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Parents often complain about their 13-month-old not following instructions. However, what they may be missing is the fact that they may not be putting across the instructions in the right way. Find out the reasons why toddlers don’t listen and how you can get them to.
Watching your child grow from an infant to a toddler is an experience to be cherished. But this is also the time when you need to teach him the difference between right and wrong. While the occasional ignoring of instructions is fine, teaching a child to follow directions is very important for their effective development and growth. It’s one way to make sure they can communicate and interact well with the world around them. If, despite your best efforts, your child isn’t following instructions, you need to know the underlying reasons and what to do about it.
Getting Your Toddler to Listen and Why He isn’t
1. There could be a lack of connection
Have there been times when you’ve stopped talking to your toddler or interacting with him because he didn’t listen to you? This may have become imprinted on his mind. Thus, whenever he feels less loved, he may resort to defiance and disobedience.
2. Parents’ overexcited behaviour may irk him
The way you direct your child to do something affects how he reacts to it. If you get too excited or raise your voice, he may repeat an undesirable behaviour. Discipline your toddler who is not listening in a calm yet firm way and let him know what you expect him to do.
3. Ordering around won’t help
Just like adults don’t appreciate being ordered, expecting a child to do the same can be counterproductive and is another reason why toddlers don’t follow directions. Instead of commanding, speak to him calmly and with authority.
4. He may be a facing a developmental delay
Get in touch with your paediatrician if your best efforts to make your child understand instructions fail. He could be facing a developmental delay.
How to Get Your Toddler to Listen and Obey
1. Give instructions face-to-face
Many toddlers ignore instructions given by their parents if they’re on the other side of the room or in another part of the house. One of the best ways to help a toddler to follow instructions is to give them out when you’re close to your child and can look him in the eye.
2. Give choices
Instead of putting down hard and fast rules for your child to follow, give him a few choices that you deem appropriate. It will give him the freedom to make decisions and also makes it easier for him to follow instructions.
3. Use appropriate language
A toddler may not be able to follow all instructions as his language skills are still developing. You need to instruct him in a way that he can understand. Use simple language and short sentences. It’s a good way to teach your toddler to listen.
Love and patience is what you need to make your child listen and obey. Though it may take time, he’ll soon learn to follow your instructions.