Q&A: How Do I Get My Boys to Listen in Parking Lots?
Pamela asked on our page, “I have three crazy….er…highly spirited boys. They don’t seem to hear me or take me seriously until I yell, they’ve been disciplined for it and everything. We’re out in public a lot more now so I’m most concerned about them getting out of hand in the parking lot. How do you get wild boys to listen, the first time??”
Boys really, seriously do not hear the tones of the human voice as well as girls, so you may need to raise your voice (not yell! ) to get your guys’ attention.
Don’t feel bad about that. I remember when a friend of ours who only had girls told me that I shouldn’t speak loudly to our boys, but only whisper when I wanted their attention, so they would learn to listen for Mama’s voice. Uh, no. Utter fail. They never even knew I was speaking! Now, Hal tried that with our super-busy little girl once we had girls. Wow, she was rocketing through the room, but when she heard Daddy whisper, “Hey, let me tell you a secret,” she vectored right in and was all ears! Boys and girls are different!
Safety issues, though, require more than patience, don’t they? We always had pretty stiff rules about behavior in parking lots – they are so dangerous!
Getting out of the car: We required our guys to put a hand on the van when they got out and wait there until I got everyone else out.
Walking through parking lots: They always had to hold on to the buggy or someone’s hand while we were in the parking lot.
When they wouldn’t cooperate: If they didn’t hold on the van or cart when they were supposed to, If they didn’t, I would take their hand and put it where it belonged. If they refused to listen to me, we would pack up and go home and administer some discipline. Although that is a huge pain in the neck, you usually only have to do that once per child.
Our book, Raising Real Men, talks about all kinds of issues like this – discipline, normal behavior, how to keep from going crazy 🙂 and how to raise Godly sons. Check it out here.
We’re also about to start a new online class series of Boyhood Boot Camp. This is the one that helps parents of younger boys get up to speed on all things Boy – discipline, schoolwork, media, talking about the Lord, the stuff we wish we’d known when our oldest guys were boys. Come join us!
Hal & Melanie