How to listen to your children and how to talk so that they will listen to you

Many parents find it difficult to set up good communication channels with their child. Many parents find that they spend the majority of their time yelling at their child in hopes to change their behavior. When a parent yells over many days, then the child starts to just tune it out. If this is happening in your home or you just want to communicate better with your child, then be sure to follow these tips.

Listening to Your Child

Use your body language to show your child that you are truly listening. Get down to their level so that your eyes can meet on the level.

You need to spend time actively listening to your child. Put down your phone, turn off the television and listen to what they are trying to tell you. Do not think about what you should say to your child, how petty their feelings seem to you or let yourself become distracted by side conversation or the multitude of things that you need to accomplish in the next hour. They will only be little for a short time and right now they need you to be their guide and mentor.

Use your body language to show your child that you are truly listening. Get down to their level so that your eyes can meet on the level. Nod occasionally to show that you are hearing them. Even if you disagree with what they are saying, let them talk until they take a natural break. If you find yourself becoming emotionally involved in a negative way, then take deep breaths allowing your child to continue until they are done talking.

Mimic back to the child what you hear them saying. For example, if they say that “Johnnie is no longer my friend because he threw a toy at me.” Then, repeat what you heard your child say. For example say, ” I hear you telling me that Johnnie threw a toy at you so you know longer want him to be your friend.” Ask your child if your summary is correct.

If there are any points that are unclear to you, ask your child to clarify them. In addition, if you are having trouble figuring out a particular word, then repeat the sentence back to the child word for word. You will benefit from knowing exactly what your child says, and they will benefit from hearing the word said correctly.

As parents, we often want to rush in and fix a situation when all your child wants is to tell you about it. Therefore, after your child has told you about an event, ask them what they want to do about it. If your child wants you to get involved, then he will let you know. Otherwise, ask questions of your child until they have created a responsible game plan that they are willing to follow.

Give your child time to follow the game plan that they have created. Then, ask them about what happened. This lets your child know that you were listening, that you truly care and that you are proud of them for creating a reasonable plan and carrying through with it.

Getting Your Child to Listen to You

 

If you have asked your child to do something and they have failed to do it, then do not repeat yourself at a higher volume as the child will turn you out even more. When possible, pick a time to talk to the child when they are not busy doing something else. Make sure that you never belittle them in front of their friends. Start by getting down on their level, and make sure that you do not begin until you have their full attention.

Keep the message short and to the point. Too many parents dilute the message by using too many words. You are the parent, and you have the right to tell your child what to do as long as you are being reasonable. Make sure to use words that they will understand.

Ask the child if they have any questions about what you told them. Even if you are in a hurry, take the time to answer any questions using words that they will comprehend. Then, ask them to repeat back to you what you have said using their own words. Taking this step helps ensure that they have listened and that they understand what you want them to know or do.

Communicating with children takes time, but they are your main priority. Take the time to communicate with them effectively, and they will take this skill with them through the rest of their lives.

Found this helpful Infographic on Growing Hands on Kids

 pick a time to talk to the child when they are not busy doing something else.

This is a guest post written by Erica Johnson, who writes about parenting and family

An innovative way to make Maths lovable – Smartick Method

Smartick helps the child to understand concepts, improve calculation skills, concentration and mental agility.

How many of you dreaded Maths in school? I know I did! I found it extremely boring and unimaginative. The whole tables, and equations and BODMAS etc. etc. made my head hurt and I always looked at ways to not do Mathematics.

I don’t think it was to do with the understanding level of the subject, but the whole boring and insipid approach made all the difference in my outlook towards the subject. I can say this confidently today, because I have experienced the transformation.

Today, I am going to talk about a new concept that is revolutionizing the way Mathematics is learned! I came across Smartick Method, when I got a mail from them to try and review it. The moment I went to their website, I knew this was going to be different and I instantly agreed.

What is Smartick Method?

Smartick is a unique online learning platform that lets a child learn at his own pace. It focuses on self-learning; thereby helping the child to understand concepts, improve calculation skills, concentration and mental agility.

What methodology do they follow?

Smartick goal is to make maths fun. They have created a healthy mix of traditional and new approaches towards learning maths. They use best traditional learning methods inspired from Japan and Singapore combined with studies from top research centers and universities like Harvard and the University of Chicago.

How does it work?

Smartick Method is designed in such a way that the child needs to spare only 15min a day! Isn’t that cool? Before smartick, making my daughter to sit for studies was a task, but now she is the one who reminds me about her daily smartick session!

Once the login is created, the child can start accessing the modules. Initially smartick offers random questions to understand your child’s level. Based on the results of the first 3-4 days, smartick daily sessions are updated. So you don’t have to worry, if x,y,z has been taught to your child or not.

My Review

My daughter is in love with Smartick! She is eager to do her daily sessions and understand her mistakes and improve. I have seen an increase in her concentration levels. As I get daily updates about her performance, I am attuned to her progress.

There is something called as smartick Brain games which is motivating and interesting. My daughter not just finishes her 15 min session, but also enjoys doing the Brain Games and virtual world access after the session.

As all the details are captured in a separate parent login, I can access it and view it anytime I want and help my child understand where she needs to improve.

This is completely self-learning based and hence I never have to sit and explain her questions or concepts. She watches the tutorials and works on her pace.

The report not just focuses on the number of correct answers but also takes into consideration her speed at solving them and her logic and reasoning.

Best Things that I liked

  • It’s just 15 min in a day, something that a child can easily do
  • It is designed for children from 4-14 year old.
  • This is an online platform, and they do not follow a school or state syllabus. The focus is on improving the child’s concepts, speed and accuracy.
  • It is accessible only on screens bigger than 7 inches.
  • Smartick complements the school curriculum and is aligned with the Common Core Standards and NCTM (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics) standards.
  • Smartick is powered by the latest Artificial Intelligence technology: ability based, your child progresses at his or her own pace, building self-confidence, avoiding frustration, and developing a positive attitude to math.
  • The child works on mental calculationand algebra while also developing problem-solving and critical thinking skills. Smartick includes logic exercises that help children improve both in logical reasoning and reading comprehension.
  • Gamification elements help children be engaged and improve their concentration levels. All games in Smartick are scientifically designed to reinforce cognitive skills: perception, attention, memory and logical reasoning.
  • Referral program: Tutors/parents can benefit from a 27 dollars discount if they recommend a friend. And the new friend that subscribes will receive a 25% off the first subscription they buy.

Smartick is powered by the latest Artificial Intelligence technology: ability based, your child progresses at his or her own pace,

My suggestion

This is a paid subscription, however if I go on a vacation or do not have access to a computer for some time, there is no way I can pause the subscription. They should introduce that feature. Apart from this I can’t think of anything!

Verdict

If you are thinking about giving a gift to your child this Christmas or New Year, gift them knowledge and world-class education with Smartick Method. As a mom who has seen her child enjoy Smartick Method, I would highly recommend it. Right now, Smartick has a gift for children registering in New Year week, do check it out!

Vacation and Homework

This is a series where I give a peek into my family – A gang of doers
I am a Digital Marketer who works from home and at any given point in time is oscillating between being a supermom and a train wreck. Hubby dear is a cool guy with a mean neatness streak! On any given day he would prefer keeping things organized and cleaning up instead of taking his kids to the park or mingling with people! Darling daughter is still undecided if she wants to be a Diva or a Dangal girl, and the result is that I am either keeping her accessories away from my brat or being a referee between her and my younger kiddo. The youngest in the family is my brat who has learned the art of deception quiet early and hence though he looks saintly, there is a manipulative side somewhere underneath. That’s me and my family.


vacation and homework

Vacation means fun for kids and melting point for mum

 

This is a major bone of contention between me and my DD. She believes in doing everything at the last-minute and me knowing, how those last minutes are, prefer getting it done before she gets on with her fun activities.

Me: Let’s get done with your summer homework before our yearly family vacation begins. We can get it done in 10 days

DD- But we still have 15 days before the vacation starts so I will do what I like for the next 5 days ( read watch TV and while away her time)

ME- It’s 10 days before vacation starts, let’s get done with your homework.

DD- Whips out the homework list from her closet and starts reading aloud. For number 1 and 2 you need to bring me x,y,z things. For 4 and 5 we need your laptop and internet. 6 and 7 are kinda boring and I am in no mood to do that now. 8 and 9 are story reading and I am done with that.

ME (gingerly)– Let’s start with number 3 and 10 then? That’s maths and you enjoy doing that.

DD– Keeps looking at the paper with squint eyes trying to make them disappear magically.

My DD when asked about homework

It’s 3 days before vacation and we are nowhere near homework completion

ME – (Voice raised) I want you to start taking the homework seriously and get it done. There is no TV time till then.

DD – (with innocent face and tears ready to spill out at the twitch of a nose) You just don’t want me to enjoy my holidays. None of my friend’s mom does this to them.

Husband – (Casually flipping between channels) Don’t get so worked up. She will do it later.

It’s 1 day before the vacation begins

ME –  Why can’t you get the homework done. You can then enjoy the rest of the vacation without any worries.

DD – (Looking at the page and then turning to me in a huff) It’s only because of you that I can’t finish things on time. Why didn’t you remind me earlier!

ME – (Rolling my eyes) I give up!

5 lessons I learnt as a Mom

No two kids are alike and hence nothing that has worked with one kid will work with the second kid. I had always believed that parenting is simple and easy (Big Mistake) and assumed I will be a natural and a perfect model for Johnson’s baby ads! How tough can it be? Kids sleep, drink milk, talk sweet nothings and you just have to make them laugh and play with them when they are babies. As they grow up they will learn everything, right! (Totally Wrong!!!) Well, these were the ideas that I had before my baby came along and then I was in for a rude shock!!

That’s when I realized being a parent, is a life long work in progress. Nothing prepares you for it. You cannot learn it nor can you master it. But you do learn a lot from your children. In the following years, after my child’s birth I learnt a few things. Things that have helped me be a better person and hopefully a better parent.

Parenting can be stressful – This is the first thing I learnt as a became a Mom. It also made my respect for my mom grow manifolds. Being  a parent is a thankless job and yet one of the most cherished posts in the world. I respect the fact that I am responsible for growing and nurturing two humans and doing it well is something that I take seriously. I need to be a role model for my children – someone who is responsible, capable of taking tough decisions and never overtly dependent on others.

Focusing on my ‘Me’ time-  As a mother,I ended up losing my identity and choices. I fussed about my children’s choices and wants, family’s requirement and other priorities. I ended up being at the bottom of this priority list. That’s when I observed, my kids never missed on their TV time or play time. They said it made them happy and that’s when it hit me. I need to enjoy things in life to be completely productive. My children made me realize the importance of ‘me’ time.

Keeping my temper in check –I was always known for having a terrible temper. My mom always asked me to keep it in check. Doing a hundred good is wasted with one bad word, she would say. Sadly, I never took those words seriously. However after kids, when I lost my temper and saw their scared faces, I realized how wrong I was. Over the years I have learnt that losing temper hardly serves anything, but arguing without raising my voice can help make a difference. Not that I have mastered this skill. It is still a work in progress but I have made a promise to myself that I will continue working on it.

5-things-i-learnt

To be at the receiving end of nasty remarks, yet chinning up and staying put – When you are a mom for two kids, you end up being in the middle of many fights. While you try to be fair, there are times when the children see you as a villian. The things that you try and enforce as an important rule for their betterment, is seldom seen like that.In situations like these the children lose their temper and say some nasty things. They might not mean it and say in the heat of the moment, but it hurts nevertheless. It is at times such as these, I learnt that I need to put my emotional side away and focus on what is good for my kids and be steadfast in my decisions. They will thank me later.

Always be ready for unknown contingencies- Being a mom of two has made me an amplifier of contingencies.I over think every situation. I am on high alert at all times and I have a solution for almost everything. I know that just when you think you have it all under control life throws a bouncer and you need to figure it out.

I am still a long way from being a pro at this. Still learning new things every day, working hard to be a good parent everyday, trying to be a better version of me. But I am happy in the knowledge that I have learnt a lot on the way

Linking it up with #MMM Monday Mommy Moments by Deepa Gandhi and Amrita Basu 

Let’s Agree to Disagree

She walked in with a huff! How could you? she scorned looking at me. What are you talking about? I asked a little perplexed. It was Friday fun box, couldn’t you give something fun? I eat the healthy stuff everyday, why couldn’t you give me junk food or instant noodles for tiffin she shouted. My friends made fun of me, she said while being on the verge of tears. All I could do was hug her! “Darling eating healthy home cooked food isn’t bad. It will be beneficial for you. Besides I did give you home cooked pasta”, I tried reasoning with her. But she was beyond reason. Tiffin food was one of the points that we disagreed on.

As she walked off, I realized we disagreed on a lot of stuff. Reflecting on my days as a daughter and remembering my friends relationships with their mom’s, disagreement seemed like a pattern, a constant fix if you will in any mother-daughter relation. In my younger days, it didn’t matter much as all of them had the same stories. Oh! Mom never understands, or mom’s too strict were the common exclamations among us. Mom’s weren’t supposed to be sugary-sweet. Also, I don’t think kids had a say when it came to tiffin, study timings etc.

Today there are disagreement on simple things like clothes to wear, food to eat, shows to watch, study timings, etc. and the list is endless. Add to it the mushy ads and serials that show a near perfect mother with a ‘sarva gun sampanna’ daughter and I end up feeling like I am losing the plot. I used to imagine that I will end up being this old lonely woman whose kids never visit her or remember her because she chose their well being over peer pressure or show-off.

I know that’s a little over dramatic, but hey, it’s my blog! I can be dramebaaz here 😛 Then All Out made this badass mom Advert and I was so thrilled. It was as if I found a validation to my PhD theses.

My daughter saw this ad and she said,” yeah, that’s you! So you will be the ‘Satark’ Mom, who will be worried about me and stand by me when I face any problems!” And I loved the sound of that. I am okay if my daughter isn’t the most obedient daughter in the world, but I will feel extremely hurt if she isn’t a free thinking, independent individual who isn’t scared to voice her opinion. I want my child to think of me as the first person she can turn to if she is facing a problem. I want her to believe that her mom can help her and if not help her, will atleast stand by her in her times of trouble because let’s face it, life isn’t always rosy.

Now I sleep in peace. I have realized that its okay to disagree. I have nothing against people who have found that perfect balance and never have any bone of contention with their children. I am not there yet and I do work hard on it everyday,but I have also realized that working on it doesn’t mean giving into things that are not good for her.

We don’t let it get vicious or hurtful but we have come to realize that I can never be the TV projected ever smiling mom nor will my daughter be the picture perfect daughter. We voice our opinions and discuss all things under the sun, but  we also agreed to disagree.

Confessions of a Mom of Two

I am a mom of two. Anyone expecting a mushy, joyous Johnson baby advertisement kinds of anecdotes or stories, should quit reading right away.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

So, I am a mother of two and am on a continuous guilt trip! Not joking, and the fact that it feels like a roller coaster ride doesn’t help! Who do you tell? How the hell do super mom’s or the many “We have it all together” Mom’s manage it is beyond me. One thing is for sure, my respect towards my mother has grown manifolds since I became a Mom,especially the second time.

frustrated mom

My day is roughly like this – during the morning school rush, if I get pushy with my kid number 1 to get things done quickly, I am scorned upon and at times blasted with ” You never understand what I want” or “You never do this to kid 2,”  and this from a kid who has barely entered Primary school.

As kid 1 goes to school making grumpy faces, I start my guilt trip which usually result in concluding that probably I am not doing enough for kid 1. Just as I get into a defensive mode and try pep talks about how I shouldn’t be so hard on myself, kid 2 waltz in and promptly falls or does something similar. I kick myself for letting it happen and though the kid no.2 can hardly talk, his teary eyes with a cute smile are enough to send me on a guilt trip. I mean when a kid looks at you as if you are ‘the most perfect’ thing it has ever seen, how do you not feel guilty! And the saga continues from dawn to dusk.

Over the years, I have understood two things – the first borns are usually more pampered. You care more for them since they are born, they are used to constant attention, however, it is also true that they are the most experimented species. As first-time parents, there are many things you are not aware of. At times you try anything and everything that people around you suggest and then there are times when you prefer to ignore the good old tips from granny and act all knowing (after Googling stuff!) Either way, it’s the kid that get’s affected.

With kid no2, you start off with an assumption that you are a pro and now you know everything, however, what we tend to forget is all kids are different and the situations we faced during the first time might not repeat themselves. Also the fact that your enthusiasm and energy are at an all-time low, the second born misses out on a few stuff. Like recording things- for first kid you have the recordings of things like first poop, first yawn, etc. however for the second kid, even milestones, like walking and talking might not get recorded. It’s not intentional, you are trying to manage the house, office, kid 1 schooling etc, and you somehow miss out. But it happens! Same goes for 1st-year birthday parties- usually, firstborns get a big fancy birthday party complete with special cake, games, treats etc. It doesn’t matter if the kid does not understand anything or the fact that in most pics the kid looks like he/she is on the verge of crying.  The second kid should be happy if he gets anything close to a decent birthday party.

Over the years, these small things add up and make you feel extremely guilty when you look at either kid and these thoughts are heightened when you meet some super moms. I know it and I do feel that way. But a wise old lady told me once ” These things don’t matter in the long run. You can fight, you can cry and be angry, but at the end, if your kids come up to you and share their joys and their sorrows and you see love for you in their eyes, you have done a good job! So all mommies out there, take a bow and never ever feel low. You are doing an extremely good job and let nobody tell you otherwise – even your own self!