How to Get Your Kids to Listen (For Real)

Positive parenting to make children listen to you

Do you feel like your children speak a foreign language? You ask them to do something, they don’t listen to you, and all you hear is cricket silence? I bet you start wondering, “Did they hear me?” So you ask again and again… until it finally happens. The fuse blows!

“Children not listening” is the most common frustration between all parents. However, if you don’t address this problem from its roots, it will lead to bigger behavioral problems such as defiance, backtalk, and tantrums.

Implement positive parenting. It sets your child in a positive mood, enhances communication, and builds her self-esteem. Be understanding of what is making her reluctant and find a suitable, positive method to address the problem.

Reasons Why Your Kids Don’t Listen

1- They Don’t Hear You.

Sometimes, they really don’t even hear the simplest conversations. The reason is not that they don’t want to hear from you, but because their minds are bombarded. Children are in continuous study of the world around them, so try to be patient.

2- They Don’t Want to.

Kids long for power, but that is not because they are wilful to use the last squirt of your tolerance. Kids have conflicting desires and may not know what they really want. Being busy all day discovering the world, they wish not to stop to take a bath, for instance, so they may ignore our instructions.

3- They’re Busy.

Completing the last pieces of a puzzle is a significant project your kid is working on (at least according to him), so there is no greater annoyance than interrupting him to come to lunch. Hence, he is busy! Whatever seems simple to you is actually major for him.

4- They’re Tired.

You have probably realized that kids need extra help in the evening to complete tasks they can easily get done in the morning. The clock strikes 6:00 p.m. and the frustration begins.

Now, what makes your job harder is that you will be exhausted at that time as well. You will be eagerly demanding your child to put the toys away and get ready for a bath while he is worn out.

Quoting Shakespeare, “I always feel happy, you know why? Because I don’t expect anything from anyone; expectations always hurt. ”

As a parent, you need to adjust your expectations. Do not expect your child to perform certain tasks in the evening at a fast pace. This will make you more understanding of your child’s emotions, and, consequently, more patient.

Read more: “How to be a positive mom (even when you don’t feel like it!)”

5- They Don’t Listen Because They Don’t Know the Rules.

You cannot expect your children to know what they’re supposed to do if you don’t tell them. If you have, they are to be reminded continuously. Kids misbehave when they don’t know the right ways of behaving. For instance, if you are going to the supermarket, you must remind them to stay beside you and not to touch any item on the shelves – even if you have to repeat yourself over and over. Remember, a child’s brain is in continuous work discovering the world, and he needs to be reminded.

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How to Make them Really Listen to You

1- Lower Yourself to Their Level.

Make eye contact. If you want your child to listen to you, get down to her level, and look her in the eye to ensure that she is listening. This will significantly enhance your communication.

This also means that you should put aside your chores and give time to your speech.

2- Shorten Your Speech to Make Her Listen.

Use short and simple sentences. Even adults get tired of long speeches, so how do you expect a child to focus on a fifteen-minute-speech about taking baths or putting toys away? She won’t listen for five minutes straight!

To get your child’s attention, make your speech as concise as possible.

When you say "Don't", She Won't Listen.
The worst thing you can say is, “Don’t touch the Christmas tree!”

3- When you say “Don’t”, She Won’t Listen.

The worst thing you can say is, “Don’t touch the Christmas tree!

A child desires what is prohibited, and using negative commands will make his frustration swell. Being a school teacher, I realized that instead of investigating with students who didn’t do their homework to ask about the ones who actually did it. This will implement a positive mood in the classroom, and students will enjoy raising their hands to show that they have successfully completed their homework.

So what to do here? Thrust a positive mood and tell your kids what to do without using a negative command. For instance, telling them not to touch the Christmas tree will impose a negative thought. Whereas, when you ask them to keep it nice and beautiful, they will realize its beauty and would want to keep it in good shape. Choose your words.

“The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice.” — Peggy O’Mara

4- Say “Yes” Sometimes.

Give away the words “don’t” and “no”. Refrain from using negative commands! Instead of saying, “No, we can’t go to grandma’s today.” Try saying, ” You know that I love visiting grandma, so how about we go on Friday.” Your child would think that you actually agreed to her request because your “no” sounded absolutely like a “yes”.

You may also like: “5 Major Tips That Help Parents Communicate with Their Children Peacefully”

5- Say “Thank You”.

Your kids are a reflection of you, so when addressing them politely, they will reciprocate your behavior. Say “thank you” in advance; before your child actually performs the task to make them feel trusted. Positive Parenting claims, “Letting them know, in advance, that you trust them to do the right thing will cultivate open communication lines and increase the likelihood the task will get completed.”

6- Ensure Understanding.

The best way to ensure your child’s understanding is to make her repeat what you said.

Lower yourself to her level, shorten your speech, use simple words, and have her repeat what you said. This way you will ensure that she’s on the same page, and, consequently, you will enhance communication.

7- Observe and Use Power Positively.

When you see a task that is undone, do not rush into a scolding. JUST OBSERVE. Say things like, “These toys are still in the way,” or you can ask, “When are you planning on taking a bath?”

Observation is a way of parent empowerment that operates indirectly. Your kids will not feel scolded or reprimanded but rather blameworthy for their duties.


Try implementing positive parenting. It teaches discipline that builds your child’s self-esteem while still correcting misbehavior. Positive parenting is the most effective strategy in child-rearing as it aims for a continual relationship between parents and their children.

References: https://www.mother.ly/child/why-kids-dont-listen; https://www.positiveparentingsolutions.com/parenting/get-kids-to-listen

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