How many times have you had to repeat instructions before you finally got your child to listen to you?
"Rahul, clean up your room!"
10 minutes later: "Rahul, clean up your room!"
"In a minute, mom!"
Half an hour later: "Rahul, have you cleaned up your room?"
"What's the hurry mom, I'll do it, na!"
Sounds familiar? How many times have you had to repeat instructions,
threaten your child, enter into an argument and deal with a temper
tantrum before you finally got him to do something?
Teach him to come when called
There is really no excuse for laziness. Often when your child
is sitting sprawled out in front of the telly and you call him, chances
that he will come to you within a minute are slim. It's the same with
adults. Some adults can jump up from a comfortable, curled up position
without a second thought, while other adults find getting up to answer
the doorbell excruciatingly painful. Nip laziness in the bud. Let your
child know that being too lazy to get up when called is a habit best
Make eye contact
When giving your child any instruction, don't shout it
out from another room. Call him to you or walk up to him. Make sure he
is listening to you and you have his full attention, and then clearly
let him know what you want him to do. There should be eye contact.
If you shout out something from another room, chances are your child
will just ignore your instructions for as long as he thinks he can get away with it.
Along with letting him know what you want him to do, you could also
give him a choice between a couple of options. Ask if he wants to clean
it up now when there is time before he leaves for tennis lessons, or
when he returns at 5:00. Remind him that his favourite television show will be on at 5:30, and the job should be done before the show starts, or he will miss it.
Make him stick to commitments
Once you have extracted a commitment from your child as to when he will
be cleaning up his room, make it a point that he sticks to his
commitment. Don't let him get out of it by pleading or throwing a
temper tantrum. Chances that he will throw a tantrum will in any case
be lower as your child knows that the commitment has come from him and
at the most he will try and plead his way out of it. Your child should
know that once he has said he will do something at a certain time, he
has to stick by his words. So if he pleads to let you clean up his room
after the show, let him know that he should have thought it through
If you are tempted to give in to your child's pleas, don't
give in completely. Work out a compromise. He could clean up his room during commercial breaks, fold clothes when watching the show. But don't let him off
just because of his pleas, because you will be setting a wrong
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- The Indiaparenting Team