Your 6-year-old now
Often kids ignore parents so they can avoid doing something or fighting over something they really don't want to do. Or they do so because they know you'll get mad and they want to get a rise out of you. Some kids get in the habit of ignoring parents because parents then give up and do the thing themselves. These are all forms of disrespect that should not go unaddressed.
Some ideas for an ignoring problem:
- Start by making sure your requests are simple and specific. "You need to pick up sticks in the yard and put them in the compost heap" is better than "Clean up the yard." That way, your child can't claim she didn't know what you meant.
- Find the right motivation. We all respond to positive reinforcement, so offer rewards when your child does listen and follow through. (Your reward could be something as simple as a hug or a heartfelt "Thank you!")
- Try to eliminate "No" from your vocabulary. The more they hear it, the more you begin to sound like the teacher from Charlie Brown (waa waaa waa wa) and the easier it is to tune you out. Instead of "No, don't use the pogo stick in the house," try "Take your pogo stick outside, please."
- Don't let your child get away with ignoring you on purpose. If she doesn't do as you request, mete out a swift, appropriate penalty.
Your life now
Do what you can to encourage your child's relationship with her grandparents. A supportive bond with your parents can help children feel more secure and provide a role model.
Grandparents often extend a family's cultural heritage and pass on a sense of family history. They also tend to have more time and patience than parents do – and sometimes more wisdom, too! Even if your child's still work or live far away, look for ways to keep them close. Visits, exchanging cards and letters, video chats, or a shared family website can help.
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