My Kids Never Seem to Listen

Dear Therapist,

I am having a real problem with my kids. They never seem to listen. I tell them to do something, they don’t listen, so I start yelling, which ultimately makes things worse, because then I start making lots of empty threats. I am really at my wits end! How can I do a better job?

Frustrated Mommy

Dear Frustrated Mommy,

I hear how bad things are for you right now, and how much you want to change your parenting style. As a parent, it is very important for you to take a step back and try to look at the situation in an objective way.

In the heat of the moment, even the smallest things can seem huge, so take the time to really assess what is going on. When you do this, you may find that some things aren’t as bad as you thought they were.

Once you have determined the real problem areas, try and imagine how you would like things to be different. You may find that you would benefit from taking a parenting class to learn new skills and techniques.

Often times, parents struggle when parenting their children, because they themselves were not parented well, so, they don’t know how to do things differently. The most innocent behavior of children can sometimes be a powerful emotional trigger for a parent, which results in an overreaction from the parent.

If you find you are responding more emotionally than you would like, then, perhaps you may benefit from seeing a therapist who could help you work through some of the reasons for your emotional reactions.

I wish you the best of luck!



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