One parent wrote:
“Dear Sharon,
How do I get my kids to listen and do what I have asked when I ask? What natural consequences can I use if they don’t listen & do what I ask? I usually have to ask 5 times, then resort to yelling, then they finally act.”

Why does my child only listen when I yell?
There are many reasons why kids don’t listen until you yell. This answer shares one thing any parent can do that will begin changing how your child listens.

The first year of life teaches infants how to connect to their parents. They smile, they coo, and we melt.

Then, as they grow, they learn about the world through the lens of immature thinking. It’s from that place that they begin making decisions. One immature decision kids make is that yelling is just another form of attention.

Shocking, I know.
Of course, yelling is not as pleasant as a hug, but it’s attention all the same.
If you look at yelling through the eyes of a child, you’ll see what I mean.

Right before you yell, you stop what you’re doing, turn around; even if you’re talking to someone else. You lock eyes with your child, and begin sending all your focused attention to them through yelling. For a child, that’s a lot of energy, which they see [using immature thinking] as attention focused on them.
So what can be done?
If you’ve been following me on social media, you know that kids emotionally withdraw when you yell so they can withstand the intensity of your yelling. They brace themselves for what is about to happen, which means they aren’t listening or learning. So, what can be done?
So you can remain calmer and so your child learns that when (s)he steps over the line, the first thing you will do is connect with them and talk about all the feelings and the impact this behavior has had on others. Then you’ll decide, together, how to fix whatever’s happened by referring back to the family rules. This process creates trust instead of fear as kids experience a calmer, more empathetic, yet more straightforward way of understanding the problem their behavior has caused.
I won’t lie
The solution will most likely create a small aha reaction in your child. However, if you can remember that this is a confused reaction to your change, not a power struggle, you won’t react.

Being calmer and more empathetic yet clear about the consequence can be unsettling to a child, and is not a one-shot deal. Your child will most likely need time to adjust to the calmer, clearer, more empathetic you. That will happen as they experience this shift again and again.
If you’re looking for how to create / apply a learning consequence instead of yelling or punishing, plus sample conversations, then you want pgs. 32-37 inside 10 No-Yelling Methods System @

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