5 Reasons Why Your Child Is Not Listening To You

There are many reasons why children refuse to listen or reach out to their parents:

1. A lot of children have short attention spans

  •  Children, especially toddlers and teens, pay little to no attention to what their parents are saying, especially if they are being reprimanded for misbehavior or for making a mistake. Their little minds wander to avoid feelings of shame or embarrassment.

2. They complain that parents talk over their heads. 

  • Some parents have a tendency to overestimate the comprehension skills of their children, leading to more misunderstanding and confusion. Although we shouldn’t treat the children as innocent, mindless beings, we should also keep in mind that they are just starting to learn the difference between right and wrong. Don’t talk about the hungry children in China when they don’t even have an interest on what’s going on with politics and economics of the world yet. Let’s reserve that discussion for when they are in college.

3. They say that parents don’t understand children’s thoughts, feelings and views.

  • This is a common comeback from teenagers whenever they are in an argument with their parents. Teenagers, in particular, develop a sense of mentality that the world is against them and that anything forbidding them to do anything they want is their enemy – such as their parents and other forms of authority (teacher, police, etc.). This mentality is brought about by emerging feelings of insecurity, the need to fit in, growing ambitions, and their expanding knowledge of the world around them. In short, this phase is just a part of growing up and parents must realize this so that they won’t develop or harness feelings of rejection or resentment regarding their children. In order to control a situation such as this, parents must listen more to their children’s opinions and give them a little more trust and independence.

4. They regard their parents’ communication as critical, judgmental and nagging.

  • As children grow up, they find that the people they are most comfortable talking with are their peers, or people in their age group. The best thing that a parent can do at this time is to be supportive of the child’s goals and ambitions. Helping the child turn angst into passion not only brings the child closer to his parents but can also greatly contribute to the cultivation of the child’s talents and skills.

5. They associate their parents with constantly being told what to do.

  • As I had mentioned above, they start to feel like parents are more of an authority that they should rebel against rather than family that they can rely on.

3 thoughts on “5 Reasons Why Your Child Is Not Listening To You

  1. …And another reason that today’s kids won’t listen? Mom and dad taught them to tune them out. We give our toddlers and young children their own iPods, ideo games and we plug in a DVD every time we pile in the family van or SUV, whether it’s a cross-country trip or just 20 minutes to the grocery store or to grab dinner.

    Is that peace and quiet now worth the being deliberately ignored when you NEED them to open up and talk, or listen to you later on?

    Thankfully, my kids came along before all the portable electronics. Car time was family time; when they were teens, it was often when they would open up and really talk – and listen.

    • First of all, thank you for a great contribution to this post.

      I agree with your sentiment that the technology available to today’s generation, coupled with careless parenting, can lead to non-productive relationships between family members, especially between parent and child. However, the blame might be more on the bad parenting rather than on the advancement of technology. The thing is, we can actually use these tools available to us (Facebook, Social Media Sites, Skype, Texting, Smartphones, etc.) to break down the barriers of communication — time and space being some of many — and positively affect communication between family members. However, it is very important that the parents take responsibility for how much exposure their children get with these tools.

      These things are just like the modern counterparts of television or radio when they first came out. Without proper parental guidance, they are useless, non-productive and potentially destructive. However, when used correctly, they can be educational. The advancement of technology involved with communication has let us live in a world where we can freely gain and share information. We should use this fact to our advantage. There are now a lot of resources available to parents which they can use to educate and entertain their kids. And when done properly, the process of teaching using these tools can actually be a form of bonding between parent and child.

      By the way, kudos to you for being a great parent to your child. I believe that open and honest communication should be encouraged within and outside the family. Not only will it make information sharing easy, it will also strengthen meaningful relationships.

      • I agree 100% the blame rests with the parents who either aren’t thinking ahead, or don’t care. Any tool is just that – a tool. It can be used to accomplish good things, or not-so-great things…even really harmful things. That doesn’t make the tool inherently good or bad; just used or misused.

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