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'Help! My child doesn't listen to a word I say!'

Updated: Oct 21, 2022

We've all been there. You've asked them six times to put their shoes on and still they're dancing round the hallway without a care in the world about how late you're all going to be. It's frustrating, it's stressful and actually, it's really normal.

There are all sorts of reasons why children don't listen. Perhaps they're tired or busy. But what you really want to know is how to get them to listen, right?’s in the WAY you say it…

1️⃣Use their name.

📍Instead of: ‘Dinner is ready, come and eat your food before it gets cold.’

✨Try: ‘Emma, (wait to check they’re listening) it’s dinner time now.’

2️⃣Keep it simple.

📍Instead of: ‘You can watch the TV but not for long and first put the toys away. Make sure they’re all in the right place. It’s so messy in here.’

✨Try: ‘When the toys are away, then we can watch TV.’

3️⃣ Suggest options and alternatives.

📍Instead of: ‘Why haven’t you put your top on? I’ve told you 4 times to do it.’

✨Try: ‘Would you like to wear the red top or the yellow top?’ or ‘would you like to put your top on yourself or have Daddy help you?’

4️⃣Model polite manners.

📍Instead of: ‘Nanny bought you a drink and you haven’t said thank you. That’s very rude and Nanny won’t buy you anything again.’

✨Try: ‘Thank you Nanny. It was kind of you to buy ‘child’s name’ a drink.’

5️⃣ Try not to nag.

📍Instead of: ‘Remember to put your shoes on. Don’t forget your coat. Make sure you’re listening. Stop fussing about what your sister is doing. Hurry up, we are in a rush.’

✨Try: ‘First coat, then shoes on. Thank you.’

These will of course depend on the age/stage of your child. You know your child best, so adapt them how you need…

but overall, save your strength and your voice!

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