Toddler not listening?
I have to share with you a parenting game-changer- This CHANGED my world.
Your toddler NOT listening is NOT because she’s bad, or naughty, or terrible. (Although it might feel like that.)
“A child’s brain undergoes an amazing period of development from birth to three—producing more than a million neural connections each second.”zerotothree.org
YES, we program our child’s brain. Crazy right?!
I was in awe when I first heard that. WOW. Our child is born with all of their neurons, but it is through our interactions with our child and their experiences that the connections form.
Here is one amazing tip to get your toddler listening.
Have you ever found yourself arguing with your toddler? I know I did, and sometimes on a daily bases. and I found myself exhausted. Worn out and in this endless power-struggle.
- Her peas were touching the fish fingers.
- She wanted to have the pink beaker, even though we left it at grandmas.
- She wanted me to push her high in the swing… BUT she didn’t want to go fast. (Gotta love your toddler’s logic)
And you know what I found myself doing in response…
Using my adult logic to change my daughter’s behaviour. Literary trying to explain to my illogical toddler. And her listening ears would go out the window.
Where I was going wrong
I was replying to my daughter as if she understood my logic and reasoning. I thought that if she just could understand WHY then she COULD change her ways.. and not throw a fit over something so ridiculous.
An important piece of information
A toddler’s brain is not the same as an adult brain, Yes! our brains are not fully developed till mid-twenties.
In short, they just don’t think like us, They are:
- Driven by their emotional brain.
- Live in the moment.
- Don’t have logic and reasoning
They don’t understand you can’t go slow in a swing and high at the same time. I mean, they TRULY believe Father Christmas can fly around the world in one night delivering presents.
What to do.
Say what you see, without questions, judgement, fixing or teaching. Focus on WHAT is going on for your child in the moment, even if it doesn’t make any sense for you.
- “You want your peas to be the other side of your plate.”
- “Oh Boy! You really want that beaker.. and we left it at Grandmas.”
- “Oh sweetie, you’re scared going so fast on the swing AND you want to go high.”
In other words. acknowledge.
Regardless, how absurd or reactive your child is being, the first step is to acknowledge. ACKNOWLEDGE what they are doing, thinking and feeling.
The reason this step works like a charm is that a child who feels understood is NOW ready to listen.
When I changed how I responded to my daughter, I asked her why she started to listen to me.
“Because you get me, mummy, you understand me.”
A child who feels understood, however illogical, is then ready to listen to you.
Go on, give it a try and be sure to let me know how you get on.
P. S Want more tips on getting your child to listen? Sign up for my FREE 5 day. “How To Get Your Kids To Listen.” email course.