How to Get Kids to Listen to You

Profile photo of Harleena Singh - | 65 Aha! comments | Posted in category: Family & Parenting

father trying to get kids to listen to him

How to get kids to listen? What can I do to make my kids listen to what I have to say?

Aren’t these one of the major difficulties and questions parents face while parenting their children?

Is there any special formula or a magic trick that would instantly transform your children to listen to you?

I don’t think so. But I do know that the solution inherently lies in communication.

Almost all parents would agree that trying to talk to your children is no easy task, especially when sometimes they don’t seem to be in any mood to listen or even hear what you have to say!

This means parents need to do more than just talk. They need to make their way of talking more effective, and change their parenting style.

I’m sure all of you can relate to the post, even those who aren’t parents. Did you always listen to your parents? How and what did they do to make you listen to them?

When your kids don’t listen to you, doesn’t it aggravate things, and often turn into angry confrontation?

Like other parents, it might be making you anxious and bugged – forcing you to think of ways to get kids to listen.

If you remember my earlier post on 10 reasons your kids don’t listen to you, I’d mentioned all the reasons why kids don’t listen to their parents, so I won’t repeat them here.

Instead, I’d head over straight to how you can improve the channels of communication with your children.

Doing so will ensure that your children are open, receptive, listen, and pay heed to your talks, advices, and suggestions.

“Children have never been good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.” ~ James Baldwin

What You Can Do to Get Kids to Listen to You

As parents, sometimes you might have to create unpleasant or negative consequence for kids who don’t listen. But don’t forget to reward and praise your kids for being good listeners too.

Didn’t your parents punish your refusal to listen in some way or the other? Perhaps that’s why you learnt to listen to your parents as kids – isn’t it? As parents, that’s exactly what you need to do too.

No, I’m not talking about harsh and physical punishments. They’re a complete NO-NO.

Aren’t you all creatures of habits – unless corrected in the initial stages or taught to do the things the right way, you form wrong habits. That applies to your kids too.

But as adults, you learn that you’ve the power to change your habits, and not make a fuss about it.

Remember to use consistent consequences for your kids, if they fail to listen to you, because that’s the way kids will learn to listen!

Some children will easily learn the listening rule you share, while others might find it challenging because of their inborn nature. They might take long, but will fall in line with time.

With consistent parenting, strong-willed or stubborn kids also become good listeners. Your rapport with your child is an important decisive factor that will help him/her cope with change in life.

“Children don’t need much advice but they really do need to be listened to and not just with half an ear.” ~ Emma Thompson

Ways to Get Kids to Listen to You

Here are a few tried and tested ways to make your children listen to what you have to say. Hope they work for you –

1- Listen to your kids

There can be no better way to get kids to listen to you, than listening to your own kids. This includes their verbal and non-verbal language.

Being parents you can make out when your children are angry, frustrated, unhappy, overwhelmed, or just cranky. Try avoiding things they don’t like, if you can.

Just like you don’t like being forced, sometime kids also don’t like that. So, avoid putting them in situations they can’t handle, just because you feel they can or should.

When you ignore or punish kids, especially when they throw tantrums, those are times you need to apologize to your kids. Don’t feel that because you are parents, you shouldn’t apologize!

These are times to let your kids know that you didn’t know about their discomfort, or reason behind their behavior. Instead, try to fix their unmet needs, of course if it’s possible.

Also, kids imitate their parents. So, if you are a good listener, your kids will also learn to listen.

I wasn’t all that good at listening to my kids earlier, so they never listened to me. But with time, I learnt that if I heard them out patiently, they did just the same. So, it does work. 🙂

2- Play with your kids

There can be nothing better to connect with your kids, other than the playful time they share with you. Don’t expect them to join you in things you like doing. Instead, you join them in what they like doing.

Get engrossed in their small pleasures, even if it’s something you don’t like. Just be yourself and give in to them, and watch them listen to you!

3- Be honest and reliable

Sometimes as parents you might forget to keep the promises you make to your kids. You might mean to keep them, but due to lack of time or a busy schedule, you can’t keep them. I’m guilty at times here!

But to a child, breaking such promises removes the trust they have in you, and eventually they stop believing and listening to what you have to say.

Similarly, you need to be accurate and reliable about the facts you share with your kids. If what you share turns out to be untrue, and might be just your opinion, your kids will not listen to you any longer.

This can be dangerous, especially in the teenage years. So, if you want to get kids to listen to you, then share your views, but give your kids the freedom to explore more on their own too.

4- Find the ‘Yes’s’ and lessen the ‘No’s’

I know this is easier said than done! But try putting yourself in your kid’s shoes, and think how you would feel if someone said ‘no’ to what you said several times a day.

How would you feel? Would you listen? I’m sure you wouldn’t – and it’s the same with kids.

If your child asks something that you feel isn’t right, then instead of saying an outright ‘no’ – try to find a solution with a ‘yes’. Offer alternatives that work for both of you.

This will make them listen to you and also show that you are listening to them, and trying to help them.

Of course, there are times when a no means a no – like when there are serious issues like screaming in public, hitting a sibling, or doing dangerous things.

Your kids will listen to you when you don’t put demands nor order them to do things. Rather, provide them with advice, feedback, information, and just be there for them.

5- Talk slowly, with pauses

Sometimes when parents talk quickly, kids unconsciously retreat and tend not to listen. Don’t overload your kids with too much information or things to do at one time. Instead, do it in small bits.

Be simple and straight in your talk, and let them digest what you’ve said before you move to the next point.

Talk with expression, smile where necessary, and light up your eyes when you talk with passion. Talk with energy and use animation, as it’s always more effective.

You could even use audio and visual aids to get them fully involved when you want to get kids to listen to you.

6- Don’t repeat things too often

To make kids listen to you, avoid repeating things or saying them over and over again. This only bugs the kids, and lessens the impact of your words.

Instead, lay down consequences for their actions if they don’t listen to you, which again should be reasonable ones and not too harsh on them.

Consequences are just to make them listen to you – not really punish them in the real sense.

7- Get down to your child’s level

If you really wish your kids to listen to you when you talk, then physically get down to their level. If it’s tough to do that, pick them up and put them on your lap, or talk to them looking into their eyes.

Don’t babble or be vague when you talk, nor try to have your word, or use words that your child won’t understand. Hear out your child first, then give your views in a calm, slow, and effective manner.

8- Use simple words

Talk to your kids in words they understand, as then it becomes easier to get your point across to them. Use simple words and speak slowly so that they understand what you are saying.

You could even ask them to repeat what they understood, or be kind enough to repeat if they haven’t understood your point.

And don’t shout, yell, or get angry if you have to repeat things because that would only scare and drive away your child from you. Also, your kids are always watching and learning from you – so be careful 🙂

Remember, your kids will only be able to listen to you if they understand what you said. The way you talk to your kids has a huge impact on their learning, and the ability to listen to you.

“Listen to the desires of your children. Encourage them and then give them the autonomy to make their own decision.” ~ Denis Waitley

Here is a lovely video that tells you that your kids will listen to you if you listen to them. Also, if you ask them questions and change the way you talk – your kids will be all ears! Hope you enjoy it.

Jane Nelsen ~ How to Get Your Child to Listen in 90 seconds ~ You Tube Video

Teaching your kids the art of listening will help lay the foundation for their life ahead. Thus, even if there are days you feel like giving up on helping your kids improve their listening skills – don’t lose hope!

Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day! It takes time, work, patience, and practice. So, don’t give up on trying  to get kids to listen to you – they will thank you for it when they are older. 🙂

Over to you

What did your parents do to make you listen to them? Were you a child who always listened to your parents? What ways would you suggest on how to get kids to listen to you? Share your views below.

 

Photo Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos



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65 Comments - Read and share thoughts

  1. Kumar Suhas

    April 23, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    Hi Harleena , a good post again.

    Parenting is really not very easy. Dealing with kind is always difficult. We see that some parents can do it really well and some find it difficult. The importance of good parenting is also because of the impact it will have on their children and their future. You have raised some great points. Offering a negative experience should be well though first , more specifically in social standards like India. You have offered valuable tips.

    Thanks for this.

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      Harleena Singh

      April 23, 2013 at 8:46 pm

      Hi Kumar,

      Glad you liked the post 🙂

      Yes indeed, parenting isn’t easy but it’s not all that tough too once you know how to go about it, which again comes with time, or the more time you spend with your kids.

      Good parenting is important, yet again we really can’t say what works for one is better than what works for another. Each parent and family is different, and so would their parenting style be. However, what matters is that we are all able to reach out and connect with our kids – isn’t it?

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views 🙂

  2. Carolyn

    April 23, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    Hi Harleena, This is great advice. I liked the video, though I hope I can’t earn a trip to Hawaii with her suggestions!

    I am having problems with one of my daughters getting ready for school in the morning. She just can’t seem to get her act together. I have told her to get everything ready the night before and she says she does, but then she’s scrambling to find her coat or a shoe in the morning, causing us to be late for the bus. It’s a horrible way to start the day being stressed, but I think I can use the suggestions here to help her get everything sorted the night before.

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      April 23, 2013 at 8:52 pm

      Hi Carolyn,

      Ah…I liked the video too and thought the lady was talking so much sense 🙂

      That’s so very normal with a few kids, Carolyn, and often reminds me of my elder one when she was small.

      I wonder if you’ve tried putting her to bed a little earlier at night as that might help her get up in time for school. Or even put her into the habit of getting up with an alarm clock. Yes, getting everything sorted out the night before helps, but if her sleep isn’t sufficient, she would still have a stressed out morning. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences with all of us 🙂

  3. Oluwaseun Babajide

    April 23, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    There are no magic to get kids to listen to you, but the tricks you put up will do the magic! 🙂

    I am with you on number 4 “Find the ‘Yes’s’ and lessen the ‘No’s’”. I started doing this with my daughter few weeks ago and I have been getting good results. Instead of saying Yes, I say GOOD GIRL, with a big clap! Kids love when they see that big smile on your face and that energy in you. Don’t we adults love big smile too?

    My favorite quote of the week- “If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.” Albert Einstein

    Thanks for sharing, I love the picture.

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      April 23, 2013 at 9:12 pm

      Hi Seun,

      Ah…hope it does 🙂

      #4 isn’t easy to carry out because being parents the first thing that comes to mind when we are disciplining kids is a huge ‘NO’, though with time as they grow up, we lessen it down a bit.

      Nice to know that you are already doing so well with your daughter by encouraging her. You’re on the right track I must say, and when they see that enthusiasm and energy in you, they are motivated to do better and will always listen to what you are saying. A smile costs nothing but gives much – someone’s quote, isn’t it? And so very true, for us too.

      Love that quote and I think I’ve used it earlier in one of my parenting or children posts too. Glad you liked the picture 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and adding more value to the post. 🙂

  4. Babanature

    April 23, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    Hello Harleena,

    Showing your kid you love him is one great way for them to listen to you and over pampering a child is also bad because it’ll make them ignore your orders. I set rules on my boy and he sure knows his boundaries 🙂 and he sure listen and what i tell him.

    On your number four tip: I allow him to do what he want but as long as it’s not dangerous or go against the rules i laid down. If i don’t like what he’s about to do, i tell him a capital “NO” and he’ll understand. I hardly repeat my words to him and i’m sure telling him thing in an orderly manner.

    I’ll still practicalise some of your tips though and see how it goes 😉 . Thanks for the lovely post and do have a blessed week…

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      April 23, 2013 at 9:25 pm

      Hi Babanature,

      Love can do wonders with anyone, and kids are no exceptions. That is all they need from you, and you can win over the most stubborn and pampered child with your love and understanding.

      Setting boundaries, just as you mentioned is very important too, especially when we are teaching our young ones the right from the wrong. You are already doing that so well with your son, and am sure he must be listening to all you say. 🙂

      Giving kids a little independence to do what they want to is good, though you need to keep an eye it doesn’t harm them, or else you need to stop them. Doing so repeatedly till they learn to listen works well , and once they grow up it’s good to see them take up what you taught them in a good way as it becomes a part of their habit.

      Hope these tips help to get kids to listen to their parents too.:)

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences with all of us. Have a nice week ahead as well 🙂

  5. Neamat Tawadrous

    April 23, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    I just love this post. You really put great tips here for us as parents.

    Yes, parenting is a blessing but is not easy at all. I have 3 children and every one of them has their own personality. So, I can’t generalize here. Everyone of them listens differently to me and of course the way I listen to each one of them has to be different. It is very important to try and understand your child’s personality and then craft the way to deal with them based on that.

    My eldest daughter has a really tough personality and she is always over-confident and she is really hard to listen to instructions from us as her parents and she has been this way since she was a baby. I tried so many things to try to make her listen but to no avail. I guess we just have to love them the way they are and always show them that we want the best for them and pray for them.

    Thanks Harleena for such a great educating post. I really enjoyed reading it and I also enjoyed the video.

    Be Blessed,

    Neamat

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      April 24, 2013 at 5:24 pm

      Hi Neamat,

      Glad you liked the post and found if useful 🙂

      I can well understand when you say personality, and that’s how it is with kids – each one of them is so-so different from others, which is all the more reason each one should be treated differently – isn’t it?

      I agree with you – there is no hard and fast rule to get kids to listen to you that we can state here, because what works with one might not with another. Similarly, even the way a parent deals with their child would differ according to the circumstances and situation at hand.

      Ah…I can relate to your elder daughter as some kids are like that and have a strong personality, and it gets tough to deal with them. I guess either its because her nature is like that right from the start, or they are a little pampered being the elder ones 🙂 We love them as they are – don’t we? But yes, there are times when we wish they wouldn’t be so stubborn and listen to us! My kids get like that sometimes and it’s hard to get them to listen to us then.

      Thanks for stopping by and am glad you enjoyed the video too. I’m sure everyone else would benefit from the experiences you’ve shared with us here 🙂

  6. Ahsan

    April 23, 2013 at 11:27 pm

    Hello Harleena,

    Another great post on parenting. Definitely there should be a good relation between parents & kids. Kids should think parents as their friends. So they can feel easy & comfortable to share everything to parents.

    The points you added will be helpful for those who have lovely kids 🙂

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      April 24, 2013 at 5:29 pm

      Hi Ahsan,

      Nice to know that you liked the post 🙂

      Yes indeed, the bond between parents and kids should only get stronger with time, for which both sides need to work, though parents need to put in a lot of time and effort from their side. With elder kids, parents need to come across as their friend more than as parents, which makes their relationship stronger, and as you rightly mentioned, they too will feel comfortable to share everything with their parents.

      I also hope this post on how to get kids to listen to their parents is useful for those who need it 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  7. anis

    April 23, 2013 at 11:33 pm

    Great post there.

    Parenting is really a hard task. Children’s selective hearing is a big source of frustration for parents, a child who is defiant, stubbornly refuses to cooperate and ignores simple requests can make every day feel like an uphill struggle.

    I’m really enjoying your posts thanks for sharing 😀

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      April 24, 2013 at 6:00 pm

      Hi Anis,

      Parenting is not easy, but it’s enjoyable too once you know how to deal with kids, which again comes with time.

      Yes indeed, it’s tough to get kids to listen to you if they are stubborn, defiant, and with a head strong personality. But if you follow these tips – it might help 🙂

      Nice to know that you are enjoying my posts too 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  8. Manickam Vijayabanu

    April 24, 2013 at 12:18 am

    Harleena,
    Very interesting and thought inspiring subject. I believe most parents we come across this issues at current busy life. Your 8 points are perfectly make sense and very true to workout. 🙂

    My dad often say, when you play with kids consider you become a KID, which we miss most time I believe. Also, I feel guilty at times that I am not spending enough time with my Daughter to play at her level and hang around when she expects me. Once we get a hold they will truly listen us for which we should be on their shoes at diplomatic way and true to heart. There is a art and learning curve to every parents.

    Thanks for the great post Harleena. 🙂

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      April 24, 2013 at 6:11 pm

      Hi Manickam,

      Nice to know that you could relate to the post 🙂

      Yes, parenting kids becomes all the more tough for those parents who are working and leading busy lives. However, we all do need to take out time for our kids and family, and to teach them to listen to us – isn’t it?

      Your dad is so right there, and by becoming a kid or getting down to their level you can really relate to how they feel and what they want to convey even better. More so, kids listen to you when they see you listening to them when you go down to their level and play with them.

      Ah…you are not the only one who feels guilty, and even though we want to, we aren’t able to spend as much time with our kids and family – and that includes me too. I wish at times we were living in an age where there was no computers and lesser of technology so that we had all the time for our kids 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and contributing to the post. 🙂

  9. Corina Ramos

    April 24, 2013 at 12:29 am

    Hello Harleena.

    I’ve always made sure to follow through with my “if you don’t clean your room, I’m going to take your video games away” and it seemed to work.

    Now that they are teens I get the excuse that their headphones were on LOL but for the most part I haven’t had much trouble in this department, except for taking out the trash. I wish the video would have addressed that 🙂

    Now when I was growing up, it was old school and so was my mom. She was the one with the house shoe and had a very good aim. I was fortunate enough to see that firsthand on my brother 🙂 We always talk about that now and my brother’s a good sport about it, LOL.

    This is very good advice Harleena.

    Hope you’re having a great day 🙂

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      Harleena Singh

      April 24, 2013 at 6:27 pm

      Hi Corina,

      Yes, sometimes you have to use such consequences and set boundaries so that you get your kids to listen to you. I’ve also used them, though it was mostly when they were young as that’s the real time when they need to be disciplined and taught things.

      Ah…with teens it’s a different kind of problem – they listen but have their excuses lined up for not doing what you ask them to do :)And in this age you really can’t get after them, though I do use consequences even now if they get out of hand at times, but that’s rare.

      We were never like our kids, were we? I think we always listened to our parents – and were too obedient (I guess I should ask my dad that!). I liked what you mentioned about the house shoe – that’s how some moms were, and their training one can never forget even today – isn’t it? I guess your brother would know best 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences with all of us. Have a wonderful day as well 🙂

  10. Jackie

    April 24, 2013 at 1:04 am

    I definitely agree! I think the not repeating suggestion is HUGE. I noticed as soon as I made it clear I wasn’t going to repeat myself (and didn’t) my daughter started listening so much more!

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      Harleena Singh

      April 24, 2013 at 7:04 pm

      Hi Jackie,

      Oh yes…lesser we repeat things – the more effective it is. I guess you get kids to listen to your words just once and they know you mean business, though it takes a while getting them used to it – but it does work. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  11. Jon Mertz

    April 24, 2013 at 4:57 am

    Harleena, One thing to add is getting down to their level. When kids are young, get eye-to-eye and talk at their level. It makes such a difference in communication, expressions, and engagement. Great advice offered in your points! Thanks! Jon

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      Harleena Singh

      April 24, 2013 at 7:09 pm

      Hi John,

      Just as I mentioned in #7 about getting down to your child’s level – it does help when you step into their shoes too, as you are able to relate better to them. Having eye-to-eye contact, and just being one-to-one with them can get kids listen to what you have to say.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views with all of us 🙂

      • Jon Mertz

        April 24, 2013 at 8:06 pm

        Harleena, I guess a little too early in the morning! I missed your #7 and it is spot on! Thanks!! Jon

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          Harleena Singh

          April 24, 2013 at 8:57 pm

          Hey – no worries Jon – happens with all of us sometimes 🙂

  12. Jodi

    April 24, 2013 at 6:06 am

    I think everything is about putting the time in. I work really hard on this! Great post Harleena!

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      Harleena Singh

      April 24, 2013 at 7:11 pm

      Hi Jodi,

      Absolutely! The more time you spend with your kids, the more you will connect with them. It’s the best way to get kids to listen to you. Nice to know you work on this one, and am sure it must be working great for you too 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  13. Rachel

    April 24, 2013 at 6:24 am

    Any advice for a 3 yr old that laughs when they’re misbehaving and being scolded or put in time out? Why would a kid do that?

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      Harleena Singh

      April 24, 2013 at 8:56 pm

      Welcome to the blog Rachel!

      Ah…perhaps such kids are trying to seek your attention by doing that, or just testing your patience.

      Perhaps you could try and let them carry on laughing or misbehaving while you remain firm with what you told them. They will stop after a while when they tire out, more so, once they see you take a firm stand and not really give in to them. Once they stop, you can get their attention and convey your point.

      Hope this helps, and thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  14. Sylviane Nuccio

    April 24, 2013 at 8:44 am

    Excellent post Harleena,

    It’s so true that many parents who complain that their children don’t listen to them, don’t know how to listen to their children either.

    I think it all comes down to how we communicate to our children. If we develop a good communication with them, making sure we understand them, they will be more willing to listen.

    I agree that repeating things over and over will bug children, not make them listen. Maybe it will even make them not want to listen to that again.

    Another great post for parents here 🙂

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      April 24, 2013 at 9:08 pm

      Hi Sylviane,

      Glad you liked the post 🙂

      Yes indeed – parents need to ask themselves, how often do they listen to their kids that they expect their kids to listen to them. More so, kids learn from their parents, and if they see that their parents don’t listen – they do just the same.

      Communication IS the key – I know I say that every time, but it is the only thing that works, even in relationships with your own children. More you talk and open up with them, the more you will see them listen to you too.

      Repeating things is bugging for anyone, and I guess just as we don’t like be told to do things again and again – same is with the kids. Just as you mentioned, they might not listen on purpose as they know you are going to repeat it a few more times. Using a firm voice, and conveying your point effectively works better.

      Thanks for stopping by and contributing to the post 🙂

  15. Nirmala

    April 24, 2013 at 11:23 am

    Very nicely written by you Harleena 🙂

    Yes, it is good to follow all the listed points to make the kids listen to our words. But I know all these already. I spend most of the time with my daughter, used to play with her and helping in her studies too.

    I never use hard words to her and always speaks politely and softly. This is the reason, she is stick with me much. She loves the way I handle her and many times she was surprised that I was not scolded for her mistakes.

    Many of us from my family asking the ways to handle the kids and admires with my tactics of handling her. Still my sister in laws are wondering with my pleasing nature towards her and one of my cousin brother suggested me to write the same article while I started my new blog. You can see his comment in my mymagicfundas welcome post and I replied, it is a tech blog and not comes under my category.

    Will share your exceptional post to him. Thanks for writing it Harleena 😉

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      April 24, 2013 at 9:21 pm

      Hi Nirmala,

      Nice that you liked the post, and nicer still to know that you are already following all these points 🙂

      If parents spend time with their children, and are able to talk openly with them – they can easily gets kids to listen to them.

      It’s good if you never had to use harsh words or scold your daughter, and she listened to you with love. I guess everyone in your family must be very proud and happy with the way your raised your daughter, so wanted you to write about it.

      Thanks for stopping by and for sharing the post with your brother too 🙂

  16. Lori Gosselin

    April 24, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    Where was the blogosphere when my children were young? Then again, would I have had time to read blogs when my children were young, I don’t know.
    I did, however, have time to read a great book I came across called “How to talk so your kids will listen; how to listen so your kids will talk.” It simplified it, used cartoons (easy for a busy parent to read 😉 and make it very clear!

    Mostly, I think I was blessed to have an intuitive, calm partner to parent our children. <3
    Lori

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      Harleena Singh

      April 24, 2013 at 9:26 pm

      Hi Lori,

      Ah…I often ask that question myself 🙂

      I agree – I doubt if we would ever have had the time to come online, and even if we would, I think we wouldn’t want to neglect our kids and come here – isn’t it?

      Nice to know more about the book, and with cartoons it does become much easier to understand how to go about things.

      Yes indeed, having an understanding and patient partner does help in raising kids. I guess when both parents work towards building relationships with their kids, they can do wonders.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views with us. 🙂

  17. Lisa

    April 24, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    Great advice Harleena for young children but parenting isn’t easy and you never know what will be thrown at you especially when they become teenagers. Staying cool and patient is important though not easy when they are teenagers. Even the terrible two’s can cause stress for new parents.
    This is a great post to share for new parents. It’s surprising there is not such thing as parenting classes when one has a baby. (Or ones that are mandatory I should say.)

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      April 24, 2013 at 9:46 pm

      Hi Lisa,

      Yes that’s true – you can never know what happens when the kids we train and teach become teenagers. I see a lot of changes in my teens too, and some of those weren’t what I taught them! I guess that’s why they say that parenting is a never ending process – it carries on even after our kids get married and become parents themselves 🙂

      I know it’s tough to keep your cool and be patient with teens who don’t listen, but if we don’t, it might just aggravate things further. I think we need to make an effort to keep calm at such times even though we don’t to at times. Oh yes…any child of any age can cause stress to parents.

      Perhaps they might be having such parenting classes for new parents, though we might not be knowing about it because we are over that stage I guess. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views with us. 🙂

  18. Daya

    April 24, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    This is great advice! I always tell my kids to ask me if they need something, but the video is really a reminder to us as parents to ask them questions too. Unfortunately, I do get “I don’t know” a bit

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      April 24, 2013 at 9:52 pm

      Welcome to the blog Daya!

      While it’s good to tell your kids to come to you if they need something, but sometimes the shy introverts might not be able to do that, for which we need to reach out and ask them if they need our help. Sometimes kids get confused, or when they don’t know what to say, they might say they don’t know, which is normal too. I guess being concerned parents we keep asking them off and on 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  19. Daya

    April 25, 2013 at 3:30 am

    Thank you for welcoming me!

  20. Donna Merrill

    April 25, 2013 at 8:43 am

    Harleena!

    What great advice! I don’t know where to start my comment because all of it makes total sense.

    I think the best way to get kids to listen to you is to listen to them, get down to their level and be mindful of using simple words they can understand as you have suggested.

    I know it is difficult to keep saying no, but it is true what you said there…we just have to think about it and give them more yesses than No’s!

    You are giving great advice to parents Harleena and people surely need it!

    Donna

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      April 25, 2013 at 9:23 am

      Hi Donna,

      Glad you liked the post 🙂

      Yes indeed, listening to our kids is something most of us forget to do, but it is an important point if we want out kids to listen to us. Even the lady in the video mentioned the same thing first, and it surely does work.

      Stopping them from doing things we feel aren’t right, stops them from doing things on their own I feel. While disciplining is required when they are young, for which we sometimes have to say a ‘no’ that means business, it works better if parents manage to say the same thing in a different way, by using affirmatives or ‘yes’s’.

      I hope so too 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and contributing to the post 🙂

  21. Koj Tajo

    April 26, 2013 at 12:14 am

    Hi Harleena,

    Wonderful post yet again. Aha… I loving back back to your blog.

    First, this 16th we lost a kid (my fiancee’s cousin) in a tragic road accident here. It was really unacceptable. She was one with highest stubbornness. She would not listen to anyone but herself. This post, while reading, I felt if it was meant for her. (Sorry to add this personal anecdote)

    ..Ok here, I feel kids are one single kind of themselves. They are prince and princess of their world. I feel, they deserves to not to listen we elders at this age of their :). But like, Baldwin’s quote goes, we can make them what we are by letting them imitate all the good things in this world through our presentation.

    I have always felt the kids learn much more by their eyes than their ears. I really do agree your point that they would listen to us only when we try to be one of them.

    Thanks for sharing all these practical and applicable tips. I would love to remember this till I have my own kids 😉
    Regards
    – Koj

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      April 27, 2013 at 1:42 pm

      Hi Koj,

      Glad you liked the post and it’s always a pleasure to have you over 🙂

      Sorry to hear about the loss of your fiancee’s cousin, and in-fact any kind of losses are bad. Perhaps she was the first born child or the only child, as even such kids tend to become stubborn with time or don’t listen easily. Don’t worry about adding your personal anecdotes here – you are always welcome and I think this blog is open for all such talks too 🙂

      Oh yes…most kids think they are the start and end of all, or that the world starts and ends with them. I agree that to some extent we should let kids be kids and not get after them to listen to us. But if the training doesn’t start when they are young, they might get out of hand when they are older. I guess everything in moderation is good – so as parents if we listen to them and play our part well to connect with them, they will always listen to us also.

      Being a role model for your kids is important, and just as you said they see and observe better than they hear. I think just reaching out and connecting one-to-one with them does the trick. I’m sure you’d make a wonderful father whenever the time comes 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and contributing to the post 🙂

      • Koj Tajo

        April 27, 2013 at 2:14 pm

        So nice of you to say all those good words for me especially, I just loved it when you say, I would grow a good father when time comes.
        Coming here makes me feel good as a person. Learning a lot, about being a good blogger, about being a wonderful human.

        Regards.
        Aha.. just forgot to say….
        Thank you and have a great weekend ahead.

        • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

          Harleena Singh

          April 27, 2013 at 5:00 pm

          I meant each word that I said Koj, and I think I can make out these things through the comments and interactions I have with people too 🙂

          Your words motivate me too, to carry on in my direction because I know in someway or the other, I am helping someone – somewhere. So, I need to thank YOU for your kind words as well.

          Have a lovely weekend too – I think all of us deserve a good break 🙂

  22. Adrienne

    April 26, 2013 at 1:26 am

    Hey Harleena,

    I always feel I don’t have much to contribute since I don’t have kids. I guess I can only remember what it was like when I was a kid but I really would hope that things are much different today. Probably not in a lot of ways but one can hope right.

    These are all good suggestions and I know that all the parents out there really appreciate your advice. You are always so spot on with excellent advice in so many areas involving family.

    Keep these awesome posts coming!

    ~Adrienne

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      April 27, 2013 at 1:48 pm

      Hi Adrienne,

      I can understand you saying that, though your childhood experiences are a source of learning for all of us. I also want to thank you for commenting even when such posts don’t relate much to you 🙂

      Yes indeed, things were a lot different during our days, and I think we were much more obedient and always listened to our parents – I did and perhaps you too.

      Thanks for your kind words, and for taking out the time to stop by as I know the past few weeks have been rather busy ones for you 🙂

  23. Galen Pearl

    April 26, 2013 at 1:58 am

    Ah, the million dollar parent question! You are right with all your tips–I found that my kids started listening to me when I started listening to them. Of course the next step is for them to make choices in keeping with what they are hearing. The two don’t always go together!

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      April 27, 2013 at 1:56 pm

      Hi Galen,

      Oh yes…it IS a million dollar parent question – answers to which aren’t all that easy to find – isn’t it? 🙂

      Yes indeed, it’s easy to get kids to listen to you if you listen to them first. Besides being a role model to them, as they see you listen – so they listen following you, you are also connecting with them.

      Ah…I agree – how much of what they listen would certainly depend from child to child, though we have to play our parts as parents 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views 🙂

  24. Sapna

    April 26, 2013 at 10:53 am

    Hi DI,

    Great share as always!

    The point you’ve mentioned really can work wonders. I think it all starts with the listening as you’ve mentioned, we need to do be a good listener and I could see there are few who really does that, we want to impose everything on children without listening to what really matter to them.Listening is the excellent point which you’ve mentioned.

    Secondly I believe we need to be honest with our children, we should present the facts to children without twisting them, I’ve seen my daughter trying to ape things and really at times presented the twisted facts in front of friends which really has put me in embarrassing situation.

    Sounding esoteric at times really make them feel bad, children really want to have the things in much simpler way, I fully subscribe your viewpoint on this.

    Thanks Di for this great share.
    Sapna

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      April 27, 2013 at 5:18 pm

      Hi Sapna,

      Nice to know that you could resonate with the post 🙂

      Yes indeed, it’s easier to get kids to listen to you when you first listen to what they have to say. I think they also see that their parents are listening to them and are willing to do anything for you then. So, by playing a role model you are teaching them the art of listening too.

      Most parents have the habit of imposing what they feel is right onto their kids too. They may even be right, but what about the poor child and his/her feelings? Instead, putting ourselves into their shoes and just hearing them out or knowing what they are feeling helps us as well as them.

      Ah…I can understand what you mean, and sometimes kids can put us in a tight spot – it reminded of my kids when they were small too. Being honest works best, though how you convey the facts is where the real skill lies, which I’m sure each parent can find their own best ways.

      Being simple and straight forward with kids help them understand things better. I guess just being open and true with them, while loving them all through your parenting journey, even if they sometimes don’t listen to you is the key – isn’t it? I’m sure with time, they will listen, provided you know the right way to handle them. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences with us. 🙂

  25. Theodore Nwangene

    April 26, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    Totally agree with you Leena,

    Its not easy to get kids to listen to you sometimes especially when you don’t know how to address issues. You need to be friendly with your kids as you said here.

    I remembered when i was small, we use to very afraid of my Dad to the extent that whenever we hear the sound of his car, we’ll all go and hide. This is because of the way he use to shout at us.

    If your kids must listen to you, then you must learn how to talk to them with respect.

    There is a way you will tell a kid to put his hand on fire, knowing fully well that he will be wounded, but because of the manner with which you said it, he will do it.

    So, it is very important that we try to friendly with kids and also learn how to respect them too.

    Thanks for sharing Harleena and enjoy your weekend.

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      April 27, 2013 at 5:28 pm

      Hi Theodore,

      You are right about that – it surely isn’t easy if parents don’t know the right way themselves. Keeping your channels of communication open and reaching out to connect with them helps a great deal, and once kids see that you are doing that, you can really get them to listen to anything you have to say.

      Some parents are like that, and even though its part of their nature they need to learn how to deal with kids, or else it has a negative impact in their childhood and sometimes carries on well into their adult life too.

      You raised a good point about respect too, which is very important. If you want respect, you need to earn it too, and by respecting your kids and their feelings, you only make your bond stronger with each other.

      The tone and the way you talk is what matters – just as you mentioned. And if you are good with your kids, there’s nothing you can’t make them do I would say. I’ve seen the stubbornest of kids melt down when parents dealt with them in the right way – so it all comes down to our parenting skills more than the child itself.

      Thanks for stopping by and adding more value to the post. Have a nice weekend too 🙂

  26. Temilola Globalwalyy

    April 26, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    Hey Harleena,
    You are on points again, most parent don’t create the time to play with their children, or even have time to know what their child problem is, and they all want their child to always listen to them,If you don’t know your child problem, how will you expect him/her to know your?

    These will be a great information to Millions of parents out there…

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      April 27, 2013 at 5:35 pm

      Hi Temilola,

      Yes indeed, sad as it may sound – but this is a fact that most parents would agree to. I know that times are tough and each one is busy in their lives, but if you are parents, it’s important that you take out time to connect with your kids – and this is all the time you have.

      Knowing your child inside out, and getting to know their good and bad moments, as well as any problems they are going through are the basics for any parent. I guess every parent’s foremost duty is to bond and connect well with their kids, and by doing so, they can get kids to listen to them with ease as well.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your views with us 🙂

  27. Hiten

    April 26, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    Ah, what a wonderful post, my friend! You included some amazing advice on getting kids to listen.

    I just wanted to share a recent experience I had with two of my nephews, which I felt worked out really well. One is 11 and the other is 6. I get on with both of them a lot. What I was doing was talking to them like they were both adults and as I did they were both really listening attentively, and responding back maturely, too. Even the 6 year old!

    Thank you.

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      April 27, 2013 at 5:40 pm

      Hi Hiten,

      Nice to know that you liked the post 🙂

      Ah…that was a lovely example to say all that I wrote in brief! That’s how it all works – if you talk to them and listen to what they have to say too – they do listen to you. It all comes down to the way you put across what you have to say.

      However, I wonder if they listen to their parents too in the same way? I ask this because sometimes kids are very good with everyone else, except their parents!

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experiences with all of us 🙂

  28. Shalu Sharma

    April 27, 2013 at 12:13 am

    Very interesting ways to engage the kids and make them listen to you. You have to play at their level and often bribe them into listening to you. Listening to them plays a vital role in all of this. Great suggestions Harleena.

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      April 27, 2013 at 5:44 pm

      Hi Shalu,

      Glad you liked the ways to get kids to listen to you 🙂

      Yes indeed, getting down to their level helps parents understand them better, and they too can relate to what’s being said to them by their parents. Listening is, and should always be a two-way process. All of this makes the parent-child bond stronger I feel.

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  29. Mayura

    April 28, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    Beautiful post dear 🙂 This post follows your earlier post about why kids don’t listen to their parents.

    I feel like you are getting ideas for posts through your own life 😉 To make yours better while helping others to make theirs better. Or I’m just wrong? 😉

    Obviously, there are different approaches in getting kids to listen to their parents 🙂 But it’s not about every possible way, but the right way. Isn’t it Harleena? 🙂

    I feel parenting is quite harder though parents do it right or wrong. But those who enjoy parenting and responsibilities would disagree with me as they just love doing it and see how their children grow 🙂
    Well, in this relationship, parents are the ones who can do the tricks. The more you spend quality time with kids, the more they get closer.I know, parents know a lot of stuff and experienced than kids. But they simply don’t understand it. Sometimes parents might think “Why should I listen to kids, instead they should listen to me”. But parents should be clever than that, no? 🙂

    When I was a kid, I expected my parents (You know, especially father) to be honest, listen (Or understand what I trying to imply) and spend more time with me 🙂 I’m just a kid and somehow wanted more attention. Those 3 includes here and I’m totally agree with ’em as they can be pretty effective. Plus, using more YESs will be helpful.

    Well, I’ll need to try rest of ’em when I have kids Harleena 😀 lol… No, I’ve been using ’em with kids I know and they are effective too. Especially playing with kids and talking slowly.

    Still I like to behave as a kid and go to their level 😉 Aren’t we all? Kids are just amazing.

    What a lovely post Harleena 🙂 I’ve lost while commenting with lots of memories in my childhood and dreamings into future, as always.

    Cheers…

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      April 29, 2013 at 11:00 am

      Hi Mayura,

      Glad you liked the post, and yes, it does follow up the ones on why kid’s don’t listen to their parents 🙂

      Absolutely! Most of my post ideas are related very much to my life, though all that I share isn’t only about my life, but a combination of it with other matter that I research online so that it helps people in some way. In the process of it all, it helps me in more ways than one as it teaches me how to bond better with my kids too – you are spot on there!

      Every parent will have their own way to get kids to listen to them, or they have their own parenting skills. But it helps if we can offer a few suggestion in-case they need help in certain areas – isn’t it? I know I didn’t know a lot of things when I became a parent, nor was I ever online and didn’t have the time either to read about how to go about things, but nowadays parents are more aware about such topics and seek solutions in more ways than one.

      Parenting isn’t easy, but it’s also not all that hard if you know how to go about things. For me, when I became a parent, it was just going from one day to the other and trying the best skills I knew that time with my kids. It might have been wrong too at times am sure, but then I had my mom to guide me through sometimes and I had read a lot of parenting books way back then, so those things helped me. Those who love parenting their kids will make all the efforts to help them bond better with their kids and they do enjoy seeing their kids grow too. 🙂

      Yes indeed, to bond their relationships, parents need to make more of an effort to communicate with their kids. When you listen to your kids, you can easily get kids listen to you because they know you are trying and making an effort to listen to them. Spending more time with your kids is important just as I always say, as the channels of communication always get better with that.

      I know about your dad and the relationship that you both shared, and am sure you are going to be just the opposite of that and spend lots of time and listen to your kids – isn’t it? Using more of yes’s helps to motivate them to do what they are doing, instead of the no’s that stop them to do things on their own. Yes, sometimes when we can’t use yes’s always, no’s are required – but not all the time.

      Going down to the level of kids helps to connect better with them as they feel and take you more of a friend then, which is important I feel. Nice to know that you also enjoying doing that, and I can just about imagine seeing you play with your kids 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by and adding more value to the post. As I always say – you are bound to make a wonderful father, whenever the time comes 🙂

  30. yogesh pant

    July 10, 2013 at 9:57 am

    These days, children do not want to be dictated by their parents.
    They absolutely don’t like when ordered something to do.
    Being a parent, one have to understand what his/her child wants to do.
    They have to hear to his children.
    Great article, relating to the practical life condition!
    -Yogesh

    • Profile photo of Harleena Singh

      Harleena Singh

      July 10, 2013 at 2:09 pm

      Welcome to the blog Yogesh!

      Absolutely! It is very tough to make kids listen to you nowadays because of the way things have changed over the years. But I guess even we wouldn’t like to be ordered, instead, explained things in a nice manner when we are told to do something – and the same thing is with kids too.

      All parents must listen to their children, and give them time enough to be able to speak their mind. The freedom of expressing themselves is what we need to give them.

      Thanks for stopping by, and I’m glad you liked the post too 🙂

  31. Monisha

    March 28, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    Thank You so much for these tips!!! This post is eye opening for me. As a mother of 6 year old I’ve been struggling with her “listening” and just recently it’s been getting “worse”. I definitely need to get much better at incorporating #2 and #6 into my routine. I will start implementing these today! thank you again for sharing.




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Read more posts in the category: Family & Parenting




How to Get Kids to Listen to You

by Harleena Singh time to read: 7 min