Teaching Children To Listen: 8 Tips

Want to ensure your toddler always listens to you? Teaching the child to listen to you now sets the foundation for the coming years, and helps ensure you have a well-behaved kid who actually does what you say. Use the following tips and tricks to raise a youngling who respects your word:

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Talk At Eye-Level

Get down on your child’s level and look right into her eyes. There’s no need to raise your voice or anything like that, simply be clear that you’re serious. Good times to do this include before going into stores, entering friend or family member’s houses, or any other time where it’s important for your child to, uh, behave.

Provide Choices

Give your children choices to make listening to you a simple process. Choices are easier to deal with than commands, such as “Do you want to put your shirt or pants on first?” as opposed to “Get dressed right now.”

Be Sincere

Be sincere in your directions so you child understands and avoids playing the power struggle game. Say “I need you to do [x and y]” rather than “You need to do [x and y] right now.”

Make It Fun

Make listening a fun game for children! The classic ‘Simon Says’ is a good one, such as “Simon says it’s time to brush your teeth” or “Simon says it’s time to come to the dinner table.” Throw in goofy directions while you’re at it and add to the fun, such as “Simon says make a silly face” or “Simon says do a funny dance.”

Give Your Full Attention

Give children your complete attention when providing directions in addition to being sincere. Listen to what the child says as well to let him know you take him seriously.

Make Statements Of Fact

Make statements of fact rather than accusing your children of something. For example, say “There’s candy wrappers on the floor” instead of “Did you leave candy wrappers all over the floor??” Your children are less likely to retaliate and more likely to start picking up candy wrappers pronto.

Provide Information

Provide helpful information when teaching children to listen, such as “You know, clothes on the floor don’t dry as quickly as those that are hung up.” This provides a little “life lesson” in addition to encouraging kids to listen to you.

Use One Word
Don’t give lectures, simply say one word, such as “Shoes!” “Toys!,” and so on.