They hear, even if they don't respond quickly -- I found this out doing music therapy == my first experience with kids didn't go too well. I thought they weren't learning the song because they just stared at me, so I didn't add more songs--found out from a mom that one child sang it at home all the time (driving mom nuts!). When they don't have internal stimulus providing an override, they hear. 1889 days ago
I thought I wouldn't do the bribery thing either, but getting rewarded for effort is a behavioral standard. In the world of behavior analysts it's called a token economy.
I think that we teach people how we want to be treated, or what we will tolerate and with children, some of this teaching has to be direct and as a result of direct contact. While that means you don't have to directly parent them, they will still learn from you and what you expect behaviorally because the are learning from everything in their environment. It's not about undoing the habit as letting them know that this habit is not okay with Aunt P 1889 days ago