How To Get Your Child To Listen Without Yelling 15 Tips

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To get a child to listen these days is something else. As I teach kids, I see the rate of distraction increasing every day. Phone, music, toys, peers are significant contributors to kid’s distraction.

In class, when I start teaching a topic, in less than 15 minutes, some kids are already carried away playing.

Sometimes after giving exercises to my learners, almost immediately, some come back saying that they are not clear. When I constantly repeated the answers a few minutes before. They were not listening.

You call your child to come to have lunch; he doesn’t care to listen. He keeps playing. Does it mean your words are worthless? The truth is kids listen, but it depends on who you are and how you relate things to them.

how to get a toddler to listen and obey

Working with kids and teenagers for some years now, I have seen that you have to speak the language of kids and teens to get them to listen to you. Do not expect to talk like adults to get them to listen.

It doesn’t work all the time. You have to be creative, fun, patient, connect with them, and get to their level.

Below I will be talking about 15 tips to try on how to get your kids to listen. Read with an open mind, and get essential information to change your parenting journey for the better.


1.  Get On A Level Playing Ground With Them

They look at you from down there and see you in this light: Someone who is far off and does not understand. But how about you get down to the child’s level.

It will give a sense of connection with you both, and when you pass a message or give an instruction, I bet the kid would want to listen because you are not distant.

One thing kids love is a connection with their parents or teachers. When you can connect, they are eager to hear you. The next time you talk to a kid, bend to his height or sit down. This way, you can speak as though you are equals, even though you are not.


2.  Set Limits From A Young Age

how to get toddlers to listen without yelling

It is a trick on how to get kids to listen. Kids are very watchful and observant. They read us as parents or their teachers and note the things we accept and don’t accept.

They will try to test you to see if he can cross the limit set. Now, this is where many of us adults get things wrong. Because kids are young and don’t want to be seen in the bad light, we sometimes allow them to cross their limits or not set boundaries at all.

And so when they begin to do anything they like, things get out of hand, we start trying to assert our authority over them, and there lies the problem. Suppose you set limits, reasonable limits, and stick with them, not shifting grounds even if the kids try to defy them.

Soon, the kids will see that you are unbending and will get used to it. They will know that you do not allow everything and that they must respect these boundaries and limits.

That way, you don’t have to yell because there is an understanding that everybody works with. You only need to remind them of it sometimes.


3.  Acknowledge

This is when you acknowledge their feelings by taking time to listen first to them and explaining why they can’t have something or why they have to do what you have told them to do.

It is more about talking calmly with them and reasoning with them. Here you do not just speak or give instruction. You are patient when you talk as a parent and child.

For example, your child wants to keep playing outdoor, and it is getting dark. You have called repeatedly, but he doesn’t listen. It may seem easier for you to yell at the child that you would lock the door against him.

But how about going to the field where he is playing and talk with him. Go out there and reason with the child after giving him some reminders. Talk about the need to come in early.

That there could be mosquito bites at night, and strangers could come around. Even if he makes a fuss, find a way to redirect the conversation, and in no time, your kid me forget about the plane and get in the way you put are still talking.


4.  Make The Child See Reasons

how to get your child to listen the first time

This is another way on how to get kids to listen. Giving an all-around directive to the child may make the child feel ordered. Of course, he gets defensive and doesn’t want to do it. I bet we as adults feel the same way too.

So instead of ordering the child, how about you explain what you have to be done so he sees the need to do it. For example, you want your child to do his homework.

You can say it is school day tomorrow. What have you not done? Bring in the assignment as one of the things that have not been done.

The child would bring out his books and do them. In another instance, you can say, have we fed the dog since morning? Instead of saying go and feed the dog.


5.  Set Clear Rules

Kids need a lot of clarity when they do not understand so many things. When laws become too much and complicated, it is unlikely for kids to obey.

While setting an after-school rule, you can split the rule to make it easier to understand. Say: after school, off your shoes outside, bath, have lunch, rest, do homework, then play.

The rule is spelled out clearly and simple and easy to understand—place rules in strategic places in the house where everyone can see them. If possible, involve the kids in making the rules and setting the consequences.

They won’t want to go against the rules when they are assigned the consequences. Plus, they will be watching each other’s back to see who breaks the rules.


6.  Positive Reinforcements

Just like there are consequences for breaking the rules, there should be a reward for obeying. It goes a long way to make a child want to keep obeying. It also makes kids more open to listening.

If you reward an obedient or attentive child, the chances are that he will want to listen more because he knows that he could get another reward. Also, this positive feeling comes with a reward, it makes the child want to do more, and it makes him connect more to the rewarder.

Simple positive reinforcement like words of praise or encouragement, a thank you, thumbs up, a high five, and any other thing can reinforce good behavior and make a child want to listen.


7.  Be Brief

how to get a child to listen and follow directions

Whether it is giving an instruction or talking to a child. Learn to be brief. Extended speeches are not for kids. It will tire them out, and it becomes boring, so they may hardly want to listen to you.

When you talk to kids, try not to use lengthy explanations. Be brief, too, in times when you give instructions and go straight to the point. This how to get a child to listen and obey.

Here is a sample conversion with your kid. Instead of saying: listen and be quiet, I have talked about it many times. Don’t you know how distracting it can be to you? I always forget what I have to say. You can say: keep quiet. It is distracting. Simple, clear, and concise. The kid will get the message.


8.  Offer Choices

Your kids may find it challenging to listen to you when you do not offer alternatives. They may see you as being authoritative. With kids, things do not always go one way.

Sometimes there should be choices that they can choose from. It makes them more open to listening to what you have to say. You can say, should we have yogurt, ice cream or milkshake?

The child already knows he has three options. He will likely want to choose from three. Even if he refuses, you tell him you are fair to give three options. He will reconsider.


9.  Establish A Routine

Draw out a simple routine that your kids can adapt to and make them live by it. They will be more compliant. You can set up a simple morning routine, night routines, or after-school routines when they can get used to these routines.

You don’t have to talk too much because they are used to it. So, when you say go and have your bath before bedtime, they will likely be compliant. This way, you have gotten the child to listen.


10.  Use Creative And Fun Ways To Pass The Message

How to get kids to listen without yelling

This another great way on how to get kids to listen. If you are creative when giving instructions, it will make a child want to hear. Instead of the usual way of shouting instructions, come here, get off the grass, you can’t go out today.

How about tweaking things up a little. For example, instead of saying John come here at once, you can say, John, hop to the dinner table, or say, let’s see who can hop faster to the table. John will want to win you. That way, you have got him to listen and do what you asked.


11.  Listen

You want to know how to get kids to listen? Be the model yourself. Do you always shut kids off, not giving them room to talk, or always say No to their demands? Check it.

Even when kids are complaining, try to listen. It is a way on how to get kids to listen to you too. When you have heard, you can explain to the child why the thing you say is essential. You can find ways to redirect his attention when you noticed and drifting off or giving different excuses.


12.  Aim To Get Their Attention

When you can get a child’s attention, you are more likely to get the child to listen. Instead of giving instruction.

How about walking down to him, getting him to look at your face, and then saying, it is time to eat. You can also try getting a kid’s attention by crawling to him and whispering the instructions to the ears.

It works rather than yelling. A kid that is so absorbed in a play may not even hear you if you scream. But if you use this trick, it makes the kid listen.


13.  Change The Way You Communicate Things

This approach will work wonders for you if you work at it. You don’t always have to shout or yell. Sometimes the trick is to be calm and direct. Sometimes you have to be firm and clear with instructions.

The key is to avoid being rowdy and being always seen as one who always gives commands. You can be firm and still pass a message quietly and clearly.

Choose not to yell when talking. Choose to be clear and direct. Go straight to the point. Choose to be understanding. When you can achieve this when passing a message, this is how to get a child to listen.


14.  Limit Your Use Of The Word No

I do not mean that you should always give in to kids’ demands, but you can refuse a child without always saying No. When you say No to your child, he is more likely to say No to you too. So, choose to say the word for things that matter.

Instead, try phrases like: I will you think about it, or give me some time or let’s analyze this together. It makes the child see that you are ready to consider instead of saying an outright No.

And in the same way, the child will listen and think through when you have told him something instead of giving a negative response.


15.  A Step At A Time

As much as we should be clear and direct, we should not give too much instruction at once, even if the rules are simple and easy. For example, if you say go and brush your teeth, pick up the toys in your room while brushing your teeth, and get me a glass of water before leaving.

These are simple instructions saying them all at once, get the child confused and can be irritated. He may choose not to listen because he thinks it is overwhelming.

To make things simple, give some time frame before another instruction, so you don’t bother the child with too much at once. This is how to get a child to listen and obey.

Yelling is the quickest way we go to make a child listen. Most times, we know that the message is not heard. How about you try these tips above? You will find listening becoming easier.


Save this for later mama! 

How to make your child listen and behave

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Author: Thrivingmum

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