5 Empowering Ways to Get Your Kids to Listen to You

Neutralize arguments

When your kids disagree with you, don’t encourage the argument to continue by responding to them. Respond neutrally with a “hmmmm…” or “I know” over and over, in monotone voice.

Give them two reasonable choices

When you can, give two simple choices to your kids instead of telling them what to do. “Would you like to put your shoes on in 3 or 4 minutes?”, “Do you want to take a bath or a shower?” Make sure you can enforce and would be okay with either choice. If they don’t chose an option in 10 seconds, chose for them and then enforce the choice.

Speak calmly and softly and smile.

When dealing with behavior issues, smile and remain calm. The more you yell and raise your voice, the more your kid wins the battle and is more likely to tune you out.

Use positive enforceable statements

Instead of saying “no” to a request made by your kids, say “yes” to something else. Compare the two statements: “No, you cannot watch TV now”, and “Yes, you are welcome to watch TV when your homework is completed.” When a request is made using the yes statement (positive enforceable), kids are less likely to out up a fight and more likely to comply.

Only tell them to do something once, no reminding.

“Please have your bedroom cleaned by Saturday’s playdate.” and then don’t remind them again. If the chore is not completed in time, let them suffer the appropriate consequence, i.e., no ride to said playdate. Nagging only causes kids to be more likely to tune you out. If you follow through with the consequence with empathy, one or two times of not listening, and they will think twice the next time you make a request.

Ready to take the next step and regain control of your kids?

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