Kids are not known for being the best listeners, but it is something they can learn to do. Getting kids to listen, and teaching them how, can be beneficial in many ways. Not only are you likely to get less frustrated with your children, but they can grow to be observant, thoughtful and considerate people as they get older, too. Here are some ways parents can help encourage their kids to be better listeners and to follow directions when needed.
Make Sure You Have Their Undivided Attention
Kids are often in their own little worlds. Whether they’re playing a game or playing with toys, watching TV, or simply inside their own heads, it can be difficult to reach them and know that they are truly listening to you. One of the most important things you can do is to make eye contact. Establishing eye contact can help bring attention to your presence as well as what you have to say. Plus, eye contact is helpful when communicating period, so establishing healthy and appropriate eye contact early on can help kids as they age.
Don’t Ask, Tell
If you want your child to do something, whether it be a task or to change their behavior, telling them to do it is more effective than asking. Asking may sound more polite or mild, but it also makes the request optional. If you don’t want to sound too harsh, stating a request in a simple manner can get the job done without raising your voice and retaining a sense of authority.
Be Sure to Follow Through
If you ask your child to do/not to do something, make sure that you follow up on it. If you ask them to do something and they don’t do it, bring it up again. If you ask them to stop a behavior and they don’t do it, make sure that you follow up with an appropriate disciplinary consequence. Not following through with your actions teaches kids that they don’t have to listen and they may tune out more as a result.
Be Mindful of Your Expectations
If a child is struggling with something you tell them or tell them to do, take note. They may not be actively ignoring you but instead have an issue with something else. This is especially important for younger children who may not be able to articulate what they are thinking and feeling yet.
When kids feel respected, they’re more likely to be on their best behavior. Make sure you treat them almost as you would an adult, but keep your expectations in check and provide help/reinforcement when needed.
For more helpful tips on getting kids to listen click on the informative video below…
Arts and crafts can help kids show off and explore their creative side, but aside from dabbling in the arts, crafts can help kids explore other subjects like science and engineering. The purpose of STEM for children is to develop a variety of skills that are essential for success: critical thinking and problem solving, creativity and innovation, communication, collaboration, and entrepreneurship, to name a few. STEM standing for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Adding Art to the mix makes STEAM.
A 2014 study published by the America Society for Engineering Education identified several characteristics of quality STEM programs:
The context is motivating, engaging, and real-world.
2. Students integrate and apply meaningful and important mathematics and science content.
3. Teaching methods are inquiry-based and student-centered.
4. Students engage in solving engineering challenges using an engineering design process.
5. Teamwork and communications are a major focus. Throughout the program, students have the freedom to think critically, creatively, and innovatively, as well as opportunities to fail and try again in safe environments.
Therefore, we researched and found a few fun STEAM and STEM crafts that parents can join their kids in creating.
What you need:
-sheet of white paper
-iron or lightbulb
What to do:
Squeeze the lemon juice into a bowl and add a spoonful of water. Mix gently. Dip the swab into the liquid and write a message or draw a picture on the paper.
Let the liquid dry completely so that the message or picture is invisible. To share your secret, set it in sunlight, hold close to a lightbulb, or iron (with adult help).
The message will be revealed! Hang it as artwork or share it with a friend.
Diluting or adding water to the lemon juice makes it very hard to see when you apply it to the paper, but lemon juice is an organic substance that oxidizes and turns brown when it’s heated up. This means that no one will notice that the secret is there until the paper is heated and the message is revealed! Other substances that work in the same way include orange juice, honey diluted with water, milk, onion juice, and vinegar.
What you need:
– ½ cup citric acid
– 1 cup baking soda
– ½ cup corn starch
– ½ cup Epsom salt
– Essential oil of your choice
– 1 tsp. water
– 1 tsp. olive oil
– Sphere-shaped mold (we used clear plastic ornaments)
What to do:
Combine citric acid, baking soda, corn starch, and Epsom salt in a large bowl. Mix well and set aside. In a small bowl, mix together one or two drops of essential oil, water, and olive oil.
Add the wet mixture to the dry very slowly. Mix it together quickly and thoroughly so it doesn’t begin to bubble. Once it’s all combined, let the mixture sit for a few minutes; it should look and feel like wet sand. If it’s still too dry, add a drop of olive oil, but don’t oversaturate.
Separate the mixture into smaller bowls and add food coloring, mixing in the color by hand.
Layer the different colors in both halves of a sphere-shaped mold and pack them down. When each side is filled with a slight mound, press them together and gently rotate until the sides lock.
Let the bomb dry in the mold for a few minutes, then carefully remove the top half. Leave it for another hour or two, then carefully turn the bottom half out of the mold. Let it dry overnight.
Hide a surprise inside like a small plastic toy, glitter, or costume jewelry when layering the bath bomb mixture. As the bath bomb fizzes into the water, your prize will be revealed.
Solar System Mobile
What you need:
– About 2 oz. 100% wool roving in assorted colors
– Two 38-gauge star-point felting needles
– Felting pad or dense foam
– White fiberfill stuffing
– White paint
– 2 paint-stirring sticks
– Drill and 3/32-inch drill bit
– White baker’s twine or thin cotton yarn
– Sewing needle with a large eye
– Brass fish-eye hook
– Small brass chain
What to do:
To make a planet, pull off a few inches of roving and roll it into a ball so it fits in your palm. Pin onto the felt pad with one needle and use the other to “felt,” or to press the needle up and down repeatedly. The tiny barbs on the end of the felting needle compress the fibers into a desired shape. Turn the roving often and continue felting until it forms a semi-firm and uniform ball. Felt on a thin piece of roving in a different color if desired (to make the blue swirls on Neptune, for instance). Repeat to make additional planets.
To make the sun, pull a 4- to 5-inch-diameter tuft of stuffing and wrap with yellow roving to cover stuffing completely.
Paint two paint-stirring sticks and let dry. Mark five holes, spaced about 3 inches apart, on one of the paint sticks. Drill. Place the drilled stick over the other one as a template, mark holes, and drill.
With the sticks in an “X” shape, line up the center holes; use the needle to thread the sun through the center hole. Knot to desired length. Twist in the fish-eye hook from the top to secure the paint sticks together. Secure the planets to yarn with the needle and thread up through remaining eight holes. Knot in place at desired heights.
Add a chain to hang; felt on small amounts of wool to planets as needed to balance the mobile.
What you need:
– Clean metal can (like a coffee can)
– Scrapbook paper
– Acrylic paint and paintbrush
– Hot glue
– 4 plastic disposable cups
– Rubber band
– Ping-pong balls or other small objects
What to do: 1. Cover the can with scrapbook paper and secure with tape. Paint the yardstick; let dry.
Use hot glue to attach the plastic party cups to one end of the yardstick (an adult’s job). Secure the can to the middle of the yardstick with a rubber band.
Place ping-pong balls or other small objects in the cups, then stomp or press down firmly on the free end of the yardstick to launch the projectiles across the room.
How does it work?
A lever is a simple machine made from a rigid beam (in this case, the yardstick) and a fulcrum (the can). When a downward force is applied to one side, it triggers an opposite reaction, sending the unattached load (the ping-pong balls) flying. You can change the amount of effort it takes to move those balls by adjusting the mechanism, too: the closer the can is to the cups, the less work it takes to move the projectiles.
Life can be challenging and difficult. As helpful as it can be to remain realistic about life, optimism still has power to do good things. It can act as a motivator as well as a means of thinking positively, even if things don’t turn out the way you expected. Being optimistic can help provide you with a perspective that is healthy but helpful, and raising a child to be optimistic can be both enriching and enlightening as a parent.
A New Twist on Complaining
Finding something to complain about is easy, but if you stop and catch yourself you might realize that the thing you were griping about wasn’t actually that bad. Kids mimic their parents’ behaviors, and things like constant complaining can be something they learn from you if you do it often enough. Complaining comes naturally, and it’s easy to give in to feeling annoyed or inconvenienced, but if you stop and think for a moment, you may be able to find a positive side to things. Kids can learn a lot from this kind of behavior, and if you find your child complaining too, don’t discredit their feelings but instead provide an alternative. If your child is complaining that they can’t go to the park because it’s raining, provide them with ideas for indoor activities, get them excited about the other things they can do instead. This kind of behavior can become a habit, and when it’s second-nature, you may find yourself naturally complaining less – and your kids as well.
If there is something bothering your child, take the time to ask them about it and work along with them to find a solution. Sometimes, if things aren’t working out, kids may want to quit or give up what they’re doing, whether they are trying to solve a math problem for homework or learn how to ride a bike. Providing support and encouragement can help kids learn valuable lessons, especially when they see that they aren’t alone.
Share a Story
For kids, everything is new. When new problems or scenarios develop, it may be a completely fresh experience for them. When things go wrong, or not as expected, kids may feel sad, upset or even devastated. Try to share a similar story from your everyday life or your childhood to show them that everyone has difficulties and that they can be overcome. Providing a similar success story, or even a not-so-successful story, can help kids relate to others while also being less hard on themselves when things don’t go their way.