How to get kids to listen

Children tend to have a lot of thoughts and energy running through their bodies, whether it is an incomplete assignment that is due the next day or exploring new video games. 

It is safe to say that even the trivial of reasons can cause overwhelming emotions that eventually lead to tantrums and outbursts. 

As an adult or a parent, we may consider these problems or emotions to be insignificant, but that does not mean we disregard the child’s emotions. 

Discipline is inculcated in a child through patience and mutual respect. While you may consider their problems to be insignificant, they might feel like it is the end of the world. 

If you are a parent facing problems instilling values of discipline in your child or you are having trouble getting them to follow even the simplest of instructions, you should consider changing your approach. 

Children willingly follow instructions when they are treated with kindness and mutual respect, if you are a parent who is planning to reconsider their parental strategies, here are some ways to get your kids to listen to you in a positive way. 

Why does your kid not listen to you?

This is a question most parents tend to skip over altogether and they later wonder why yelling instructions does not work. 

It is important to understand that whether they are an infant, toddler, or teen, children from a very young age have an inbuilt urge for power. 

When you do not provide your child with controlled liberties, for example choosing their outfit, picking a meal, or indulging in their choice of activity, they tend to exert their energy and power in a negative way. 

Similar to the above instances, not listening to a parent can be a sign of the child asserting their power. 

This is usually an indication of the child needing age-appropriate freedom or decisions making power to take the reigns of their life. 

Discipline during these moments can be implemented not by exerting your power or raising your voice, but by reinforcing positive discipline and mutual understanding. 

9 Ways to get your kids to listen to you:

When yelling or shouting out instructions to your child does not work it is best to reconsider your approach and follow different ways of reinforcing discipline. 

Here is a list of different ways you can get your child to listen to you in a positive way:

Do not engage with the child unless they pay attention to you:

It is best to connect with the child before you start talking to them. Getting the child’s attention is important as it eliminates the instances of you yelling or shouting at the child. It is best to get down to the child’s level in order to connect with them. It is important to have eye contact with the child before you begin. 

One word instruction:

A little should go a long way. The words lose their meaning when you dilute them with long lectures. To effectively make your child listen to you it is best to use as few words as possible. One-word instructions are more effective, concise, and easy to comprehend for the child. 

Allow the child to face natural consequences:

When the words seem to fall on deaf ears, it is best to let the natural consequences unfold. Sometimes it is best to let small things happen.

Let the child experience the upcoming consequences when they do not follow your instructions or do not listen to you. 

Give the child a choice to make:

Threats and punishments do not make the child regret their actions or decisions, instead, they further agitate the child. When you provide your child with choices instead of consequences they are more likely to listen to you and behave properly.

Listen to the child:

Being an active listener is an integral part of positive discipline. Listening to the child’s feelings, emotions, and thoughts can help build mutual understanding as well as respect. 

See things from the child’s point of view:

Just like you as a parent may have your distinct set of priorities, so does your child. You do not need to make your child have the same priorities as you, instead, you should expect the child to accommodate his priorities according to your needs.

Acknowledging the child’s priorities, boundaries, and understanding things from their perspective before telling them to do something will make the child respect your words and listen to you. 

Cooperate with the child:

Children do not respond well to parents who constantly shout or yell orders at them, instead they become more agitated and resilient. 

During times when your child is not listening to you, throwing an occasional tantrum, or is overwhelmed it is best to cooperate with the child. 

By cooperating with the child you can easily get your child to listen to you and build trust as well as mutual respect between you two. 

Stay calm and collected:

As a parent when you want the child to listen to you it is best to stay calm and collected. When you are upset and angry you may end up making your child feel unsafe. During times of distress it is best to step back, take a deep breath, and instruct the child to do a task in a calm voice but stern tone. 

Tell the child what you expect from them:

Stating your expectations ahead of time can help the child know what they have to do. Telling the child what’s negotiable and what’s non-negotiable will help you set firm boundaries. 

What are the Possible Outcomes?

Once you have consistently followed through with the instructions and tips mentioned above, you will be able to notice visible changes in your child’s behavior. In order to achieve desired results, it is best to stay calm, connect with your child through empathy, and cooperate with the child when possible. Communication is another important aspect of positive discipline, it is best to avoid shouting when enforcing discipline.