Expert Parenting Advice
Practical parenting tips and advice from experts around the world

Why humans dressed as bears are better than real bears

This morning I read a news article titled:

"Chinese zoo denies its bears are humans in costume"

Apparently photos of one of the zoo's bears have been published online, and they look a lot like a person dressed like a bear.

The zoo has denied the allegations, and say that the bears are just a different kind of bear than what people are used to.

But the twist is, because of the bear photos going viral, they are now getting 20,000 people visiting the zoo every day to see this bear that looks like a person dressed up in a bear costume.

If you are a zoo owner, the lesson is that the first step to getting visitors to your zoo is to do something to get their attention.

If you are a parent, then the lesson is that the first step to getting your kids to listen is to get their attention.

Lisa Smith, the best selling author of The Angry Parent: How to Find Peace in Your Parenting Through the Message of Anger, explained this to me when I asked her for her best advice to get kids to listen:

So often, we’re just making the request, we’re just calling it out, “Sue, put your shoes on.” And what we don’t realize is that kids are not multitaskers. They’re not scanning the universe for your command while they’re doing something else.

What happens to parents is that we’re often assuming. For example, because I’ve called out, “Sue, put your shoes on,” I’m assuming that you’ve heard me and that you’re going to do it. Meanwhile, you haven’t heard me. And this is where the conflict comes in.

And so, I love to remind parents that step one always has to be to gain the kid’s attention before making the request.

Lisa Smith

Lisa has developed a 4 step system that she teaches to parents to help them get their kids to cooperate and listen without getting angry or yelling.

Step 1 of that system is to get their attention. Because even if your kids can hear you, if you don't have their attention, they won't listen.

In the interview, Lisa shares several ways that you can use to get your kids attention, without having to fall back to yelling.

Lisa also explains the other 3 steps of her 4 step system for getting kids to listen.