parents pause for a moment, collect themselves, and calm down first. If I am angry, I tell my kids that I am mad and need 5 minutes to collect myself before addressing the problem. This role modeling is awesome for your kids to see, and it gives me a few minutes to collect my feelings. Remember: How you respond to your child’s behavior will greatly impact how the whole scene unfolds. Yelling at your children will either put them in a flight or fight mode. Flight is a cowering state of being, just as they may have reacted as a young child; OR a fight mode will have your child standing up for themselves and yelling back at you. Those are primitive responses ingrained in your child. We don’t want to trigger either of those responses. We want to start a dialogue instead.
Step 2: Don’t lecture. Older kids already know what they did wrong. They need help learning from their mistakes and understanding the consequences of their actions. That is where your focus should be. Lecturing will only lead to eye rolls and kids tuning out. Instead, start asking questions to help your child learn from their mistakes. To help you with this, download my FREE PDF Question To Ask Your Child So They Will Learn From Their Mistakes at https://theimpactfulparent.com/learningquestions Older kids don’t need parents to tell them not to make bad decisions. They need their parents to redirect them, helping them recognize the consequences of their choices and how to make a better choice next time. This FREE PDF will help you do that, parents, so go to https://theimpactfulparent.com/learningquestions to get this free resource!
Step 3: Let your child talk. As your child gets older, they want a voice. They need you to hear them. Even if you don’t agree with your young human, they need to feel like they are heard; otherwise, they will resent you. I highly suggest you ask your child when they are in a good mood if they feel like you hear them. You might be surprised by the response. Either way, strive to let your child have a voice and then rephrase what you hear them say and what you see them doing. When you summarize what you hear your child saying, it creates space for them to feel understood or correct you. Either way, this is a win-win. So instead of commanding, demanding, or criticizing when you want your child to do something, try to describe what you see. For example,
- Don’t say, Put your books away. Instead, try saying, I see that you put your books on the table again. Please move them before dinner.
- Don’t say I can’t believe you failed that test! Instead, try saying, I thought you felt ready for that exam, so I am surprised you got a D. What do you think happened?
Step 4: Try to phase out the outright NO. How you say no to your child matters. Again, if you say no in a harsh tone, you’ll automatically invoke a fight response. Your child will immediately get defensive. To avoid this, I suggest you phrase your ‘NO’ with a ‘Yes’ included too. For example, your child might ask if they can meet up with some friends after school. You know that your family already has other commitments, so you have to tell your child No. I would phrase my ‘no’ like this: Of course, you can see your friends after school, but we can’t do that today. I will call Jake’s mom and see if he can pick you up after school tomorrow instead.
See how I am coupling my No with a Yes? Your child might still have trouble accepting the no, but I find this technique helps children not focus on the negative as much, and the push back isn’t as strong. You may want to strive for coupling your ‘no’ with a conditional ‘yes’ for teenagers. For example, if your child asks to have an extra hour of video gaming with their buddies, but you don’t like the idea of more screen time, maybe you can compromise with your teen by saying, “Sure, you can have an extra hour of screen time tonight as long as all homework is done and you go for a walk with me around the park after school for 30 minutes.”
These are only a few tips to get you started communicating with your pre-teen and teen better, but I hope it helps! As your child gets older, you’ll need to become more flexible and creative with your responses, which isn’t always easy, but you can do it with practice. It’s difficult for parents to shift from an authoritarian ‘No because I said so’ response to the more lenient responses I suggested today. Still, in the long run, it can help your relationship with your child.
I hope all this helps. You got this parents. I am just here to help.