HELLO?! Why It’s Become Harder To Get Our Kids’ Full Attention

Part 1 of a series on how to quickly bond with and influence your child

Image for post
Image for post
Photo courtesy of Caleb Woods (Unsplash) with titles by David Jurasek

WARNING: this article has some tough love.

The first part will take some misguided blame off your shoulders.

Was it always this damn hard to get our kids’ attention?

Yes and no.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Pete Wright on Unsplash
"When I was young, we were taught to be discreet and
respectful of elders, but the present youth are exceedingly wise
[disrespectful] and impatient of restraint."
(Hesiod, 8th century BC).
Image for post
Image for post
Image created by David Jurasek on Canva

Why it is so much harder now!

So, you try to get this being who depends on you for practically everything to give you a moment of attention and a shred of respect.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Alexander Andrews on Unsplash

Attention = Money

We could explore what can be done about this massive force of influence on our lives, but that is a rabbit hole, which is future based and dependent on large scale social change.

Image for post
Image for post
Image created by David Jurasek on Canva

“We can’t control other people and love them at the same time.”

In fact, we all hate it when someone tries to control us. Trying to control our kids effectively trains them to avoid and turn away from us every chance they get.

“I commit to becoming the change

I wish to see in my family.”

This might look cool to print on a T-shirt or put on Instagram, but the reality is that such an attitude begets an ass kicking and never-ending learning process.

The TOP 10 (and a half) ways we“TRY” and FAIL to get attention from our kids.

1. Demanding

Telling them they “must” and “should” do it “because”!

2. Lecturing

Taking a long time to “adult-splain” things.

3. Raising your voice

Maybe if you get louder and more intense they will listen!

4. Nagging

Repeating yourself ad naeseum to wear them down.

5. Throwing a tantrum

Yes, some adults do this. I’m sure you had your moments also!

6. Reasoning

Explaining “why” they should listen to and respect you.

7. Bribing

Promise them something they want if they sit, listen and obey, like a good little doggie.

8. Shaming

Often a last resort — make them feel bad about themselves. Not one parents are proud of but still common in schools and kitchen tables all across the world.

9. Giving “Consequences”

Adult code word for punishing you. This one is another nuclear option which just makes them hate you while also birthing your own homegrown resistance movement.

10. Spinning plates to be more engaging

My biggest trap. You work your bootie off trying to entertain, cajole and basically compete with everything else vying for their scarce attention.

BONUS — 10.5: Questioning WHY?

Classic interrogation technique. Keep blasting them to tell you “why” even though you don’t know what to say in response even if they were able to tell you (which they often can’t!).

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Steve Sawusch on Unsplash

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

Before you can begin to learn what does work, you will need to understand why we all use these flawed tactics in the first place.

The Parental Entitlement Delusion:

The “Parental Entitlement Delusion” (PED) is this insane yet highly common belief that your child — whether they be 2 or 42 years old — should just drop everything and respond to you, at the moment you want them to.

“You’re child does NOT owe you

their full attention and respect.”


“You’re child does NOT owe you their full attention and respect.”

Image for post
Image for post
pic by Roman Kraft (unsplash) with text added by author

The hard yet liberating truth…

Sure, you can trick your child (or teen) to give you their fleeting and divided attention.

“How do I get them to pay attention…

…to what they’re supposed to be doing…

…and show respect to…

to me… to their teacher…whoever matters?

This is THE #1 question I get all of the time, from busy parents and caring adults tasked with herding and engaging kids and teens.

It’s a SKILL you can learn!

No matter how many times you have failed or what you believe about yourself or your child(ren), you can learn it, and very quickly — if you are willing to let go of the Parental Entitlement Delusion.

How To “Earn” Your Child’s Total Attention — When You Need It The Most!

Image for post
Image for post
Photo from Ben White on Unsplash, text added by David Jurasek

Written by

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store