How to Get Your Kids to Listen to You

With the kids being home all day, do you find yourself repeating the same things over and over again to no avail? In this blog post, I’m going to show you how to get your kids to listen to you and what you can do to get them to pay attention to you at home.

I’ve also got a FREE cheat sheet for you. 

Do My Kids Have a Hearing Problem?

Are you feeling like you have to explain to your child even the most obvious things and you’re like, “Why doesn’t he get it?” Maybe you’ve been saying things like this for the 600th time…

  • Clean your room!
  • Get off your video game and get ready for online school! 
  • Dude, stop being so messy!

It may seem like it, but there’s probably nothing wrong with your kids’ hearing. 

The Real Problem

The real problem can actually lie in what YOU are saying, or rather, what you are NOT saying, to your child.

All children have an inner voice that guides their thinking and their behavior.  This is called metacognition. (We as adults have it, too. Have you ever argued with yourself? That’s metacognition at work.)

How we speak to our children greatly influences their inner voice and, therefore, their behavior. 

When it comes to developing our children’s inner voice, it’s important that we provide CLEAR, SPECIFIC, and EXPLICIT directions.

“Stop being so messy!” doesn’t provide any clear directions for your child to internalize.  All they hear is “messy is bad.”

“Stop being so messy!” is not SPECIFIC and CLEAR enough for kids to follow through on, particularly for those kids who may struggle with focusing or paying attention.

Is this what it looks like at your house?

How to Get Your Kids to Listen to You

We have to reframe how we speak to our kids so that our directions are:

✅ clear

✅ specific

✅ explicit

For example, instead of saying, “Clean your room!” you could say:

✅ “Pick up all of your clothes off the floor and put them in your hamper.”

✅ “Stack your papers and books on top of your desk.”

✅ “Put your toys back in the toy box.”

Notice how these directions clearly specify the desired action you want your kid to accomplish.

The next time you give your kids directions, make sure they are CLEAR, SPECIFIC, and EXPLICIT.

Watch my latest video What NOT to Say to Get Your Kids to Listen and Pay Attention all about how to change what we say to our kids to get them to do what we want.

I also created a FREE cheat sheet with more examples of what NOT to say and what you SHOULD say to your kids.  Download the cheat sheet here.

There is also “What NOT to say to improve your kid’s handwriting.”  I think I feel a series coming on. 😉

Now that you know how to get your kids to listen to you through what you SHOULD say, try it out and let me know how it goes!

Did you read my last post?

Last week we talked about some good news for parents about developing “thinking and doing” skills (AKA Executive Function Skills) in your child. Read that post here

Your Handwriting Resource Guide