Why your preschooler won't listen to you

Just when you breathe easy thinking the toddler days are behind you, the reality of parenting hits you wham!, in the face. Four and five year olds can be quite rebellious and demanding too. But I won't say that preschoolers are difficult.

It all depends on how you look at it. This can be great age to build a deeper understanding and connection with your child as they begin to understand emotions and relationships.

It is also the age when they start preschool and begin assimilating into a new environment there. With so many different temperaments and personalities that they see every day in other kids, there are bound to be ups and downs in their own emotions too. It's a big world out there, and preschoolers are just beginning to see it.

Six reasons why your preschooler may not be listening to you, and how to deal with it.

Here are six reasons why your preschooler may not be listening to you:

1. You're still babying him or her.

In your mind, your son or daughter might still be that toddler who needs your help so often. I get it. It's hard to believe how fast kids grow up, but they do. Preschoolers are aware that they aren't little any more, so your tone and language should suit that. You could talk to them as you would to an adult, but with a gentleness in your voice.

2. You don't let them make make more decisions.

Kids really do respond better when they feel they are part of a decision-making process. Within limits, let them choose what to wear, what to eat, and how to spend their time. Asking questions, and giving choices makes them more open to responding to you instead of just being told to do something. It's different, though, when you're asking them to do something that is routine, such as brushing their teeth. But you can get them involved in, say, choosing a bedtime book or which pyjamas to wear.

3. You don't play enough together.

One thing I've noticed about my preschooler is that he likes to play a lot. The games get more detailed at this age, and especially if they don't have siblings, they really want you to get involved. Try to show more interest in playing with your child, and be a friend when you do. Play time is also a good time to learn, and talk about things you may want to discuss.

4. You're distracted when they talk to you. 

There are no two ways about it. We're all distracted parents nowadays, and our smartphones aren't going to disappear any time soon. But preschoolers are more likely to notice you're distracted than toddlers. They will also resent it, especially if they're trying to tell you something. And if they feel this way, you may have a harder time talking to them.

5. You don't try reasoning.

We all know that reasoning with toddlers is rather pointless. But don't shy away from using reasoning with your preschooler. They would probably respond better if they knew why you want them to do something. For example, if they don't want to wear a jacket outside, you could talk about how it can make them sick and they would have to miss an activity they like.

6. Their minds are preoccupied. 

Another thing I've noticed about preschoolers is that their imagination really blossoms at that age. So, when they don't respond to you, they minds may actually be too preoccupied to listen. Sometimes, my son will get so engrossed in his play that asking him to do something else seems a little unfair sometimes. I usually try to join in his play, and suggest what we should do next.

It's really not that hard to get your preschooler to cooperate if you look at things from their perspective, and give some credit to their developing minds. You can't be the perfect parent, but you can always be an understanding one!

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