You’re talking to your child, but they keep texting. You ask them to do something, but they remain focused on the computer or their phone. When you ask them about it later, they don’t remember the conversation and what you asked them to do did not get done. Why can’t you get your little animal to listen?
Keep in mind that our inner animal will always honor and respect those of legitimize higher status. A child that ignores and does not listen to you can be revealing a deeper problem in the relationship. They may not believe you have legitimate authority at all and feel you don’t deserve their attention. They may, in fact, think they outrank you in the family dynamic. How does this happen? Why is it that a mother dog never has a problem with respect from her pups yet you can’t get yours to give you the time of day? Why do her “kids” obey and respect rules happily and without resentment? Let’s learn Mother Nature’s parenting secrets and put them into practice in our own lives.
While many human mothers seem reluctant to discipline their children for fear of losing their love, an animal mother is never afraid to let her youngsters know when a behavior is unacceptable. She may growl, bark or even snap to communicate in her own dog language that a behavior is not acceptable or tolerated, yet it’s all very matter of fact. No anger. No emotional outbursts. Direction and discipline are considered just a part of life as is the loving environment when good behavior returns. Ironically, behavioral boundaries and loving discipline seem to make her puppies love the mother dog even more, as they stay tuned-in to her and follow her faithfully about the farm and field.
In the case of a child ignoring a parent, Mother Nature would say the problem may not be the failure to listen, but a deeper one – it may be the failure of parenting which has allowed this form of disrespect to emerge. Do you have rules about putting toys away, internet use, homework or time to be home on the weekends? Do you follow-through and enforce those rules? Do your kids know where you stand on rude behavior, bad language and how to treat others? Be clear about rules and boundaries, explain them carefully and don’t be afraid to apply consequences in an appropriate way if they are broken or ignored, like suspension of valued privileges, for example. Be sure any discipline is fair, calmly given and the consequence is just enough to change a behavior the next time. Do not yell or get emotional. Animal mothers don’t lose their cool and this self-control is the the truest proof of their power and authority.
Let me also add that we know the power of praise when we communicate with our dogs and get them to mind. Don’t be stingy with your praise or recognition when your child listens and does what you ask! A simple acknowledgment of good effort can turn the tide.
Next time your child ignores you, don’t get frustrated. Take it as a call to better loving leadership and follow the example of the Mother Dog!