Sunday

Getting Your Kids To Listen To You!



(A version of this post originally aired as a guest post I wrote for TheIdeaRoom.net)

Do you have a child who doesn't listen and has to be reminded numerous times before they will do what they're asked? Of course, we all do! Every once in a while all of our children will tune us out.

When everything seems to be going in one ear and out the other, here are 6 tips for getting your words to stick.

1. Don't start talking until you have your child's attention.
Get down on their level opposed to hovering above them, expect distractions to be turned off or paused, be sure you are making eye contact, and then talk. It is also okay to ask for their attention. "Please look
2. Get to the point.
As parents we tend to use too many words and explain too much when we are talking to our children. All the extra words give our children time to tune us out. Keep it short, simple and to the point.
3. Don't repeat yourself
The first thing most of us do when our children don't listen, is to repeat ourselves. And then repeat ourselves again, and again. (Followed by telling our children we are tired of sounding like a broken record :)) Don't! Saying things over and over teaches our children they don't have to listen because they know we will say it again and they can listen another time. Stop repeating yourself and just say things one time. If they don't listen the first time, make sure you had their attention to begin with. If you feel you had their attention and they still didn't listen, then let the consequences follow. This will take some practice for us, and for our children. It is hard at first to not repeat ourselves.
4. Be Reasonable.
Put yourself in your child's shoes for a minute. Imagine if we were right in the middle of doing something important to us, or doing something we love. And all of a sudden someone came in and demanded that we immediately get up and do what they say. How would we feel? We wouldn't want to listen, we would be frustrated and irritated! It isn't any different with our children. When a child is involved in something else, be considerate with the requests. Sure there will be times when we need immediate action, but for the most part, we can think ahead and cushion our requests. Think of it as warning them about what it coming up. It gives them time to finish up what they are doing and prepare for what is next.
5. Uphold consequences
When children don't listen, we need to uphold the consequences. If we don't, then it sends our children the message that is is okay to ignore us because we won't follow through anyway. We can set general consequences that apply to not listening. Such as "If you don't listen the first time, you have to go to your room. We can set consequences that are tied to the request itself. "If you want to play outside, please finish your homework." And/or we can let the natural consequences take their course. Such as when a child doesn't get their shoes on and get in the car when asked, then they don't get to go. The key is to be clear with the consequences before hand and to make sure we follow through. Even if they come to you and say they didn't hear you. Don't back down. Just invite them to do better next time.
6. Establish Schedules
Want to save yourself the stress of constantly reminding your kids what to do before they go to bed? Create a schedule or routine and your kids wont have to be told what they need to do because they will already know. Why, because you do the same thing every night. These routines can be established for everything. Getting ready for school, what to do after school, household chores, etc... I know for our daughter, she does better when the schedule is written down. So we write down the order of what needs to be done and she refers to it when needed. Instead of constantly nagging her, I just reminder her to check her schedule.

A few simple changes to the way we talk to, and handle our children, and you should see huge improvements in their listening skills. Just remember that along with the above suggestions, we have to be good examples. When they talk to us we need to put away our distractions and listen with full intent. Children will do what we do, before they do what we say, so set a good example and they will learn from the best!

Do you ever find it hard to listen to your kids?
Do you have a chronic non-listener? How do you get through to them?

Wednesday

Tips for a SUCCESSFUL Summer Break!


School's. Out. For Summer! Woo Hoo! This is a great time of year (although Utah is really really REALLY hot right now), but can also be overwhelming for families as they navigate the next two and a half months. Here are three tips that will help make your summer, the best yet.

First, SET GOALS.
I know what you are thinking, summer should be carefree, goals are for the school year. That is not the case. Now that summer is here, take a few minutes to sit down together and talk about what it is you want to accomplish this summer. Get an understanding of what each of your children hopes to have happen over the summer also. Everyone sees this time differently and without discussion and goals, the new school year will start before we know it, and people will fill dissatisfied and disappointed. For example, our son sees summer break as a time to relax. He wants fewer responsibilities and more down time. Our daughter on the other hand sees it as a time to "do more stuff." Always wanting to go and see and do. I see summer as a time for us to be together and catch up on all those things we can't get to during the school year, like cleaning out closets. Take time and set some goals that help each person feel heard and needs met and then decided on a daily/weekly basis how you are going to meet those goals. Not only will it give your family a direction, but everyone will feel included and satisfied.

Second, KEEP A ROUTINE.
Again, I know what you are thinking, summer is a time for no schedule and no routine, but that is not the case. Although it is a time for more exceptions, keeping a schedule most of the time will keep everyone happy. Keep bed times, meal times, and nap times consistent. This will make everyday life much better as children will not be overtired or ornery and it will cut down on "melt-downs." It will also make for children who are better mannered and more happy when you do head out for those fun summer activities. This doesn't mean that kids can't stay up a bit to enjoy the long summer nights, just don't abandon your routine altogether. Plus, it will make the transition back to school life so much easier. Getting up won't be such a shock to their little systems.

Third, RELAX, BE FLEXIBLE, DON'T OVER SCHEDULE.
Summer break goes by so fast! Before we know it the calendar is overflowing again and we are scrambling to keep up with the day-to-day. Be flexible and let your family feel you relax also. Allow for laughter, fun, spontaneity, and let your own guard down. Say "yes" more and worry less. Put less on the calendar and don't over schedule. The worst is going back to school exhausted because the summer has not allowed for any down time. Use it as a time to bond and rejuvenate and relax. Everyday doesn't have to have a major field trip or play date. It can if you want, of course, but consider a little more down time. More legos on the floor and less time racing around town from one museum to another. A good rule of thumb might be one "big" activity or adventure each week. Then let the other 6 days of the week "just be." It will be amazing to see what your kids come up with.

Summer is a magical time of year and looks different for every family. By setting some goals, sticking to a routine, and not over scheduling our families, it can be even better.

What are your goals for summer break?

This post first appeared on TheIdeaRoom.net where you can find me guest posting twice a month.

HUGE General Conference Giveaway

Spring General Conference Giveaway - $400+ in Prizes It's spring time which means General Conference will be here before we know it. Seventeen LDS Bloggers are joining me to share a few of our favorite things. We are so excited to be giving away over $400 in prizes. It's been a treat to work with so many talented women to spoil our readers with products that strengthen the family and make our lives a little easier, too. We as bloggers are so thankful for you - our readers! Thank you for your encouragement, comments, and time that you take out of your busy day to check in with us. We appreciate how you #sharethegood with us and hopefully we can share some with you as well! Meet the bloggers who are taking part in this giveaway: LDS Bloggers Now for the giveaway! If you are anything like me, your wish list for Deseret Book is a mile long! We are excited to send two of you some fun money to spend there. We hope you love the recipes from the Six Sisters as much as we do and that Nicole Carpenter's 5-minute messages will make family devotional more manageable! From bulking up your food storage with Thrive to the cutest projects by Fizzy Pops - there are so many wonderful prizes. Check them out and ENTER TO WIN below! There are TWO rafflecopters so be sure to enter each one! Spring General Conference Giveaway - Over $400 in Prizes!
Prize Package #1
$85 Gift Card to Deseret Book
$50 Gift Card to Sweet Salt Clothing
Fizzy Pops Young Women Zipper Pull Kit ($50 value) with
a Rafflecopter giveaway Spring General Conference Giveaway - Over $400 in Prizes!
Prize Package #2
$85 Gift Card to Deseret Book
$75 value Food Storage Package from Thrive
$50 Gift Card to Sego Lily Soap
Pink Star CTR Necklace and I am a Child of God Pin from Ringmasters
a Rafflecopter giveaway The winner will be announced and e-mailed April 2. We've compiled a few of our favorite General Conference Activities, Recipes, and Ideas. Comment with your favorite traditions or add a link below! LDS General Conference Activities and Ideas [inlinkz_linkup id=509188 mode=1]

Tuesday

52 Weeks To Fortify Your Family *GIVEAWAY*

This year our family has started the new year with a renewed focus on studying the scriptures together. With children from the age of 12 down to 1, it can be difficult to find a way to strengthen and uplift everyone at the same time. Not to mention, hard to find a time when everyone will sit and listen.

After much thought, we decided that right after dinner was the best time for us. (While everyone is already sitting at the table). And thanks to Nicole Carpenter, we have found a new approach that has made the first month of scripture study a fantastic experience for our family.


52 Weeks is a theme-based approach to daily deotionals for Latter-day Saint families. The book offers an assortment of topics from kindness and citizenship to prayer and repentance. 

Each week has a different topic and then each day of the week has a message already prepared for you. Scriptures and quotes are included. BUT....it is not overwhelming. Last week our family talked about Happiness. We love being able to talk about things for 7 days. It allows us to really cover the topic. And it lets our children think about things each day. 

Another thing I love about the book is the section at the back that focuses on holiday devotionals. Love and Valentine's Day, Easter and the Atonement, our Nation and Independence Day, Fear and Halloween, Graitude and Thanksgiving and the Nativity and Christmas. The perfect way to keep the spirit in the holidays, year round.

"52 Weeks to Fortify your Family" has completely changed our families scripture study experience. It has taken so much stress out of it for my husband and I. And our children love sitting around the table after dinner and talking. They grab the book each night and bring it to the table with willing hearts and minds. Your family will LOVE this book.  

"52 Weeks" is already a #1 bestseller on Amazon. If you want your own copy you can grab one online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or in Desert Book or Seagull Book. 

You can enter to win your own Autographed Copy of "52 Weeks" RIGHT HERE!

The giveaway will end in one week, on Tuesday February 3rd. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday

Christmas SALE!-Family Fun Friday Book!!!!


MERRY CHRISTMAS!

As a thank you for all your support and friendship, Family Fun Friday Game and Activity Book (pdf version) is on SALE for $4.99, from now until Christmas. That's 50% OFF. Featured on KSL Studio 5, The Matt Townsend Show, and numberous blogs and websites, families rave about Family Fun Friday's.

$4.99 for over 90 pages of unique fun for your family. And remember, most games and activities use supplies that are already in your home and are perfect for families with members of all ages. Even your little ones and your teenagers will not only be able to play, but they will WANT TO PLAY!

The sale is for the digital download which is perfect because it means you will have your book and all the amazing games and activities in time for your holiday celebrations with family and friends.

Family Fun Friday's has never been sold for this price, so grab it quick and start playing with your family TODAY.

Click here, or click on the red BUY THE BOOK tab at the top right of the page. Simply choose the pdf download version of the book and enter familyvolleyfun in the Discount Code box in the bottom left corner of the screen and the book is all yours.

You and your family are going to love playing together!


 
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