Why Don’t My Children Just Listen?!?

We’ve all been there, right? Frustrated because you’ve told your child something 100 times and they still don’t do it…or even remember hearing it! I’ve even been known to say things like, “I’m not talking just because I like the sound of my voice!” And when your kids don’t listen to you about things like not running in the house, or putting their laundry away we start to wonder…are they listening to anything I’m trying to teach them?

I saw this information in a presentation about brain research a few years back. It shows the average retention rate after 24 hours of learning new information.

After 24 hours of hearing a lecture people retain approximately 5% of what they heard. Think college…how many of us can recite from memory one of our professor’s lectures? I don’t remember a whole lecture but I do remember one quote. I had a college professor that used to say, “If teaching were the same as telling, thing how smart we’d all be!” How true!

Which means if you spend 30 minutes lecturing your kid, they are going to come away remembering about 1.5 min of what you said. And you don’t get to choose which 1.5 min they will remember. That must be why I feel like my kids are never listening to me! 🙂

If you read new information you retain about 10%. Audio visuals, like Powerpoint presentations, bring you up to 20%. If you can throw in a demonstration you bring the retention rate up to 30%. Still not great numbers.

Here is where things start to get good. Allowing the opportunity for discussion brings retention up to 50%. If you get to practice the activity by doing it yourself you retain 75% and if you go share what you learned with someone else you retain 90% of what you learned!

Can you imagine how powerful that makes a family devotion?!? When you provide space for your family to openly discuss their thoughts and beliefs about God you strengthen your children’s connection to their faith. When you spend time together with activities such as “Doing the Scripture” or using prayer practices you give your children the practice they need to make this connection a life long habit. And when you share your story with others and see your children doing the same you know that the most important message you are trying to impart has become internalized in them.

So if you take nothing else away from this post (since I know you will only retain about 10%), remember this…

Your children are listening! And when you take time to connect with God as a family you are teaching them lessons they will remember forever!

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2 thoughts on “Why Don’t My Children Just Listen?!?

  1. Monica,

    My cousin, Lauren Lambert, told me about your website. After reading your post today, I’m definitely going to recommend your site to my friends! Thank you so much for taking the time to teach through the technology venue; I’m excited to have a resource like this!

    Tara Zettler

    • Tara,

      I’m so glad you took time out of your day to stop by! This is a topic I’m passionate about and I love hearing that others find my posts useful!
      Thanks so much!


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