How to Make Kids Listen To You – 12 Best Tips

How to Make Kids Listen To You

You have a whole lot of work that needs to be done by the end of the day. You also need to make sure that your child is up, dressed, fed and sent to school, all on time. With so many things running rampant around the house, you have little patience to continually ask your kid to complete a specific task.


If your child doesn’t listen to you the first time and has to be called out to multiple times, it’s time you take a look at some tips to turn that around.


Top 12 Ways to Get Your Child Listen to You

Here are some of the best tips that will show you how to talk so kids will listen.

1. Make Sure You Have all Their Attention

Shouting from across the house is unlikely to get them to listen. It is important that you walk in front of them, call out their name and look them in the eye before you ask them to do something. Do not intimidate your child as this will only build fear. Instead, make sure any distractions like TV or video games are removed and teach your child to look at you as you speak. The best way to do this is by example. You will need to look into your child’s eyes as you listen to them when they speak as well.

2. Be Precise

Do not overcomplicate instructions. Children need short, simple sentences that offer direct instructions. Don’t say too much as it could make your child confused about what the exact instruction is. Do not repeat your instructions over and over if your child isn’t listening. Repetition can give your child the impression that it is okay to ignore the instructions as they will be mentioned again. Ensure that he gives you his complete attention before repeating it.

3. Understand That They Aren’t Ignoring You on Purpose

It was found that children under the age of 14, lack something called peripheral awareness, which essentially means that they are easily distracted and usually don’t register activities around them. So, if your child is playing, reading or engaged in any other activity, the chances are that he may not have heard you even if you were considerably close. At this point, it is important that you have the patience to repeat step one until you’ve got their complete attention.

4. Give Details

Communicating what needs to be done and why a task needs to be done can give the task a structure and a purpose. Make them understand that there is a reason why you are asking them to do it. “Brush your teeth to keep them healthy and strong” can be better than “Brush your teeth because I said so.”

5. Don’t Ask, Tell

When teaching your toddler to listen you will always want him to obey. This means that you should not pose a yes or no question. Instead, tell them exactly what they need to do. “Put your jacket on please” or “I want you to put your jacket on” can be just what you need to say to get the work done.

6. Give the Kid Time to Process

Children may need about three to seven seconds, some even longer to process what you have said. So wait a few seconds for them to respond. You will also need to check if they have understood what you’ve said. It can be helpful to have the repeat what needs to be done. If your child isn’t able to respond effectively or repeat his instructions, the chances are that they are too long or complicated and it is best if you break them down into simpler words.

7. Set Expectations and Rules

It is important for you to establish a strict regime of rules for your kid. This can also be viewed as opportunities to earn their privileges. Make it clear to them that they will be permitted to engage in an activity that they like if they perform a specific task. Playtime can be a reward for completing homework. Be consistent with these rules and don’t allow room for modification, unless you have to. You can also give them a fair warning about the consequences if any of the tasks aren’t completed.

8. Be Positive

Instead of saying “Don’t run inside the house”, you may want to say “Please walk in the house”. Also, use direct sentences which are statements and not questions. For example, don’t say, “Can you walk in the house?”
Positive statements need to focus on what can be done rather than what cannot be done. Children respond better to direct instructions that tell them what to do rather than listen to instructions that are limiting them.

9. Empathize

Understand that your child has a reason too. Instead of reprimanding him, it is important that you listen to him, understand why he did it and then talk to him. This gives him the confidence that he will be heard and gives you a better leeway to get him to understand what his mistake was. Instead of yelling at him for hitting his brother for snatching his toys, you can tell him that you understand that his brother snatched his toys, but hitting him is not the answer.

10. Give Choices

Give your child the benefit of believing that he is in control of what he does. Instead of saying “Finish your homework” you can say “Do you want to finish your math homework or your English homework?” This process works even for adolescents and teenagers when they get into their more rebellious times.

11. Stay Calm 

It is common for parents to go into a fit when things don’t go their way. This can only establish a negative impression on your child and will make him get more defiant. It can be difficult to get your kid to do everything that you want. But not getting frustrated when things are a little chaotic and navigating through it without shouting can set a great example for your kid. He will begin to understand that things can be done even without throwing a fit.

12. Connect With Your Child

Speak with your child about your childhood and tell him interesting things that can build your bond. Children want to have a connection with their parents. Build a relationship that is bordering on friendship. If your child feels closer to you, the possibility that he will listen to your drastically increases. This is because he will want to please you and ensure that you are not upset.

Children need positive reinforcement to guide them towards what is right and wrong. Yelling and screaming at them will only develop a defiant streak in them. It is necessary that you set an example by listening to them and giving them the attention they are due when they are speaking to you. Listen to them when they have something to say and appreciating their efforts when they have done something nice is important. This is a great way to teach them that need to give you the same respect.

Also, encourage your child to be creative and spend time with your child playing games or go for fun activities together. This can establish a strong bond between you and your child.