In life, everything that is accomplished is done so, through communication. Communication is the only way anything happens. If two people don’t tell each other how they feel, they will never date, or marry. If an employer does not tell his people what is expected of them, they will not meet his expectations. If my wife doesn’t tell me to make dinner, before she leaves work, she will come home to a husband playing Xbox, and have to cook.
The attention of a child is a hard thing to get. A child is a difficult audience. You cannot always gain their attention by simply speaking. Kids have trouble remembering things and they don’t listen. ADHD or not, all kids have trouble to varying degrees. How do you get kids to listen? You do it the same way you do for adults. You have to get their attention. How do you get kids to remember? You do it the same way you do for adults. You have to be memorable.
I realize this does sound a lot like the vague double-talking bullshit you might read on a shitty blog or in a medical journal written by assholes that only care if you click on their ads. Well I am Tom Nardone and as it happens, I do give a shit. Therefore, I am going to give you some practical examples. Things you can actually do. I like to call it “Parental Nirvana When Your Kids Don’t Wanna” These ideas may seem extreme to you, but you can throttle them down to a level, which makes you feel comfortable.
Give them a show!!!
I cannot overemphasize the importance of dynamics. They are critical. Think of a movie after something epic happens, and there is that silence that washes over the audience. Everyone is relaxed and calm knowing the worst is over. All is calm when all of a sudden. BOOM!!!! OK this is what I mean my dynamics. It is the greatest attention getter there is. You want your kids to listen and behave because you love them right? Well, then you should love them enough to give them a show.
You have told your two boys countless times to stop fighting. They seem to hear you when you say it, but you just can’t seem to penetrate the thickness of their skulls. They are still fighting all the time. So, you come home from work one day and when you walk into the door, you hear them back in their room, fighting over the television set. What do you do?Lights Camera Action! Very quietly walk back and stand in the doorway as they continue to fight over the television. When they see you, the fighting will stop. Do not yell. Do not speak for a moment. If they ask you a question, do not answer it. After 20-30, very very calmly say, “boys, what is all the fighting about?” Listen to them, but do not react to their explanation. When they are finished simply and calmly say, “Boys I think it there is something wrong with the TV causing the trouble. Wait right here and I will be back in a minute. I know how to fix it” They will be waiting for you to fix something that they feel is working just fine.
When you return you will have an axe in your hand. Ask them to leave the room calmly and close the door. Unplug the TV. Take that axe and burry that son of a bitch into the screen so hard that is stays there. Open the door and politely say, “Yes, I was right. The problem with the TV is it was on. You guys fight a lot when the TV is on, and now it can’t ever come on again. I guess you boys better just go out and play now.” After this, you just leave them standing in amazement as you calmly walk away and go about your business. I know some of you are laughing while others are thinking I am crazy, but let me ask you this. Would you pay $300 dollars to guarantee your boys will not fight in the house anymore? This is what just happened. Ask yourself if you can come up with a better way to get their attention, or do something, they will never forget for the rest of their lives. I would like to hear it.
Your two boys will not stop leaving their toys in the yard. You have told them and told them, and gone through countless ways to help them. Nothing seems to work; well, nothing besides lights, cameras and action! Yes, it is ShowTime once again. Let this problem get really out-of-hand. Allow their shit to cover the backyard.
One day when they are in there rooms playing because they no longer fight, go in their room and act very happy, excited, and say, “HEY BOYS, I just made some changes to the lawnmower and you should really see it go! It is louder, it goes faster, and has way more power!” You will then watch their faces light up. Then say, “Look I don’t know how powerful it is so for safety, you boys stay in here and watch out the window” They will be so excited, until you come rolling out of the garage, and into the backyard.
You have already arranged some of their debris in a straight line. You know they are in the window, but don’t look at the window until you see the whites of Sponge Bob’s eyes, and just as your lawn mower begins to mix GI Joe’s ass with Sponge Bobs head, look at the window. They won’t be there. Once you have done one pass and lined up for the next one, be careful. Your kids likely will be hauling ass outside to pick their shit up before you destroy it any further. You can just say, “Boys I am sorry was this stuff important to you?” I realize this will be hard to do without laughing. I promise you they will never ever forget the day there action figures were decimated, and I think your kid’s level of attention will be at an all-time high.
Congratulations Mom and/or Dad you communicated.
Look, here is the point. As a parent, decide how important something is to you, and then figure out how much you want to sacrifice to get it. You are tasked with teaching your kids so you decide what the proper level of drama is you want them to witness. Get their attention, and be memorable. In the end, it will be easier for everyone. Do I think this was extreme? Well Hell yes I do. Do I think this was necessary? Perhaps it was, but that is the wrong question to ask me. The right question is will it work? I will just say for my brothers and me, it was the only way either problem, could have been solved. Thanks for loving us so much Dad. We miss you still.
I am Tom Nardone, and you are welcome.
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