Creative Child

9 Engaging Ways to Get Kids to Listen (Without Yelling!)

by Rebecca Eanes


4. Treat them how you’d like to be treated. How annoying would it be if you were finally sitting down after a long day of work, enjoying a nice cup of tea and reading, and someone said, “Get up and clean the house. No reading until it’s spotless!” It would be horrible, yet we do this to kids. They’ve had a tough day at school, and then we expect them to come home and get all their chores done before they can enjoy themselves. It’s no wonder they baulk. We would, too! Try giving them a bit of time to relax, and it’s even better if you can enjoy something together for a little while, before asking them to do more work. It’s just being courteous.

5. Instead of verbally asking your child to do something that you normally get pushback on, get creative by making a drawing or writing out instructions using colorful words and illustrations. You know Einstein said the definition of insanity was doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Try something different!

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6. Let the routine be the boss. A good routine is going to save you a lot of headaches. If kids know that homework happens every single day at 6 pm, it eventually just becomes part of the flow and they won’t need reminding every 15 minutes. Sit down as a family and come up with a good routine that works and post it on the refrigerator.

7. Give them a list to check off. I was inspired to make my children lists when I read this post by Rachel Macy Stafford. Rachel says, “I was just about to flip my lid one morning when I grabbed a sticky note, drew a picture of a lunchbox, a pair of shoes, a pair of glasses, and a water bottle and handed it to my then five-year-old. There was a little empty box next to each item. ‘Here is your list. Check them off as you go. It is up to you if you miss your ride, and we have to walk to school,’ I said. I set the microwave timer so she could see how much time she had. She never got ready so quickly.” The sooner you start this little practice, the better!

8. Ding when you’re done! Pick up an Easy Button or a small bell. Challenge your child to a race. Whenever you finish your work, run and ring the bell or press the button. See who can get there first!

9. Try the classic set a timer game. “See if you can pick up all of these blocks before the timer goes off. Go!”

If you’ve found that you’ve resorted to yelling or nagging quite a bit lately, it’s a good idea to assess why you are feeling frustrated so much. Are you simply burned out? Are you not getting enough rest or down time? Call a family meeting to discuss new routines and ideas and then make a plan for positive change. It’s never too late to start happier habits.

Rebecca Eanes, is the founder of and creator of Positive Parenting: Toddlers and Beyond. She is the bestselling author of 3 books. Her newest book,Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide, is more than a parenting book, it's a guide to human connection. She has also written The Newbie's Guide to Positive Parentingand co-authored the book, Positive Parenting in Action: The How-To Guide to Putting Positive Parenting Principles in Action in Early ChildhoodShe is the grateful mother to 2 boys.


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