One reason children don’t seem to listen to their parents is because they learn primarily through personal experience. They learn from their experience first-hand, rather than taking someone’s word for it, and thus they test limits and make mistakes.
PROVIDES SECURITY FOR THEM TO EXPLORE THROUGH EXPERIENCE
A parent may repeatedly say “don’t touch the stove because it is hot and you can burn yourself.” The strong- willed child will inevitably touch the stove for a millisecond to see for himself that it is hot. They learn from their experiences and tend to try parental advice rather than just listening to the advice provided.
Although they are listening to what you tell them, they will likely challenge parental advice by seeing for themselves if the advice has content. Because children learn from experience, safety is of the utmost importance when they are young. On many occasions, children can be absolutely determined to do things on their own, without taking into account, in their immaturity, the consequences that their actions may have.
You don’t want them falling down stairs or touching hot stoves, so protect them when they’re young and don’t know any better. As they get older, they get smarter about their safety. A child needs extra safety measures when he is young because of his exploratory spirit.
THERE WILL ALWAYS BE A REASON BEHIND THE BEHAVIOR
Children always have a reason behind their behavior. You should allow them the opportunity to explain things to you when you disagree with their decisions or with a behavior they have carried out. If you get angry before they explain, they will learn that communicating with you is not worth it.
It is important that you ask them “why” when things don’t make sense to you. Children are not always logical, but they generally have a reason behind their decisions and it is not just to challenge your authority. Therefore, it is important that you allow them to explain themselves so that you can better understand them in making their decisions.
For example, your child may refuse to wear the outfit you have given him to wear to school. You give them comfortable clothes so they can feel more flexible in their daily academic and physical routines, but their stubbornness can be a problem. Instead of getting angry and forcing him to put it on, ask him why he doesn’t want to wear it.
Perhaps there is a logical explanation, such as that he does not have sports that day and prefers to wear jeans because it is more appropriate for that day for whatever reason. Get to the bottom of reason, so you can better understand its logic. Don’t assume their refusal to follow rules or routine is out of sheer disobedience. Let their voice be heard, so they know that you are listening and that you want to understand their reasons.
LET THEM UNDERSTAND WHY
Children need to know the reasons behind you demanding something of them. If you tell them to stop jumping on the bed, you must tell them why they should, as they can fall, hit and hurt themselves a lot. Children need to understand the why of things, just like you do.
In this sense, whenever you impose a rule, you must explain the reasons why you are going to carry it out. Consequences must also be explained whether the rules are followed (positive consequences) or broken (negative consequences) .
EMPATHY AND COMPASSION
Children who learn from experience need empathy , compassion, and respect . This can be difficult because children can appear stubborn and disobedient at times. Parents have to understand that their child is not doing things to disobey, but that the children have a determined spirit to learn through consequences.
For example, on a morning when you are already late and your child refuses to put on his shoes and you yell at him to put them on now or he leaves without them, you lack compassion. They may not want to wear those specific shoes because they are too tight and hurt. If you don’t take the time to ask them “why”, then there is no compassion …
In this sense, it is necessary that you take the time it takes to speak with your child in an empathic way and that you really listen to him. If he does not feel listened to, he will think that you do not care what happens to him or what he says to you. So listen to your children with your full attention and speak to them in a calm and loving tone. If your child feels listened to, he will not have emotional problems but if he thinks that you are not listening to him or that you are treating him unfairly, behavior problems will be the order of the day. Allow him to express himself verbally, so that they do not resort to physical expressions of his emotions, such as tantrums, hitting others, or breaking things.
It is important to keep in mind that children are natural explorers and that is why they love to learn through experience. In addition, it is necessary that they learn through experience because it will allow them to make mistakes in their day to day life and learn from them. It is essential that as parents you are aware of the circumstances of his life to be able to guide him in everything he needs.
It is also worth remembering that children need to see parents as a good role model, because their lived experiences will be based on the direct influence they receive from their parents. As if that were not enough, even if children (especially adolescents) try to show their identity and make it appear that they can do things for themselves, it is very important that parents are by their children’s side all the time, even if they do not want their help or reject it, actually, they do need it. Experience is the best teacher for children, and actions will always teach more than any word or speech.