Tag Archives: Family Harmony

How To Get My Kids To Listen?!!

The most precious gift you’ve ever received is… your child. Along with this priceless gift, you’ve also received your most all-encompassing task of raising your child.

Of course, establishing proper discipline is easier said than done. In fact, the most common question asked by parents is “HOW DO I GET MY KIDS TO LISTEN?!” However, there is no “one quick-fix solution,” because so many puzzle pieces must fall into place in order for a home’s harmony to resonate. Presuming that the initial foundations of peace, unconditional love, acceptance and communication are in place, we will now explore several discipline techniques which will help us restore respect and discipline in the household.

Before we start with practical pointers, we must have a proper perspective on commanding respect. We must realize that this is not about us; it’s about them. It’s not that we need the honor of having our children speak respectfully at the dinner table. Rather, our children need this training because we want to mold the child into the perfect person we want him to become. So giving in and forgoing this respect is not a service, but rather a disservice, to the child, for we are denying him the opportunity to grow and develop properly.

One component of respect is listening to one’s parents. Therefore, we are obligated to insist on compliance.

Practically speaking, this training is best started when children are young and impressionable. It is then that you can physically “help them” to listen by taking their hand and directing them to do the required action or go to where they have to be.

When giving commands, use a firm, self-assured voice. Even young children detect when you are hesitant or unconfident. Avoid threats, warnings, and ultimatums as they undermine your authority. You can use the “broken record technique” (repeat your command in a calm, firm manner over and over until the child complies) or “when-then technique,” (When you clean up your room, you can go outside to play” instead of “if” which gives wiggling room for non-compliance.) If your child needs to have some power, give him choices and time frames, (“Please make sure the table is cleared before dinner” instead of “DO IT NOW!!!”) Whichever method you may choose to use, do not accept “no” for an answer. This is imperative, because early training sets the stage for respect for all authority throughout life.

Once children are a little older, it is the parent’s choice to be smart and selective when giving commands, demanding only that which the child is capable of fulfilling. For example, asking for something while a child is in middle of playing, or in a tired, cranky mood is setting him up for failure. Think before commanding and do not teach your child disobedience!

Try to set up routines, so that you can preempt tricky situation. When a child knows what is expected of him and is aware of the consequences if the routine is not followed, he is quicker to comply and accepts the consequence.

When you are in a situation over which you have no influence, do not exert your power, because you are embarking on a losing battle. At best, you will win while compromising your values by yelling, threatening, punishing, etc.

Remember that you too can press the pause button. Model proper behavior by thinking before you act. Use impulse control and ask yourself, “Is this the proper request at the proper time? Am I realistic that I can influence this situation? What is the best way to ask my child and set him up for success?”

In summary, start when your children are young by confidently training them to listen. As your children grow older, continue to guide them with firmness and love. Think before commanding and set up routines to avoid confrontation. Most importantly, spend time planning smart solutions at calm times, so you will know how to handle the real-life scenarios.

The Importance Of Family Harmony

A child is first introduced to the concept of authority by his parents. They are the first ones to enforce discipline in a child’s life. Later, when the child learns about God, he transfers his previous experiential knowledge regarding authority to his relationship with his Creator. In essence, a child’s service of God mirrors his relationship with his parents. Therefore, the child raised by overly strict parents will view God as a strict JUDGE while one trained by loving parents will perceive God as a compassionate FATHER.

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Parents exemplifying family harmony teach the child that the parents are united together with one message. While parenting methods differ from time to time, still the parents live in harmony. The child learns the message that his parents have one voice, even when their opinions differ. The child then translates this message subconsciously to his relationship with God. The child learns that while we perceive many different character traits of God, there is only One Divine Will, one standard of behavior. In contrast, when parents disagree, the child observes two conflicting wills and may not internalize God’s Supreme Oneness.

It has been identified that there is a vast difference between a child nurtured in a home of harmony as opposed to a child raised in an environment of discord.

When a child is nurtured in a loving, harmonious environment, he thrives. When he sees his parents respect each other, he perceives them as respectable people. Then, the child can respect his parents and their values. He will grow and blossom emotionally, spiritually, and socially. He is truly fortunate.

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In contrast, when a child is not blessed with parents who model a good relationship, the child suffers. A strife-filled home is a destructive environment. The child lives in a tense state, not knowing when the next eruption of arguments will take place, The pain ensued from all this can manifest itself in a variety of ways. Some children will act out; some will act in, withdrawing into themselves, taking the blame for this tumultous life and closing themselves up to the world around them. When parents fight, it is disconcerting and frightening to the child. He loses his security and feels vulnerable and confused. The child also learns to play one parent against the other. The child may deviate from family values and spiral downwards to moral decay.  This painful experience may impel him to lose respect for his parents, take revenge by causing the parents pain, or even rebelling against them.  This child revolts against both parents, because a hurting child holds both parents accountable for his pain.

The good news is that when parents recognize the magnitude of the message they are imparting to their children, they can change the situation for the better. With proper guidance, we can all give our children the gift of one harmonious message.

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