Talk To Your Kids So They’ll Really Listen

We all say it “my kid seems to have selective hearing”, and feel like that mostly only applies when we are talking to them. Is there a way to talk to your kids so that they really hear you? The fine folks at seem to have some recommendations on how to make this a reality. Now, if there was a way to curb the eye rolling…

Taken from

A major part of bringing up kids is learning how to talk with and to your children. The way you talk to your child teaches them how to talk to others. Here are some simple but really effective talking tips to try out with your kids:
Connect before you direct

Before giving your child directions, squat down to your child’s eye level and engage your child in eye-to-eye contact to get their full attention. This helps them know you are talking directly at them and helps to focus their attention on what you are telling them to do: “Nic, I need your eyes to look at me.” “Sophie, I need your ears to switch on so you can really hear me.”

Be aware of your body language and your tone of voice so your child knows you mean what you say – be clear – be firm – be calm and be specific.

Address your child clearly by using their name

This makes sure your child knows that you are actually talking to them and gets rid of any misunderstanding. Often children are really engrossed in what they are doing so using their name grabs their attention quickly and easily. So start your request with your child’s name, “Charlie, will you please…”

Stay brief

Use the simple but effective one-sentence rule and put your main point in the opening sentence. The longer you ramble, the more likely your child is to become parent-deaf! Too much talking is a very common mistake parents make when talking to their kids about an issue. It gives your child the feeling that you’re not quite sure what it is you want to say. If they can keep you talking they can often get you sidetracked. Also it cuts to the chase and stops the whole situation turning into just a nagging session which is far more positive.

Stay simple

Use short sentences with one-syllable words. Listen to how kids communicate with each other and take note. When your child shows that glazed, disinterested look, you are no longer being understood or listened to. So take the hint!

A really simple way to check they have heard you is to ask them to repeat the request back to you if they can’t, it’s too long or too complicated or they weren’t really listening to you!

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