Why Won't My Children Listen?

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I walked into a friend's home one day only to see the magic of children taking place. There were loud screams of laughter, piles of clean clothes all over the floor, and half-eaten bowls of cereal on the table. I began talking with my friend about the joys of parenthood. My friend began with initial laughter, but then began to tear-up. "They just won't listen to me!"

As a counselor, I began to ask some background questions, but told her a universal truth of the top three reasons why children tend to not be as disciplined as the parents would like.

1. Improper Play. Everyday we work for income to support our family. Our work defines and develops part of who we are as a person. Something that many adults do not realize is that play is as equally important for a child. Playing for children helps develop social and cognitive skills for child development.

2. Diet. In today's fast paced world it is easy to give our children snack after snack after snack. With the physical demands on the body and mind in childhood development, why would we want to not give our children the proper nutrition to do these tasks successfully? Whip out a simple food pyramid, and do a quick analysis. Is my child getting everything he needs?

3. Time. Children do begin to mimic the habits and behaviors of adults that they spend the most time with. As a parent, this means you can be a huge influence on your child's development. Simply ask yourself the question, "Who is my child spending the most time with during the day?" If your answer is someone with a less positive influence, or something with a less positive influence, try to adjust accordingly.

There are many other reasons that children may not listen, but these are the top three. As I explained these to my friend, the tears turned into a light of hope. My friend looked me in the eye and stated, "I hope I can say to you next time, ‘Wow, my children are beginning to listen to me!'"


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