How can you make your child listen to you?

How can you make your child listen to you?

The biggest struggle for any parent is, to get their child to act obediently. There are so many other things that your children are preoccupied with, while they are growing up and this is why they do not understand why following your rules and regulations is important.

There are various ways that can help you to make your child listen to you. However, saying NO to all that they wish for and detaching them by sending them to their room are not effective ways. Because these tricks work only for those particular situations and sometimes leave you defeated. Try something long-lasting. A few of them are explained below.

Grab your child’s attention:

It is very important that your child listens and understands your order. Do not just ask him to do something by yelling, from anywhere in the house. Make sure you go to him, observe what he is doing, make sure to make eye contact and then ask for whatever you want him to do.

This is an effective way to make your child listen to you. If possible, tap their back and ask it as a favour because you can influence a person when you are connected to them. There’s nothing to do with manipulation here. You are just making them understand in a kind manner.

child listen to mother

Do not repeat yourself: Do not repeat yourself again and again instead make sure you stay silent until you get  attention from your child.  Repeating the instruction will give your child confidence, that the instruction will be given again if he does not respond to it for the first or second time. Do not scare your child because that can only build fear in him. Instead, see to it, that your child is giving you enough attention before you instruct him.

Your instructions have to be to the  point: Do not mess it up or confuse your children by deviating from the actual instructions. Be precise and clear with your instructions, so that they can understand and act accordingly. Try not to complicate your instructions and it is helpful to use short sentences. Make sure you give them direct instructions and do not confuse them.


Do not misunderstand that they are ignoring you intentionally:

Children are preoccupied and hence they are very much distracted by things surrounding them. Children under age 14 are said to have peripheral awareness which means they cannot get their attention on one particular thing because they are diverted by other stimuli. In such cases do not think that your child is not listening to you on purpose. If possible, find out what is distracting your child like reading a book, watching TV or playing video games and try to put them off.  Repeat the instruction again and wait to get your child’s attention.

Authoritative parenting: Try to be an Authoritative parent rather than being an Authoritarian. Give a structure and purpose to all your instructions. Help them understand what, how and why should they do a certain task instead of saying “because I said so”. For example, “you have to bath every day because it keeps you hygienic” or “you have to eat every day because you have to maintain a balanced diet and need energy to do everyday tasks”. When you give them reasons like this, they won’t feel it as any burden to follow your instructions instead, they will enjoy doing it.

Don’t give choices:  Make clear statements while giving instructions. Your instructions should not give them an alternative to disobey. Such as; use statements like “please water the plants” instead of “can you water the plants?” when your instruction is in a question form, they have a chance to agree or disagree with it. So, make sure you make a clear statement that does not give them any alternatives

Use reward systems:

Reward them for their good behaviour. Make strict rules and regulations. Make it clear to them that they can enjoy watching TV or eating ice cream, only if they finish performing certain tasks.

This conditioning can motivate them to listen to your instructions and act accordingly.  Try to be consistent with these reward systems and rules, so there is no room for them to disobey.

Act as your child’s role model

Act as your child’s role model:

You are expected to do all that you expect from your child. Parents are the first role models for all children. They will also learn how to listen and act from parents. For instance, when your child is trying to ask you something and you do not care to answer, because you are indulged in watching TV, your child is also most likely to do this to you. So, it is advised to set good standards for your children by acting as their role models.

Grab your child’s attention

Do not repeat yourself

Your instructions have to be to the point

Do not misunderstand that they are ignoring you intentionally

Authoritative parenting

Don’t give choices

Use reward systems


Malathi A Ganesh is a B. Com Graduate, NTT, M.A (Lit), PGDEA (PG in Education Administration), PGDCA (PG Diploma in Computer Application), DTE (Diploma in Teaching English), ICEPT (International Certificate in Education Preschool Teaching) from Singapore and B. Ed. She has been in the field of education for the past 20 years and has an experience of running her own pre-school She is the Founder & Director Academics of Smartkidz Educare India Pvt Ltd with 275+ play schools Pan India. She is an Educationist and a Child Psychologists by profession who wants to fulfill her dream of giving Quality Education to children in their earlier years. She is also into conducting positive parenting workshops, which talks about effective child rearing. She has conducted numerous parenting workshops in all her pre schools, schools and MNC’s.

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