Is Your Child Really Ignoring You?

brain copyBy Donna Shea

Sometimes, maybe. When he or she wants to actively avoid responding to your request. The majority of the time, probably not. I work with lots and lots of busy brains in my social groups each week. These brains are focused on building, playing, creating, or having some sort of need met that supersedes other thoughts. In my observations of children over many years, I can usually hone in on when I am being ignored or when a busy brain has not processed a question or request. A child’s peers and even we as parents may be less likely pick up on active ignoring versus when a child’s busy brain has misplaced our words. Our words may skip right over or through the brain, or become buried underneath all of the other important thoughts going on in there.

So what to do? I have found that the simple technique of asking for a child’s brain works best. When I say things such as:

“Please give me your brain for a quick listen.”

“I need your brain right now to tell it something important.”

“Please put my voice first in your brain for a minute.”

I find that I very quickly have a set of eyes looking at me, ears perked up and a brain ready to process. It is very important not to speak to a very busy brain from a different room, a technique typically resulting in raised voices. If you approach the brain with which you wish to speak, make your request the top priority of that brain and have the brain repeat your request back to you, you will have a much greater chance of that brain processing and responding to your words.