Let's get real about acquiring our children's attention! I want to share my short comings I had in this area to help you.
Do you ever get tired of repeating yourself or even yelling in order to get your children's attention? I know I have been there. It's frustrating when our kids are not listening to us. We usually react in two ways. We either give up or we get louder and louder. It's stressful for us and for them. This vicious cycle had to stop, and I had to be the one to stop it.
I had to figure out why this cycle kept occurring. Was it because my kids didn't respect me or was it me? I tend to look to what others are doing wrong before turning the light on myself, but that is not right. I need to focus on my behavior and how I can make things better first!
As I started thinking, I realized that my children listen best when I am in control of my emotions. Just because I am having a hard day doesn't mean I should take my frustrations out on them. They need a mama who is in full charge of her feelings. If I want their attention, I must be concentrating on the task at hand and not allowing other things to affect me. If I am able to manage my emotions, they will learn to do this also. I don't need to yell to get my point across.
As an older and more mature mom, I have learned to do these 3 things:
- Get to my child's level. If they are small, its important to kneel down to their height. If they are older, sitting on the couch to talk seems to work best.
- Talk with a quiet and calm voice. Children learn to tune out our yelling, then we get upset and yell more.
- Ask your child to repeat what you have said to them. It helps them retain what they have been told or asked to do.
If you do these three things, you have done your part. Now if your child still continues to be inattentive, you know that you must address their behavior not yours. I have some good resources to teach your children to be more attentive here: The Character Quality of Attentiveness.
It's not easy to be a patient parent, but as we study God's Word and pray for Him to help us, it does get easier. God is very patient with us isn't He? He can teach us to be like Him. He wants us to be an example of His love, kindness, mercy, and grace as we parent our children.
I will be praying for you and I hope you pray for me as we journey through this life. It's important to lift up other parents in our prayers. We need to encourage one another, not put each other down for making mistakes. We all make mistakes because we are not perfect. We are all sinners in need of God's forgiveness. We all fail, but if we love and support one another, it is easier to get back up and try again.
How can I pray for you today?