5 Ways to Get Your Kids to Listen

girl with large paper ears titled "listening ears"

Are you going through the same trauma of parenting when your kid just won’t listen to you no matter what you do? You have tried punishing, bribing, and reasoning but feel that nothing works on your child. If you think there is no hope, think again.

Trying to get your child to listen to you can be an extremely frustrating experience as they try their best to test your patience every now and then. Regardless of how hard you try to keep your cool, there are times when things go completely out of hand and turn into an angry confrontation.

Getting your child to listen to you is an important part of disciplining him/her. This is also imperative as the way you communicate with your child will influence the way he/she will interact with others. If you are often trapped in a yelling match with your child, this is not going to help you. All you need to do is to implement some strategies to make sure that you get your child’s attention, make him/her listen to you and do accordingly. Five ways to help you in this regard are listed below.

Listen To Your Child
If you do not give your complete attention when your child is talking to you, it is not justified to expect him/her to do so. It is, therefore, important that no matter how insignificant their problem may seem to you, you have to listen to it intently. Try to communicate with your child as a friend. Ask him/ her how things are at school, how his/her friends are, anything that will encourage your child to speak up. If you want your child to listen, you have to listen to him/her as well.

Stay Brief and Simple
Children naturally have shorter attention spans so the longer you ramble, the more likely your child is to turn a deaf ear to whatever it is you are saying. Use shorter sentences and keep the use of words to a minimum. When you talk too much, not only does your child lose interest, it also gives him/her the feeling that you are unsure of what you are saying.

Talk to Them Like Adults
Children hate to be treated like little kids. That is why it is important that you talk to them as adults. Ask them to give their opinion on even the most insignificant things because nothing annoys a child more than knowing that his/her opinion does not matter.

Ask Your Child to Reiterate Your Request
If he/she can repeat exactly what he/she is asked to do, you have gotten your point through to him/her. Otherwise, your point must have been too long or too complicated and you have to start all over again.

Request Instead Of Command
Barking orders at your child will be no help, as it will only encourage your child to show you his rebellious side even more. Requesting your child is the key to make him/her listen to you. Instead of asking your child to ?Close the door?, it is strongly advised that you ask them, ?Will you please close the door?? This will help your child realize that it is better to request than to demand and they are most likely to adopt the same behavior with you.

About the Author
Mike is a father of 2. He spends a lot of his time educating his children and loves sharing his experiences. When he is not blogging he distributes razor scooters and outdoor toys

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who want kids that are good listeners.

Image courtesy of niclindh via Creative Commons license, some rights reserved.

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  • Rodney C. Davis April 17, 2012, 8:48 am

    These would work for just about anyone. In fact I agree so wholeheartedly I’d say that if parents follow this little list consistently and they don’t work, it’s time to be more than a little worried that there is something physically wrong. I’d only ad that listening to children involves coming down to their level so you can eyeball them. The world is such a different place from “down there.” Also, I hope your subscribers don’t misunderstand “talking to them as adults” to think that you mean they should use the same language and content or adults. Be age-appropriate with that at all times.

    Reply
    • Amy LeForge April 17, 2012, 11:23 am

      Rodney,

      Excellent points all. 🙂 I treat my kids like adults, but by that I mean that I treat them as old as I can, within developmental limits. So if I’m unhappy with them, I speak to them about the issue calmly and directly. Because that’s how I want them to handle things when they’re adults relating to other adults. When a fit ensues, I point out that I spoke to them like an adult, that I addressed the situation directly and didn’t throw a fit myself. I’m guessing that’s what was meant by the statement “talk to them like adults.”

      Reply
  • Cynthia Klein April 18, 2012, 11:52 pm

    Hi Amy, Treating children like adults seems to imply a respectful approach which i believe is lovely. They do have a budding adult inside that we want to nurture. I think at the same time that due to their immature brain development, that their responses will not be as an adult.

    Reply
    • Amy LeForge April 19, 2012, 12:09 am

      Thanks Cynthia! Absolutely correct. We cannot expect children to respond as adults naturally. My aim is only to model, teach, and have them practice.

      Reply