It can be tough to get your kids to listen to you as a single mom. It seems like they’re always talking back or ignoring you. But there are some things you can do to get them to start paying attention.
This post will look at some of the best techniques for getting kids to listen. We’ll also discuss the importance of communication in parenting. So if you’re struggling to get your kids to obey, keep reading!
Tips for single moms to get their kids to listen
1. Follow through on your consequences
One of the most important things is to follow through on your consequences. For example, if you tell your kids that they will lose screen time if they don’t listen to you, then make sure you follow through with it. Kids learn very quickly whom they have to listen to and when.
If you constantly nag at your kids and threaten consequences that you never follow through on, your kids won’t be motivated. It can be hard to follow through on punishments, so make sure the consequence you give will be one you’re willing to follow through with.
Consequences should be consistent and fair to be effective.
2. Spend one on one time with each child
One way to encourage better listening is to make sure you spend one-on-one time with each child. This one-on-one time doesn’t have to be anything fancy – it can be as simple as reading a book together, coloring, or playing catch in the backyard. The important thing is that it’s time for you to focus on your child and for your child to know that you’re focused on them.
This attention will help them feel valued and important. It also helps build trust between you and your child. When they feel like they can confide in you, they’re more likely to listen to what you say.
Keep this time sacred. Meaning they get one-on-one time with you regardless of what’s going on or their behavior. It may seem backward, especially when you’re frustrated, to follow through on this. But this tip alone can completely change the tone of your household.
One-on-one time can simply be 10 minutes a day or a half-hour each Saturday. Come up with something that works for you and that you can commit to. This strategy worked very well with my youngest. You can read more about it here.
3. Explain why
One way to improve the situation is to make sure that your kids understand the reasoning behind your requests. For example, if you’re asking them to clean up their room, explain that it will be easier to find things when everything is in its place. If you’re asking them to turn off the TV, explain that you want them to have a break from screens so that they can relax.
Depending on the age of your children, you can explain more or less. However, just a couple of sentences is all that is needed. Likely, your child will try to argue your reasoning why.
Try to avoid an argument. You can tell them you understand where they’re coming from, but the request still stands. Then refuse to discuss the reasons why any further.
4. Avoid yelling, even if you’re feeling frustrated
Yelling may feel like the only way to get your kids to listen, but it’s not the most effective method. Yelling makes it difficult for your kids to hear what you’re saying, but it also puts them on the defensive, making them less likely to listen to reason.
I struggled with yelling for years. I thought it was the only way to get my youngest to listen. Of course, that was a fault of my immaturity and not having it modeled for me as a child myself.
Instead of yelling, try raising your voice just enough to be heard over the noise, and use a calm and firm tone. You may also want to try focusing on one child at a time to give them your full attention. For more ideas and how I stopped yelling, check this out.
5. Take some time for yourself
One of the hardest parts of parenting alone is not having someone else jump in for you. This is especially true when your kids aren’t listening to you, and you’re feeling overwhelmed.
Taking some time for yourself will remind your kids that you’re a person too and need some space just like they do. However, for some single parents, this isn’t possible.
Shutting yourself in the bathroom while breathing deeply or praying can be a short-term fix. I would frequently go in my car and lock the doors (one child always chased after me when tensions were high and tried to continue the argument.) I would breathe and pray inside the car and sometimes listen to just one song before heading back in.
6. Talk to other moms who might have gone through similar situations – they can offer helpful advice and support
There are plenty of other moms who have been in your shoes and come out the other side. Talking to them can be a great way to get advice and support. They can offer helpful tips on how to get your kids to listen to you. They can also provide a listening ear when you need to vent about the latest parenting struggle.
Finding another parent for support can look like joining an online group or texting a friend. Try to keep your conversations about finding a solution versus venting. Venting can lead to complaining and discontent, which will spill over into your parenting.
7. Enlist the help of your child’s other parent
Working together can help create a more unified front that your kids will be more likely to respond to. In addition, involving your child’s other parent can help show your kids that you’re both on the same team and committed to their wellbeing. Finally, by working together, you can help send a strong message to your kids that they need to listen to both of you.
Some co-parenting relationships don’t offer this kind of joint parenting. In these cases, you can call upon others in your life. For example, when my children were young, I would call my neighbor over to show a united front to my kids. They considered this neighbor a grandfather, so they respected what he would say.
You can also call on your parents or friend who is comfortable around your kids. Click here for more ideas on where and how to build your support network as a single parent.
Despite the challenges, you can do plenty of things to help your kids listen and respect you. Try some of these tactics, and be sure to praise them when they follow through with your requests. Remember that it takes time and patience to raise respectful children – don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t happen overnight!
Concentrate on the long-term relationship you want with your kids instead of wanting a clean house, or good grades, for example. In time, you will see the fruit of your parenting.