Des Moines, IA

How to Get Kids to Listen

Do you ever feel like a broken record, repeating the same things over and over again with no results or action? Kids actually like repetition, but when you’re trying to get them to listen, and you find yourself repeating yourself, it may not be the action of repetition, but what you’re actually saying that gets lost in translation.

Follow these simple tips to help your child listen better.

Boy hiding under pillows on couch1. Set expectations. You can’t expect your child to know they are supposed to put dishes away after eating or put their shoes and coat on after breakfast to get to school. Set the expectations beforehand and communicate that to your kids. Remind them what they need to do before you expect them to do it.

2. Explain. You’ve told your kids probably a hundred times not to hit, but do they know why they shouldn’t? Explain to them how they could hurt someone or themselves.

3. Give options. Kids like choices and it teaches them about decision-making. If they don’t want to do something, you can give them the option, such as “you can finish your homework or you can miss out on the movie tomorrow afternoon. You choose.” Kids like being in power and this is one way to make them feel like they have control.

4. Be direct. There’s no need to get lengthy in your requests. Even simple cues like “dinner”, “teeth”, or “bed” should be enough to remind them what they are supposed to be doing.

We can’t guarantee you’re kids will be listening immediately, but implementing some of these tips may save you some sanity and extra breath down the road.

Farrells Martial Arts Kicker LogoTKD Tip: Make sure to identify your kids’ emotions. Many times they may not be listening because they are sad, or frustrated, or mad. Acknowledge their feelings, which will not only help them listen, but will also help them to identify what those feelings are if they can’t describe them yet.


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Location Info

Beaverdale School         Waukee School
2706 Beaver Ave.            215 N. Warrior Lane
Des Moines, IA 50310       Waukee, IA 50263
515-255-0095                  515-978-3000