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

Why your child ignores you

Why children often seem to ignore parents, and how to get them to listen the first time

Have you ever asked your child to do something, only to be completely ignored?

You know, you ask them to do something, and you are sure they heard you because you are standing right next to them...but they still ignore you COMPLETELY.

This often happens to me, and it used to make me very upset.

But a while back, I spoke to Heather Lindsay, the author of the book My Big Emotions.

In our interview, Heather explained why it often seems like your kids are ignoring you, even when it seems that they must have heard you.

She shared this story:

I had a perfect example of this with my son this morning. He’s six, and he was playing with his Rubik's Cube and I was just standing next to him and I asked him how he's slept.

Now there's no other noise in the background, it was a pretty dark room, and there were no other distractions. But he was so focused visually on looking at the cube, and moving his hands with the size of the cube, that his brain couldn't actually focus on what I said.

So it appeared like he had completely ignored me. Now, once I did get his attention, and I'll talk about how we do that in a minute, he said to me “Oh, I just didn't hear you.” So his brain might have heard me, but he hadn't actually processed that information.

So this is why we need to know how our child processes information, because once we as parents work that out, we can then make sure that when we talk to our child, and ask them to do something, that we're actually part of their communications style and how they're processing information.

Heather Lindsay

Heather explains that every child's brain has a preferred way to process information, and each child prefers to be communicated with in one of three ways (she call this "the three main communication styles").

Now, once you understand how your child's brain prefers to be communicated with, it becomes clear how to talk to them and help them process what you are saying, without having to repeat yourself.

This means less frustration for you, and easier cooperation from them.

In the interview, Heather also shares some common ways that you can use to communicate with your child based on their preferred communication style.

You can find the full interview with Heather Lindsay - Understand your child's communication style, in our ebook How To Get Kids To Listen, available for free download here.