How to make your child listen

Boys Town: Saving Children, Healing Families, Parenting Tips | 10 Tips to Help Your Child Listen and Follow Directions

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  • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Stay calm
  • Be direct
  • State commands positively
  • Give one command at a time
  • Give age-appropriate instructions
  • Give brief reasons
  • Be physically present
  • Ask the child to repeat the instruction
  • Reward compliance
  • Make sure you mean it

Teaching Your Child Listening Skills​

Poor listening is one of the most common concerns expressed by parents of children and teens. When kids are having fun, they want to keep having fun. If a parent makes a request that ends or prevents fun, children may respond with behaviors ranging from whining to complaining to hurricane-force tantrums. Parents often say they need to repeat requests, threaten or raise their voice to get their child to do what they have asked. The good news is that by making a few simple changes in the way you teach your child to listen, he or she can become a better listener.

You are the message-sender, the traffic light for your child. Real traffic lights go predictably from green to yellow to red. Imagine if traffic lights changed at random. You wouldn’t know when you were supposed to stop! As a parent, the more predictable your signals are, the more predictable your child’s behavior will be.


Step 1: Give Clear Instructions

When you make a request, your light is GREEN and children are given the signal to “GO” and complete a task. When they listen, make their efforts pay off by providing praise, attention, smiles, etc. This will get them GO-ing, and they will eventually learn that the sooner they follow your request, the sooner they can get back to playing and having fun.

Step 2: Give One Warning

When your child doesn’t listen (or comply), then your light goes to YELLOW, warning of an upcoming consequence: “If you don’t do this, then (consequence) will happen.” By predictably showing your children that not listening the first time brings a warning and not just a repeated instruction or nagging, you make it more likely that your child will listen and follow through with what you’ve asked.

Step 3​: Follow Through with a Consequence

If you give one request and one warning and your child still doesn’t listen, then your light should go to RED, meaning you give a negative consequence like time-out or loss of a privilege (e.g., loss of TV or computer time). Once you give the consequence, go back to green and repeat the instruction because the task still needs to get done!

​Parenting Tip: Be Consistent!

Some parents make numerous requests followed by numerous warnings, with consequences occurring unpredictably, late or never. Once a child figures out that a parent’s light will stay green or yellow for a long period of time and may never turn red, there is little reason to “GO” on green and do what you asked. When the signals aren’t predictable, it encourages children to ignore their parents, become defiant or escalate misbehaviors with the hope of changing their parents’ minds.

Sometimes a parent can carry predictability and authority too far. Jumping right from making a request that was not followed to a harsh punishment may result in better listening – but only temporarily. Usually when this happens, a child is responding out of fear and may resent the parent because the punishment feels so unfair. Giving a warning allows children to think about their choices, knowing that a specific consequence will happen in response to whatever choice they make.

Teaching Tips

Teaching your child to listen is a process that relies heavily on communication and consistency. Here are some tips to help you successfully teach your child the importance of listening, the first time:

  • Stay calm – Be calm and firm at the same time. Use a neutral tone of voice instead of yelling.
  • Be direct – A direct command leaves no question in children’s minds what they are being told to do. The choices are clear. For example, say “Sit in the chair, please” and “Pick up your toys” instead of “Could you please sit down now?” and “Mommy likes it when you pick up your toys.”
  • State commands positively – Tell your child what to “GO” do instead of what not to do. Whenever possible, avoid the use of “No,” “Don’t,” “Stop,” “Quit it,” etc. For example, say “Keep your feet on the ground” instead of “Stop climbing on the furniture.”
  • Give one command at a time – Children have a hard time remembering more than one thing at a time. For example, say “Put your toys in the bin” instead of “Put your toys away, wash your hands and come to dinner.”
  • Give age-appropriate instructions – The instructions you give should be for things your child is developmentally/physically able to do. Remember that many tasks actually have multiple steps. Children may need you to help them break down the instruction into smaller chunks. For example, say “Put the clothes that are on the floor in the hamper” instead of “Clean your room.”
  • Give brief reasons – For example, say “We are going to the store, so put on your coat.” A longer rationale is not needed and only creates confusion.
  • Be physically present – Instead of yelling across the room or house, get directly in front of your child, make eye contact and give your instruction with gestures (i.e., show them what you want).
  • Ask the child to repeat the instruction – This ensures that your child heard what you said.
  • Reward compliance – Immediately acknowledge when your child completes a task by giving praise, attention and affection.
  • Make sure you mean it – Never give an instruction that you don’t expect your child to complete. Use time-out or guided compliance (gently guide the child through the task) as needed.

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  • Discipline Communicating with Kids Behavioral Health Following Instructions Listening How To Teachable Moments

How to Get Kids to (REALLY) Listen: 7 Steps for Success

You’ve asked your child to do something. Very calmly. Very rationally. And very deliberately.

Instead of action, you get the kid equivalent of crickets. Radio silence.

Maybe they didn’t hear me?” you think. So, you ask again nicely.  Firmly, but nicely.


You feel yourself rapidly falling into the familiar cycle of “Repeat. Remind. Repeat. Remind.”

And then it happens–the fuse blows. In a moment of utter defeat, you’re left screaming the same demands you had requested calmly just minutes ago. The energy escalates and everyone is left frustrated and discouraged.

I get it. So do most parents. I’ve been a parenting educator for 15+ years and can say unequivocally that children “not listening” is the most common frustration I hear from moms and dads.

Here’s the thing though, if you want to get a handle on your child’s unresponsiveness, the first thing you need to do is figure out WHY he is NOT listening. More often than not, his lack of response is a SYMPTOM, not the actual problem.

If you don’t address this issue at its roots, you’re sure to see a simple case of “not listening” blossom into bigger behavior issues such as tantrums, defiance, and backtalk.



Don’t Kids Listen?

Good question! Why are they tuning you out? Why do you have to repeat something over and over until you find yourself yelling?

(Before we go any further, be sure you’ve ruled out any potential medical condition that could be affecting your child’s hearing or comprehension. If you are confident your child’s ears are fully-functioning, read on.)

Children of all ages–toddler through teens–have a hard-wired need for power.  When children don’t have opportunities to exert their power in positive ways–choosing what clothes to wear, making the dinner menu, picking what game to play, etc.–they will exert their power in negative ways.

Because children DO have control over their body and language, the most common (and frustrating) power struggles occur when children use their bodies and language to defy our requests.

By choosing NOT to listen, children can assert their power. This behavior is simply a way children express their need for more control and decision-making ability in their lives.

I’m not suggesting you let them call every shot. However, by implementing a few easy-to-learn positive parenting techniques, you can give your children power within your boundaries. By doing this, cooperation from your children will improve and the dreaded repeat – remind – repeat – remind cycle will come to an end.


Is “Not Listening” Just a Label?

Before we dive into strategies to improve communication with your children, consider this question–What exactly are you referring to when you say your child “doesn’t listen?”

When talking to parents, “not listening” usually ends up being a blanket term that covers a myriad of issues. Because “not listening” is so broad, it can be difficult to find a solution.

I’m not saying there aren’t times when your child is just flat-out ignoring you–that happens! However, more often than not, it’s less about “not listening” and more about some underlying issue.

Is she tired, hungry, or not feeling well? Or, is there some deeper control issue that is causing her to disconnect such as…




Sibling frustrations?

Don’t lump every communication shutdown under the “not listening” umbrella. Dig in and discover what’s really going on, then you can make an action plan to specifically address that problem.

Now, if it truly is a classic case of not listening, here are 7 steps you can take to ensure your kids actually hear you.

7 Steps to Get Kids to Listen

1. Get on Their Level

When you need your child’s attention, make sure you get her attention–that means eye contact. When you lower yourself down and look her in the eye, you not only verify she sees and hears you, but you strengthen the communication as well.

This means you might have to step away from the laundry or put down the whisk for a minute and step into the other room. Proximity is key–you’re not talking down to her or barking orders from the other room–you’re speaking with her.  

2. Do Away With Don’t

Don’t touch your brother. Don’t run in the hall. Don’t play with your food. Don’t read the next sentence. (See what I did there?)

Negative commands, such as “don’t” and “no” require kids to double process. Kids have to answer two questions:

1) What does she NOT want me to do?

2) What does she want me to do instead?

That’s confusing and contradictory. For example, if you say “Don’t touch your brother,” a child has to stop the current behavior AND determine the appropriate alternative behavior–If I can’t touch him, does that mean I can’t hug him? Can we play tag? Can I give him a high five? Can I help him put on his jacket or tie his shoes if mom asks?

Instead, tell your child what to DO.

Instead of “Don’t touch your brother,” try “Use gentle touches when touching your brother” or “Your brother doesn’t want to be touched right now, so please keep your hands folded while we are in the car.”

Instead of “Don’t leave your toys all over the floor,” try “Please put your toys in the toy bin.”

Instead of “Don’t run in the hall,” try “Please walk in the hall.”

3. Say YES to YES

Think about it for a moment. What is your normal, knee-jerk reaction to the 10,000 requests you get from your child every day? “NO,” right?

When you’re bombarded with requests, it’s difficult to sift through them in a meaningful way, so you just deliver canned responses–“No, not today. ” “No, I don’t have time for that.” “No.” “Nope.” “Nada.”

But when “no” is your constant go-to answer, it’s no wonder kids stop listening to YOUR requests! Look for reasons to say yes more often. Your “yes” answers will begin to surprise and delight your child and have them paying more attention when you ask for something!

Instead of “No we can’t go to the park,” try “The park sounds awesome! Should we go Friday after school or Saturday morning?”

Instead of “No, you can’t have ice cream” try “Ice cream is delicious! Would you like to have it for dessert on Saturday or Sunday evening?”

While there will still be situations that require a hard “no,” by offering more “yeses” you’ll increase the chances your kid will tune you back in.

4. Shorten your Speech

Oh boy, I was as guilty of this as anyone. Parents, and especially moms, tend to turn a five-second answer into a five-minute dissertation!

There’s a saying in the sales industry, “never sell with blah-blah what you can sell with blah. I think it makes sense in parenting too. When trying to get your kid’s attention, be as concise as possible and they won’t even have time to tune you out!

5. Say Thank You in Advance

Help your kids make an appropriate choice by taking this leap of faith. Your preemptive “Thank you for hanging up your towel after your shower,” will encourage your kids toward good behavior much more than, “I better not see your towel on the floor again!”

People, and yes, even children, will usually live up to our expectations if we manage them in a positive way. Letting them know, in advance, that you trust them to do the right thing will cultivate open communication lines and increase the likelihood the task will get completed.

6. Ensure Comprehension

A simple way to ensure your child has heard you and that she understands is to ask her to repeat back what you said.

In the medical field, studies have shown that 40-80% of the information doctors relay to patients is either forgotten completely or misunderstood (and keep in mind, these are ADULTS we are talking about, not just children).

To combat this misunderstanding, doctors have begun using the teach-back method which calls on patients to “teach back” to the doctor what treatment instructions they were just given. This method has been shown to drastically increase information retention from patients.

The same tool can be used effectively with children. Once you’ve made eye contact, shortened your speech, and clearly explained what you need your child to do, calmly ask your child to repeat back what they’ve just heard.

By ensuring everyone is on the same page, you will see an instant improvement in communication and cooperation in your home.

7. Make an Observation

If you see a task that’s been left undone, don’t dive in with a big reprimand,  just make an OBSERVATION: “I see a jacket on the floor,” or you can ask, “What is your plan for taking care of the trash today?”  

“What is your plan for?” is one of my favorite strategies to avoid power struggles. It’s empowering because it’s assumptive on your part that they have a plan–and gives your child an opportunity to save face and quickly come up with a plan in the moment if they didn’t already have one!

Oh yeah! I was planning on taking out the trash right after I finish my lunch.”  This gives you the chance to put a positive parenting empowerment spin on the whole conversation! “That’s awesome–I really appreciate your help, buddy.”  

Final Thoughts

Remember that “not listening” should always be a wakeup call for us. While it might seem like defiance or inattention on their part–it is more than likely a way to get our attention or express their need for power.

Kids and adults alike have a need to be seen and heard. When this need isn’t met, kids will stop listening to us. It may sound counterintuitive, but CLEARLY it works since it’s the number one complaint parents share!

If power struggles like not listening are creating stress in your family, I’d love to walk you through our step-by-step road map for parenting toddlers to teens. I love to help parents solve this issue and have helped thousands of families just like yours.

If you’re not quite ready to jump in, at least join me for a FREE ONLINE CLASS.

I’ll teach you more strategies to get your kids to LISTEN without nagging, reminding, or yelling and you’ll start feeling relief within days!

As always, happy parenting! We’re here for you!

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About the Author

Nationally recognized parenting expert Amy McCready is the Founder of Positive Parenting Solutions® and the best-selling author of The “Me, Me, Me” Epidemic - A Step-by-Step Guide to Raising Capable, Grateful Kids in an Over-Entitled World and If I Have to Tell You One More Time…The Revolutionary Program That Gets Your Kids to Listen Without Nagging, Reminding or Yelling. As a “recovering yeller” and a Certified Positive Discipline Instructor, Amy is a champion of positive parenting techniques for happier families and well-behaved kids. Amy is a TODAY Show contributor and has been featured on The Doctors, CBS This Morning, CNN, Fox & Friends, MSNBC, Rachael Ray, Steve Harvey & others. In her most important role, she is the proud mom of two amazing young men.

8 simple steps to teach children to respect and hear their parents?

Naughty children: why did they not please their parents?
In order for such children to behave "normally", adults have to make efforts: to restrain, control, repeat, refuse, punish and warn. And that's the point: we don't want to strain ourselves by raising children. It would be more convenient for the child to be controlled like a toy with a remote control.

You tell your child: “You need to wash your face” or “Wash your hands!”, but he does not listen to you. You remind that it's time to break away from the computer and sit down for lessons, he frowns with displeasure: "Leave me alone!" - Of course, it's a mess.

Smart parents have funny, smart and obedient children. Moreover, smart and loving parents take care of this: they make sure that their children are not only smart, but also obedient. This seems obvious: if you want to teach a child to do good things, you first need to teach him to obey you elementarily.

Unfortunately, ordinary children have long been accustomed to not listening to their parents: you never know what they say! And the point here is not in the children, but in us, in the parents, when we say things that are important for us to the children somehow not seriously, not paying attention to whether the children are listening to us or not, when we put forward our demands unconvincingly.

Your requests should be calm but clear instructions, sound weighty and be accompanied by control. The child must know that your words are not empty words, and if you warn that toys that are not removed are thrown away, they really disappear. If a parent approaches a child with a confident request, knowing that he has leverage, the child will respond to such a request.

But it's not just about the right wording and levers of influence, there is another important trick in building relationships with a child, namely, whether your child has a HABIT to obey you. "To obey or not to obey parents" is determined not only by what and how the parents say, it is also determined simply by the child's habits.

There are children who have the habit of mindlessly obeying everyone, and there are children who have the same habit of mindlessly disobeying anyone. Obeying "everyone" or "no one" are equally bad habits, but the habit of obeying selectively, namely, OBEYING YOUR PARENTS, is a great habit! Your children should have the habit of paying attention to what you say, the habit of doing what you ask them to. Teach your child to listen and obey you, and you will have your parental authority, you will have the opportunity to raise a developed and thinking person from your child.

Is it difficult to get your children into this habit? Much depends on age: it is difficult to teach a teenager to obey his parents, it is almost impossible for many mothers, and developing such a habit in a small child is a solvable task. In principle, the sooner you begin to develop in your child the habit of listening and obeying you, the easier it will be for you.

The easiest method to help you with this is the "Eight Steps" method. Its idea is to teach your child to obey you, starting with the simplest, most elementary things, and very gradually, methodically move step by step to more difficult things. From simple to complex.

First, we do what any parent can do with any child, then we add a little, then a little more - and so we go a long way from a natural child to a well-bred child who already understands that people who are loving and more experienced than him should obey Right.

The age at which the Eight Steps algorithm works best is from 2 to 12 years. After 12 years, a well-bred child should already become your friend and helper, you are no longer so much raising him, but helping him in his self-education, helping him to solve life's tasks in the best way.

Now let's get down to business. What are these steps?

Step 1: Addition.

As the King from Antoine Saint-Exupéry's fairy tale "The Little Prince" said, controlling the sunrise is easy, you just need to know when the sunrise occurs. Say at the right moment: "Sun, rise!", and you will become the lord of the rising sun... So is the child: if the child does not obey you yet, he still does something. Go from what is, adapt to what he does, and direct his activity in the direction you need.

The child runs, you shout to him: "Well done, faster, faster!" - he happily adds speed.

Sit down at the table, you know what the child loves, what he will still reach for. Get ahead of him: "Take your favorite bread!" You said he took it.

Little Nikita likes to clap his hands. "How does Nikita clap her hands? - Clever girl, Nikita! And now, Nikita, show me how the car hums! ... Wonderful!" - you teach him to do what you tell him. He is one and a half years old, and he is already learning to listen to you and obey.

If you can't manage, take the lead. You cannot (yet) control the behavior of the child - adapt to what he does anyway, and what he wants to do himself.

Step 2: Taming: Train to come when called.

Do you know what "attach" means? The fisherman throws food into the river - he attracts fish. When an ancient man decided to tame wild dogs, he also started with affection, then he began to feed them, then stroke them, and gradually taught them to run up to him when he called them. Have you already tamed your children? Do they come running to you when you call them? If your children are still wild, start like an ancient man by taming them.

Your child likes to crunch apples or nibble cookies: your task is to make sure that access to these sweets is not free, but only through you. This is not in the vase, but you can give it to your child. Now you don’t wait until he starts begging from you, but choosing a good time, you yourself announce: “Who wants a tasty apple, quickly runs to me!”, “Cookies, cookies, delicious cookies for obedient kids.” Children run, you treat them and pat them on the head: "Well done, how quickly you run to your mother!" So the hunt has taken place - you are already accustoming children to come to you when you call them.

Invite your child to you - and praise him when he comes to you! A bait can be not only food, but everything that the child likes: and squeeze the cream on the cake, and cut the bread, and the time when you can play with the child in the games that he loves. "Mom has five minutes! Whoever comes running quickly can play hide and seek with her!" Important: if a child comes running, you reinforce it: give a bait and praise. If the child is in no hurry to run, comes later and demands, you don’t give a bait: “That’s it! It’s all over!”, but you prompt: “When mom calls, you need to run quickly!”. Teach your child to fulfill your requests, reinforcing it with joy.

Step 3. Learning to negotiate.

Your child will be intelligent and not capricious if you teach him to use his mind. And for this, take the time to explain to the child what is good and what is bad - and teach him to negotiate. You can try to talk intelligently with a child even at two years old, and if your child is already three years old, this is already a must. Teach your child to negotiate and fulfill agreements!

You and your child are on the playground, it's time for you to leave, but the child doesn't want to leave, he wants to play more. Just command?

The child may begin to protest with a roar. What to do?


The first agreement - before coming to the playground. "You want to go to the playground, but we can't play there for a long time, I will need to return home, cook dinner. You promise me that when I say that it's time for us, you won't cry, but will say goodbye to all the children and go with me home? Won't you keep me?" The second conversation is when it's time for you to leave. Most likely, the child will begin to whine: "Mom, I have a little more!". Here your task is to calmly cut him off from the players and discuss how to behave correctly in such a situation. “If you promised that you would not whine and cry when you need to go home, you can’t whine and cry. Otherwise, how will they believe you next time?”

Here it is important that respect for agreements is supported by all close adults, there is only one position: "Agreed - it is necessary to fulfill it. And whoever does not fulfill the agreements is a violator, a whim and a small one, nothing serious can be allowed to him." We agree and do not be capricious.

Step 4: No whims.

An obedient child not only DOes what you ask him to do, he also STOPS doing what you do not like. The child tries to fight the will of his parents through his whims and tantrums, and your task at this step is to stop reacting to them in any way. Learn to do your own thing without reacting to the whims of the child - in those cases when you yourself are sure that you are right and you know that everyone will support you.

You are all hurrying to the train, packing your things. In this case, the whims of the child "Come play with me!" will be easily ignored by everyone, including grandmothers. Teach your child that there are important things to do. Teach your child to say, "This is important." If you sat down in front of him and, looking into his eyes, holding his shoulders, calmly and firmly say: "Adults now need to get together, and we will play with you later. This is important!" - then soon the child will begin to understand you. It is important!

Step 5: Requirements.

Your child already quickly comes running to you when you call him with something tasty, he stopped being capricious and no longer throws tantrums. As a rule, he will do what you asked him to do, but he is not yet used to the fact that you can seriously demand something from him. Requests are soft, while demands are hard and mandatory. Is that the way to listen? At this step, again act consistently, but carefully, at first demand a minimum and only when everyone supports you.

The child is already old enough to... In order not to take a toy from someone else's child, to pick up a fallen mitten yourself, to put porridge in your mouth yourself... - Always look for those moments when your demands will be supported by everyone around you, so that even the grandmothers at least kept silent.

If you have too many demands on your child, if he does not keep up with your numerous demands, or if you do not have the support of others, do not push. Like politics, education is the art of the possible. Napoleon himself taught his commanders: "Give only those orders that will be carried out."

Nevertheless, gradually remove the bait as something obligatory, start calling the child already without rewarding him with something tasty. It's time to teach the child that if mom (especially dad) is his name, you need to come simply because he was called. If he doesn’t go right away, they repeated it, but achieved it. And now they drew his attention to the fact that you had to wait for him, and asked him to come when his mother calls. No need to swear, just say: "When mom calls, you need to come right away!" - and kiss! Slowly, your child will begin to learn it.

Step 6: Responsibilities.

Requirements are one-time, while duties are a system of permanent requirements for a child. The time has come to teach the child that each member of the family has his own responsibilities, and he must participate in family affairs on an equal basis with mom and dad. Having explained this to the child, begin to confidently give him tasks, but also act gradually here: let him first choose his duties according to his strength, let him do what is not difficult for him, or, all the more, even want a little.

This step is more difficult for mothers than for children. Moms really want to do everything themselves and not strain the child. So, dear mothers and, in principle, parents, make sure that the child always has things to do at your request. The child should not fade away the understanding that he has tasks, and he must do it. Clean up the bed, take away the cup, wash the dishes, run to the store - most likely, it’s easier and cheaper for you to do it all yourself, but you are educators, so your task is to restrain yourself, not to do it yourself and entrust it to the child every time .

At first, the child has to be reminded of his duties, after a while the duty to remember should fall on the child himself. Remembering your responsibilities is also the responsibility of the child!

Step 7: Self-reliance.

When a child already knows what duties are, it's time to teach him to be independent. The ability to obey is the basis of smart independence. The independence of an obedient child lies in the fact that you can already give him difficult tasks in the confidence that he will complete them completely on his own, without your help and prompts. It’s not just “Go to the store” or “It’s your responsibility to take out the bucket”, but “Pack up all the things you will need on the trip”, “Grandma needs help digging up a garden in the country”, “Toothache? Call the clinic, Find out when the doctor is, go and get your teeth fixed. " As usual, not everything will turn out right away, at first the child will need your tips, help and support, but the more often he begins to successfully cope with difficult assignments, the faster he will wake up a taste for independence. So, move from simple to complex, from dense, frequent and specific clues to rare and general clues, and thus gradually move on to more and more difficult and independent tasks, mostly on the most positive background, with small irregular reinforcements and rare large ones.

Ideally, if you go somewhere for a relatively long time, your child should be able to live without you without major problems. He is already on his own!

Step 8: Responsibility.

Well, the last step remains: responsibility. Women do not really like the word "responsibility", they are closer to "caring", but there is a difference between these words: a caring person pays only with efforts and soul, and a person responsible for his mistakes pays really. If you entrust a child with a responsible task, for this, in the event of a puncture, either the child or you will have to pay. But children grow up, it's time to acquaint them with responsibility, and now you entrust the child with not just deeds, but responsible deeds: those for which you need to answer to other people or, simply, pay for mistakes.

You instructed a child to place an expensive service on the table. Or put money in the bank. Or - to bring a little sister from the kindergarten ... Will she not break it? Will not lose? Will not forget?

When taking on a responsible task, the child already knows the price of a mistake, and treats the assignment responsibly: he will think everything over, remember, follow up and check, and he will definitely report back to you at the end.

When a child learns this too, you can be proud - you are already an adult. You have raised an adult, responsible person! Remember, it all started with quiet, neat outbuildings to a completely naughty child?

Of course, and after that no one will promise you that your children will become angels and will never disobey you. Everything is possible, our children do not always obey us. Sometimes it happens by accident, sometimes on purpose. How to react to it? Calmly. If you act wisely, you will solve this issue without difficulty.

By the way, is there anything after the eighth step, after the formation of responsibility in the child? Your child is not only ready to fulfill your requests, he knows his duties, he is a completely independent and responsible person. And it's all? Is there anything else we want to give our child? Tell me, when and how will we set the task so that our children grow up as loving people?

Should children listen unquestioningly to their parents?
There can be no unequivocal answer to this question precisely because parents are different. There are parents - alcoholics, there are - smart and loving. If we talk about smart and loving parents, then our answer will be positive: yes, children should obey such parents implicitly. Why? For what? Because smart and loving parents love their children and will never demand from their children what will be harmful to children. Such parents love to just talk to their children, spend time with them - and listen to what the children share with them. You don’t often hear demands on your children from them, and they demand only what is really necessary.

5 years old: when going out on the road, you need to take your mother by the hand and not play around here. 10 years: first lessons, then computer games. 15 years: at 22.00 - sleep!

Usually they don't even demand it, but gently ask, rather suggest and remind, and this is enough.

How to make a child obey - Lifehacker

March 6, 2016 Life

How to achieve obedience is a big and serious topic. Without claiming to be complete, we have collected some tips. All of them have a scientific basis and have helped many parents.

If you're looking for the answer to the question "How to get a child to obey?", then you've come to the right place: you don't need to read any more articles, including this one. I will answer right now: “No way!”

There is no way to force a child to obey. You can only force them to obey, and then not for long.

The well-known German psychotherapist, the founder of Gestalt therapy Fritz Perls (Fritz Perls) argued that there are two ways to influence another person: to become a "dog from above" or "a dog from below". “Dog from above” is power, authority, orders, threats, punishments, pressure. “Dog from below” is flattery, lies, manipulation, sabotage, blackmail, tears. And when these two "dogs" come into conflict, the "dog from below" always wins. So, if you want your child to obey you, first of all stop forcing him. Stop commanding, lecturing, shaming. Here are some tips on how to replace these ineffective remedies.

How to achieve obedience

The first step is to encourage and stimulate any activity of the child, directed in the right direction. The girl is eager to wash the dishes? Be sure to allow, even if her help only gets in the way. Psychologists conducted surveys of schoolchildren from the fourth to eighth grades, finding out if they were doing any housework. It turned out that the percentage of children who do not help their parents is the same. But in the fourth - sixth grades many children were unhappy that they were not trusted with household chores ! But in the seventh and eighth grades, there were no longer dissatisfied.

Lev Semyonovich Vygotsky, the founder of Russian psychology, developed a universal scheme for teaching a child to independently perform everyday activities. First, the child does something together with the parents, then the parents draw clear instructions, and then the child begins to act completely independently.

Let's say you want your child to fold things neatly when they come in from the street. The first stage: everything is done together, parents show, help. At the second stage, you need to come up with and draw a hint: what, in what sequence and where to put it. For example, like this:

Most children readily follow clear and visual instructions. Gradually, a habit is formed, and external cues become unnecessary.

Another great trick is to turn the desired action into a game or competition. Just putting away toys is boring and time consuming. Playing housekeeping is another matter entirely.

Play is a natural need for children, in a playful way they are ready to take on the most unloved things. Competition is also a great motivator.

Well-known child psychologist Yulia Borisovna Gippenreiter gives such an example. Parents wanted their son to do exercises. We bought equipment, my father made a horizontal bar in the doorway, but the boy was not particularly interested in it, and he shied away in every way. Then the mother invited her son to compete who will do the most pull-ups. They brought a table, hung it next to the horizontal bar. As a result, both began to exercise regularly.

A few words about the common practice of paying children to do household chores… It doesn't work in the long run. The demands of the child are growing, and the amount of work performed is decreasing. In one study, students were asked to solve a puzzle. Half of them were paid for it, the other half were not. Those who received the money were less persistent and quickly stopped trying. Those who acted out of sporting interest spent more time. This once again confirms the well-known rule in psychology: external motivation (even positive) is less effective than internal one.

How to properly ban

Bans are needed for more than just physical security. Numerous studies have shown that permissiveness in childhood negatively affects the personality and destiny of a person. Therefore, prohibitions must be mandatory. But it is very important not to go too far, because their excess is also harmful. Let's see what psychologists advise.

1. Flexibility

Yulia Borisovna Gippenreiter proposes to divide all the child's activity into four zones: green, yellow, orange and red.

  1. The green zone is what is allowed without any conditions, what the child himself can choose. For example, what toys to play with.
  2. Yellow zone - allowed, but with a condition. For example, you can go for a walk if you do your homework.
  3. Orange zone - permitted only in exceptional cases. For example, you can not go to bed on time, because today is a holiday.
  4. The red zone is something that is impossible under any circumstances.
2. Consistency and consistency

If some activities are in the red zone, they should never be allowed to the child. It is enough to give up the slack once, and that's it: the children instantly understand that it is possible not to obey. The same applies to the yellow zone. If the child has not done his homework, he must be deprived of a walk. Firmness and consistency are the main allies of parents. It is equally important that the requirements and prohibitions are agreed between family members. When mom forbids eating sweets, and dad allows, nothing good will come of it. Children quickly learn to use disagreements between adults to their advantage. As a result, neither father nor mother will achieve obedience.

3. Proportionality

Do not ask for the impossible and be careful about difficult prohibitions. For example, it is very difficult (and some simply impossible) for preschoolers to sit still for more than 20-30 minutes. Forbidding them to jump, run and scream in this situation is pointless. Another example: at the age of three, a child begins a period when he refuses all the proposals of his parents. How to deal with this is a separate topic, but the phrase “Stop arguing with me!” will only do harm. Parents should have an idea about the age characteristics of children in order to coordinate their prohibitions with the capabilities of the child.

4. Correct tone

A calm, friendly tone is more effective than strictness and threats. In one experiment, children were brought into a room with toys. The most attractive was a controlled robot. The experimenter told the child that he would leave and that while he was gone, it was impossible to play with the robot. In one case, the ban was strict, harsh, with threats of punishment; in the other, the teacher spoke softly, without raising his voice. The percentage of children who violated the ban was the same. But two weeks later, these children were again invited to the same room ...

This time no one forbade them to play alone with the robot. 14 out of 18 children with whom they were strict the last time immediately took the robot as soon as the teacher left. And most of the children from the other group still did not play with the robot until the teacher arrived. This is the difference between submission and obedience.

5. Penalties

Non-observance of prohibitions must be punished. The most general rules are as follows:

  1. It is better to deprive the good than to do the bad.
  2. Public punishment is not allowed.
  3. Punishment should never humiliate.
  4. You can not punish "for prevention".
  5. Of the measures of physical influence, only restraint is unambiguously recommended when it is necessary to stop a raging child. Physical punishment is best kept to a minimum.
6. A little bit of disobedience

An absolutely obedient child is not the norm. And what kind of life experience will your child get if he follows instructions and instructions all the time? Sometimes a child should be allowed to do something that will harm him. Facing bad consequences is the best teacher. For example, a child reaches for a candle. If you see this and are sure you are in control (no flammable objects nearby), let him touch the flame. This will save you the hassle of explaining why you shouldn't play with fire. Naturally, it is necessary to adequately assess the possible harm. Allowing a child to stick their fingers into a socket is a crime.

Not following the instructions of adults, breaking the locked, children always try to achieve or avoid something. For example, to get attention to yourself or to avoid a traumatic situation. The most important and most difficult task of parents is to understand what is behind disobedience.

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