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Last Updated on February 23, 2017 by Diane Hoffmaster
Have you ever stood in the room with your child, spoken to them, and have them completely ignore you? I cannot tell you how many times something like that has happened in my house. Selective deafness is a problem that plagues most children at some point in their life. If you have ever wondered how to get your kids to listen better, I am sharing some tips from BusyKid that might help solve your child's listening problem.
How to get your kids to listen!
Last May, a study was done on the human attention span and it revealed that our ability to pay attention has dropped from an average of 12 seconds in the year 2000 to just eight seconds today. Humans now have a shorter attention span than a goldfish (nine seconds average). That’s right, in a stare-down with a goldfish, the goldfish would win.
While every generation has had parents pleading with their kids to listen better or focus more, never before has a generation had to battle a foe the likes of what technology is throwing at families around the world. So what’s a parent to do in order to help their children listen better and focus more, but yet, keep connected to the world around them? Here are some suggestions on how to get your kids to listen in today's fast paced world.
Know What Kids Think
A June study by AVG Technologies surveyed more than 6,000 children, ages 8 to 13 and found that 32 percent of children felt unimportant when their moms and dads were distracted by their phones. In addition, 54 percent of the kids think their parents spend too much time on their phones. Hear that mom and dad? Time to lead by example.
A No Phones Meal Deal
Whether you eat as a family at home or in a restaurant, make your meals “phone free”. Make it a family rule that no phones are allowed when the family is eating. No calls, no text, no snaps and no tweets. Most families spend about 20 minutes eating dinner, so I think the world can probably wait that long to hear from you.
Ever have one of those moments when you look up and the entire family is sitting in the same room staring into their phones or tablets? If so, suggest a time period when phones or tablets can be used. Make sure to leave some time before and afterward so you can connect as a family, even if it’s watching your favorite TV show together.
Put It To Bed
There are numerous medical studies that show why having your child go to bed with their phone or tablet is a bad idea, however, let me pile on. One revealed that kids who go to bed with technology send an average of 34 texts and emails a night after going to bed. Kids need sleep and not midnight texting!
Earn The Phone
In the US, kids are getting phones around the age of 6. Now I’m sure parents have good reasons for a phone that young, but to me, that seems a bit early. My bigger issue is that kids are usually just given an expensive phone and plenty of data. Why? Does a 9-year old need a $600 phone, unlimited data and no supervision? For safety reasons, I think getting a child a basic phone that calls and texts is perfect. However, if he/she wants something more, they should earn it by helping out around the house, earning allowance and contributing to the monthly bill.
These tips on how to get your kids to listen are beneficial whether you have teens or elementary aged kids. Family meal time and cell phone limits are concepts that I enforce in my own home on a regular basis. Make sure you are making time in your own life to actually LISTEN to your children! Modeling good behavior helps significantly!
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Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician at Good Pill Pharmacy. She has two college aged kids, one husband and more pets than she will admit to. She earned her BS in Microbiology at the University of New Hampshire but left her career in science to become a stay at home mom. Years of playing with LEGO and coloring with crayons had her craving a more grown up purpose to her life and she began blogging and freelance writing full time. You can learn more about her HERE.