Have you ever felt like you were sitting in your living room talking to a little alien? There they sit with those dang earbuds nodding at you as you speak, yet not hearing a word you are saying...it is enough to drive any Daddy absolutely nuts. Kids tune us out and removing the earbuds alone won’t solve the problem, unfortunately.

Kids do this for many reasons and it can be absolutely maddening. Ironically, some of it could be unintentional. Kids do tend to be easily zoned out and in their own little worlds at times. Other times they are manipulating us...using their ability to ignore as a way of saying what they know that they can’t really say. (“Leave me alone!”)

Understanding those distinctions are important. Kids do need more privacy as they grow older and respecting some boundaries can be healthy. At the same time, you want your kid to be respectful. What is a Daddy to do?

Here are some tips to help you out with the kid that loves to ignore you:


Speed it Up Captain Vocabulary

Parents just don’t understand that they have to deliver information quickly and with a minimum of words where kids are concerned. When parents talk to their kids they tend to either completely dumb it down or talk over their kids. Speak clearly and be careful to word things in a way that your kids will understand and get the message quickly. Then move on.


Be Willing to Listen

Many parents simply refuse to listen to their children and it murders any real chances to truly communicate with them. When a kid knows they won’t be heard, they often will shut down the lines of communication. This becomes more pronounced once they get a bit older. My parents taught me a solid lesson by allowing us to say whatever (respectfully of course) we wanted. This doesn’t mean you have to agree with them. It simply means they have to right to voice an opinion. This is good for their self-esteem.


Have them review everything back to you

This will at least show that your kid heard you at least once. Sometimes that makes a big difference when you are not sure if you are getting through. Explain that you are doing this to help make sure they understand your point of view and do it consistently. When they know you are going to require them to repeat what you say, they will go ahead and listen to speed things up. It is a win win.


Make sure you follow through on what you say

The empty threats and words that worked when we were kids are no longer terribly effective. Kids these days are far too savvy. When you say you will do something, make sure you do it. This goes for punishments as well as rewards. When your words are empty threats, kids will know that. Instead, follow through and be consistent.


Remove anything that might take away their attention

I joked about the earbuds in the ears but if they are present you have no chance. That alone will not make your kid listen, but it is still a necessary step. The same goes for cell phones, televisions and other stimuli. Remove distractions and you will improve your chances of being heard by a large percentage.


Even when you do all of the above, you are going to have times when your kid simply is not paying attention. By all means correct them but don’t get too worked up. They might actually be hoping for just that very thing. Bring them back to you and make sure they are hearing you, and set parameters