If you are a parent, you know that getting your kids to listen is like trying to herd puppies…an exercise in futility. A gosh-darn-near-impossible task.
And if you’re sitting on your side of the screen thinking, I never have that problem. My kids are awesome and they listen all the time. Then, #1, good for you. That’s great! And #2, I know you’re lying, and there is no need for that here…I’m not judging. 🙂
I have to say, I do have fabulous kids. But in all my years of mommin’, the thing that has pushed me closest to insanity has been this: Trying to get them to LISTEN THE FIRST TIME.
I mean, asking a tiny human to do something for the 93rd time is great and all, but I think we can all agree that we have better ways to spend our time. Am I right?
Well, it just so happens that I recently discovered a little magic trick that has completely changed my parenting game, and I want to share it with you. 🙂
It is simple, takes less than a minute, and has almost a 100% success rate.
Have I got your attention yet???
Let me warn you, though, when you hear it, you’re going to be like…What??!! Are you kidding me? How have I never thought of that???
And the most amazing part? IT WORKS FOR ALL AGES. From your “three-nager” to your teenager, this will end your days of nagging FOR GOOD. I’m telling you…What I am about to hand over is GOLD.
But first, let me give you a little pre-frame. As an adult, I have discovered the power of lists in my daily life. (I talk more about the power of lists in my “7 Secrets to Self-Care” Printable that you should definitely get if you haven’t yet. It is great, and you won’t be sorry. 🙂 You can get a FREE download of the 10-page booklet here. Go ahead…I’ll wait.)
Anyway, lists provide us with nag-free accountability and serve as visual representations of not only what needs to be done, but also of what has already been accomplished. Plus you get the amazing satisfaction of crossing off items, which, if you ask me, is one of the greatest feelings in the world.
Now back to the game changer: One day I thought to myself, What if I give my kids a to-do list, too? That way, instead of losing my mind over the same old stuff, I could provide them with those same great feelings that keep me using lists daily…knowing what needs to be done, having control over my time, and the satisfaction of accomplishing tasks and checking them off.
So that, my friend, is exactly what I did.
I got out a pretty paper, made my 7-year-old daughter a list, and gave it to her. Since she is a reader now, I just handed it to her and let her take it from there.
That was it.
She simply read the cute little note, smiled and took care of business.
BLEW. MY. MIND.
To be honest, I was a little scared that it was a one-time-only deal. But guess what? The next day after school, it worked again!
Since starting this with her, I have successfully decreased number times that I have to ask and re-ask a task to get done.
In fact, it has worked so well, that I have started doing the same thing for my non-readers. I make a list, help them read it, and then they do each thing on the list until all is done. (Tip for non-readers: You can use little doodles to help them remember what each task says.)
The beauty of this simple technique is that it takes all the tension out of the ask. You aren’t forced into maniacal screams in an effort to get your family to listen, and your kids are learning to self-govern.
And if there ever comes a time when they try to cut out before their list is fully accomplished, your job is not to go back to your old ways. Instead, you just point them back to it. A simple, “Is your list done?” is all it takes. It leaves no room for power struggles, which, let’s face it, is freaking awesome.
So next time you need your kids to do something, try this: Grab a paper, write a note and pass it to them. You can even let them write their own. You’ll save time, energy, and best of all…your sanity.
I’ll just go ahead and say this now…You’re welcome. 🙂
Now, before you do anything else, be kind to all the parents you know by sharing this with them. Mommin’ (and Daddin’) ain’t easy, and we could all use a little help now and again.
Do you have special ways to get your kids to listen? Comment and let me know now!