How to get Your Kids to Listen to You

How to get Your Kids to Listen to You

Does it sometimes seem like you’re speaking to a brick wall?  What happened to that sweet little child that hung on your every word and looked at you like you were a super hero?

Even the best kids can have selective hearing at times.  One day they don’t seem to even recognize that you’re speaking to them.  The next, they clearly hear you, but won’t follow your directions.  It can be frustrating and infuriating when children won’t listen.  Hey parents, did you know we sometimes inadvertently teach our children that it’s okay not to listen?


Get your children to listen and to follow your directions:

   1)  When possible, be in the same space.

Children are more likely to listen and follow through if you speak to them in person.  It doesn’t work well to holler down the stairs, out the window, or across the house.  Stand in front of your child and say what needs to be said.

   2)   Remove distractions.

Stand in front of the TV, pick up the toy they’re using, pull the earbuds out of their ears, put your hand on the book they’re reading.  The distractions available today are more powerful than ever before.  Remove the distraction before attempting to gain their attention.  They won’t like it but stand your ground.

   3)  Use their name. Everyone is more responsive when their name is used.

Use your child’s name at the beginning of what you have to say.  Anything else can be justified as normal parental noise and is usually ignored.

   4)  Give a reason for any direction.

Instead of saying, “Put away your clothes” try “Put away your clothes so you can play before dinner.”  Many children don’t like to be bossed around, but are much more receptive when a logical reason is provided.  Some parents dream of being obeyed instantly and without question.  These parents aren’t realistic and that just creates a hostile war.  Give you kid a choice that benefits you and them.  That’s a Win Win.

   5)  Use appropriate vocabulary.

It’s not possible to address an 18-year old and a 3-year old in the same manner.  Ensure that you’re being age-appropriate.  Speak in a way that is tailored to the child in question.  You’ll quickly learn how to address each child in the most effective manner.

   6)  Control your volume.

When you get louder, the child gets louder.

Convey your emotion with the words you choose rather than your volume. Click To Tweet

Children can be sound sensitive and getting loud rarely has a positive outcome.  Maintain peace and order by speaking at a sensible volume. If things are getting out of hand, each party should go to another room to cool off.  You can speak again when each one can discuss things in a normal voice.

   7)  Be firm.

Children aren’t fools.  Once they learn you can be out maneuvered, they’ll continue to do so again and again.  You only increase the likelihood of resistance by caving in on occasion.  Be prepared to walk out of any store or party if the behavior isn’t what was agreed on.  Your children should learn that resistance is futile and co-operation gets extra rewards.

   8)  Be consistent.

Children are more likely to follow directions when you’re consistent in your requests.  Inconsistency and children don’t mix well.  If you say it, mean it.

   9)  Offer alternatives.

Everyone wants more control over their life, children included.

“Do you want broccoli or carrots for dinner?”

“Would you like to wear this shirt or that shirt?”

It may seem trivial, but children value having a little bit of control.   When you give them a choice, make sure either choice is OK with you.

   10)  Be clear and specific in your expectations.

“Pick up your room” does not work.

“Pick up your toys and put them in the toy box. Then put your dirty clothes in the hamper, even the ones under your bed.”

That is a better way to get what you want.  Give your child as much information as they need to meet your expectations.



You can get your children to listen.  Be consistent in how you speak to your child and be sure to use their name in order to get their attention.  Remove any distractions prior to engaging with your child. With patience and a few strategies, you can have a productive conversation with your child that provides real results.


You can make changes in how you interact with your kids.  Don’t think you can handle changing your language with your child?  Are you afraid you’ll never get it right?  Hypnosis can help.  Call me and we’ll make an appointment to allay those fears.  You don’t have to do it alone!


How to Get Your Kids to Listen to you

About the Author Angie J. Hernandez, C.Ht.

A graduate of the Hypnosis Motivation Institute, Angie J. Hernandez, C.Ht., has her private practice in Milford, Indiana. She is certified in hypnotherapy by the Hypnotherapist's Union Local 472. Angie is the author of "Weight Loss Epiphany: The Workbook" and "The Pretty & Smart Planner. You can find out more about Angie and how to schedule private sessions by calling (574) 658-4686.

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