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 Often, the parent/child relationship is strained because, as parents, we fail to communicate what we expect of them effectively.  The result of this failure on our part is angry parents and frustrated kids. Parenting is one of the areas in my life where my failures are often brought clearly before my eyes, and I can see where I "messed up." It's easy to "chalk it up as a loss" and then move on, but the reality is that I need (we need) to figure out why that didn't work and develop a plan to fix it next time.

If you ever find yourself raising your voice at your child, if you ever find your child seemingly ignoring what you have just told him to do, then the below bit of wisdom might be helpful to you.

It is vitally important to teach your child to listen to you. Here are a few reasons why, 1. Because it's required of them by God to be under His umbrella of blessing. 2. Because it's vital to have a proper parent/child relationship. 3. Because they will learn from you how they are to respond to others in life and even God.

Teach your child how to listen:

At the McCreight household, we often recite this with our kids. It's not because we have it all figured out that I share this, but because I know that it works when properly practiced. It works like this; my kids (I have five) are talking and playing when suddenly I walk into the room and begin to speak. I say something like, "I need you guys to go get your shoes on and get ready to go. We are leaving in just a minute." The kids keep wrestling and laughing, and no one has shoes on when it's time to go. The result of this situation could be me getting frustrated and yelling at the kids. After this yelling episode transpires, the whole atmosphere of the home changes and the kids wonder, "why is dad yelling at me? What did I do?". I realized that this cycle was present in our home, and I wanted to try and find a way to stop it.

We remind our kids, "when you hear my voice, this is what you are supposed to do."

1.    The child is to stop whatever they are doing immediately. Pause the movie, set the crayon down, halt in the wrestling match, etc.

2.    The child is to look the adult directly in the eye.

3.    The child is to listen intently to what the parent is saying.

4.    The child is then to respond to the parent with a yes/no mam/sir to signify that they heard what was said.

Once the parent is finished speaking, the child can ask a question, if necessary, or they can do what they were asked to do. In many cases, this can help prevent frustration, disobedience, and the necessity of discipline being divvied out.

There are many other factors at play in this scenario for sure. But we can't expect nor inspect obedience if we are not even sure our kids heard what we said. I encourage you to begin this process with your children. Expect them to listen when you speak. In doing this, you will avoid many conflicts and will teach Jr respect.