Creative Child

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

by Rebecca Eanes

“Come on! Hurry up! I asked you to get your shoes on!”

“I’ve told you 50 times! Get this room cleaned up!”

“How many times do I have to tell you?!”

Sound familiar? I know how frustrating it is when kids don’t listen to you! So, you end up resorting to yelling and nagging in the midst of your frustration because things have to get done, right? Believe me, I have been there. Here’s the unfortunate truth though. When kids just cooperate because we’ve yelled at them, that’s not really cooperation. As my friend, Lu Hanessian, put it on her Facebook page Parent2ParentU: “Many times it’s US who get stuck in Rut Parenting, and we think we have no other way of interacting than from a place of anxiety, frustration, and words, words, words that lead to SHOUTING. And we tell ourselves, ‘They don’t listen unless I yell.’ But that’s not REALLY true. And it’s not REAL listening. It’s impulse reacting to our impulse spewing. That’s short-lived.”

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Real cooperation begins with connection. Connected kids are cooperative kids! It’s also best to insert as much joy into the day as possible. Here are some fun and engaging ways to get your child to listen.

1. Connect before you direct. Get your child’s attention, make sure you have eye contact. Yelling from another room when your child is busy with his own activity is probably not going to get his attention or gain his cooperation.

2. Speak respectfully. Nobody likes to have orders barked at them. Ask politely! Honestly, how often do we skip straight to the frustrated tone?

3. Throw in an affirmation. “You are such a good helper and I know I can count on you. I need you to help me out by….”

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