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Having Trouble Getting Kids to Listen?
Last Updated: 06/05/2013

Having Trouble Getting Kids to Listen?

As a parent of a toddler, I am constantly struggling to figure out how to get my son to listen when I speak to him. Some days are better than others, but we go through the same thing at least once a day. Whether Iím talking to him and he interrupts me or Iím telling him to go do something or explaining why he canít do something, thereís always once where I have to fight to get and keep his attention.

I know Iím not the only one who struggles with this issue as it is a common problem for parents with young kids. And, often times, when parents donít get it figured out when their kids are young the problem continues and gets worse by the time the kids are teenagers. Below are some tips that Iíve found to help us learn how to get our kids to listen to us without losing our minds.

1.    Show your kids what it means to listen. I have to admit Iím guilty of not doing this. There are many times I just want my son to do something. Iíll tell him and heíll begin to talk about something completely unrelated and Iíll interrupt him or cut him off and repeat what I just told him to do. While in my mind, my son needs to focus on what I told him the first time, what Iím teaching him when he is talking is that itís okay to interrupt people.

Experts agree that if you want your children to be good listeners, you have to show them (by example) what it means to be a good listener. Therefore, when your child is speaking, donít interrupt him and give him your full attention. Also, look at him when he speaks to you.

2.    Keep your voice low and talk slowly. When you talk to your child, talk in a lower voice and speak slowly. This does two things. First, when you speak in a lower tone than normal, it makes your child focus and listen in order to hear you. Secondly, by speaking slower, youíre making your words clearer and easier for your little one to understand. This is especially important for young children, like toddlers.

3.    Get on their level. Take the time to get down on your childís level when you need her attention. Look her in the eye and then begin to speak. Getting on your childís level and looking her in the eye before you speak, ensures you have her attention. It also reinforces what good listening is.

4.    Keep instructions short. Finally, when giving your young child instructions, keep them short. For example, instead of saying, ďGo to your room and put your new dress on and then put your shoes on,Ē say, ďGo put your new dress on.Ē Then, once that is done, tell her to go put her shoes on. With young children, the shorter you can keep the instructions the better.

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