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How do I make my child listen to me?

Q: I have a 3-year-old son, who is very intelligent and has very good grasping abilities. He is also a very quick learner. At the age of 1.5 years, he used to recognise all the letter of the alphabet and numbers. Now he can recognise almost all the cars on the road! Nevertheless, I have a problem with him regarding obedience. He never listens to whatever I tell him. I cannot get him to practise any regular activities like removing his shoes after returning home, washing hands after returning from park, etc. I know he is still young but I feel this is the right age to let him know what is right and what is wrong. At school his teachers tell me to make him do certain things, certain activities, but I cannot get him to sit with me. No amount of good talking, coaxing and appreciating helps. If at all I raise my voice he starts crying and runs to his grandma. I have told her a 1000 times not to pay attention to him until he listens to what he is told, but she never listens. She is always interfering. As a result, my son never listens to me and is always spending time with her. I am only required to do the basic things like feeding, bathing, etc. My son is very attached to me; he misses me if I am absent for a long time and always wants me at night before sleeping. I do not know how to deal with this situation.

A:I am glad you have a bright and active child. But don't forget that he is only three years old. I think the root of the problem is that there are two sets of authorities: his parents and his grandmother. The very fact that you say that you have told her a 1000 times makes it clear that you do not wish her to support the child in any act that goes against your instruction. But you must sort it out tactfully and quietly with her, not make the child feel he is a pawn on the family chess board. Instead of trying to make your child a perfect child, work at keeping him happy and in good humour. Make a game of what he has to do. With a little relaxation and some humour, he will eventually comply. Show him that the rules apply to everyone in the family and are for hygiene in the home. Be firm without getting so anxious about obedience.

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