How To Get Your Child To Listen

If knowing how to get your child to follow directions is on your list, you have come to the right place. Many parents of children and teens are often concerned that their children have poor listening skills. While you are not alone, there are many ways that you can get your child to listen and predict your child’s behavior before it gets out of control.

Tips for Getting Your Child To Listen

Here are some ways to get your child to listen once and for all.

Make Sure Your Instructions Are Easy To Understand

When giving directions to your child, make sure that they are clear. Once they have done what you told them, you can reward them with smiles, attention, or any other way you feel is suitable. By rewarding them, they will quickly learn that whenever they obey your requests, they will be able to return to having fun shortly afterward.

Only Give One Warning

If you ask your child to do something and they don’t listen, you should only follow up with one warning. This warning is of a pending consequence. If they don’t do what they were told, they will receive the consequences. By showing your children that warnings are followed by not listening, your child will be more likely to listen and follow through. Avoid repetitive requests and nagging.

Give Consequences

Always make sure that you completely follow through with a consequence after your warning if your child still fails to listen. This consequence may be a loss of computer time, game time, TV time, or even time-out. Once your child is given this consequence, be sure to repeat the instructions, since, after all, it still needs to be completed.

Additional Tips

Your child won’t learn to listen overnight. You must be consistent with your demands, warnings, and consequences. Here are some additional tips to teach your child why it is so important to listen:

  • Remain calm – Always be calm when asking your child to do something. Avoid yelling and instead use an inoffensive tone.
  • Give direct commands – Direct commands leave no room for further questions in your child’s mind. For example, say things like “Pick up your toys” and “Sit down in your chair.” Avoid saying things such as "Mommy is happy when you clean up your room.”
  • Only give one request at a time – Children will not remember multiple things you tell them to do at once. Instead of saying, “Clean your room, wash your hands, and sit down at the table,” say, “Clean your room.”
  • Have your child repeat the request – Having your child repeat what they were just asked to do ensures that they heard you.
  • Always mean what you say – Avoid giving your child a request you don’t expect them to do. Guide your child if needed.
  • Be present when making requests – Don’t yell from across the house. Instead, ask what you need in front of your child. Use gestures to explain to them what they need to do.