1. I read on a blog a while back that playing a fun “listening” game with your kids is a good way to teach them. She talked about how she took her kids outside for a game of STOP-GO (similar to red light, green light). She lined them up and had them go until she said “STOP!” Sometimes she would say it softly so they had to listen closely and sometimes it would be bold. But she never yelled it. The point was to get them to hear her voice no matter what tone or volume she used. If they “listened” well they got some Skittles (I think they were Skittles). But, really you could use any candy or treat your kids love. (By the way…If this is your blog, or you know who’s it is please tell me so I can give you/them credit! For the life of me I can’t find the post, which I thought I saved.)
2. Try lowering your tone of voice and/or volume throughout your day. Not a whisper (we’ll talk about that later), but a lower tone. Changing up your voice tone and volume will sometimes get your kids attention because they’re not used to it. Work on making that the tone/volume they listen for rather than a raised voice or yelling. Your voice will thank you one day!!
3. I often ask my Middles to repeat back to me as a way to make sure they heard me. In fact, I still use it on occasion with Mister Bull as he’s still learning too! Now, I may not always be able to understand what they say, but if they try to repeat me and are looking at me when they do so, I take that as a success. Miss Priss is in the babbling stage now and talks non-stop – LITERALLY!! She walks around “talking” to us all the time. And occasionally we’ll understand a word or phrase her and there. But, she’s trying and that’s what I want from my kids!
4. Another tip, which I learned from Mrs. Duggar (19 Kids and Counting), is to get their eyes. If you have their eyes looking into yours as you instruct them, you know they are paying attention to you. Train them in this when they are young and it will become a habit when they are older. What a great concept!! I love using this technique with my Middles. This is also another time to change your tone and speak in a softer, more mild manner.
5. My last tip is to make it fun and interesting. Such as No-Tech Tuesday or Thursday (or both if you’re brave!). No-Tech days are days when the TV is not on at all, no video games (not even handheld ones). When we do these days I do allow the radio or CD player to be on just for some soothing sounds. We listen to Christian and Classical music at our house and it seems to keep the mood calm. You can also do Whisper Wednesdays where everyone in the house has to whisper. Nothing spoken above a soft-tone is allowed. Talk about having to really listen!! We’ve not used this one yet, but it’s been on my mind lately so it might just creep in before too long!
What are some tips and tricks you have for getting and keeping your kids’ attention? I would love to hear from you!!!