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How to Get Your Child to Listen to You

Do you wonder why it seems as if your kids’ ears are blocked when you give them instructions?

When others speak to them, they are quick to respond. When mom issues an instruction, the ears suddenly become blocked. I am sure you identify with this certain character trait in your child.

How do you get your kids to listen, and also to obey your instructions?

  • When you speak to your child, make sure you have his attention. If you find that you don’t, call his name, or tap him, and ensure you make eye contact with him. Often, parents just speak to kids, and believe that they have been heard. A lot of times, especially when that child is engrossed in some form of play, or TV, they didn’t even hear you. How then are they expected to obey?
  • Expect and demand that your instructions are to be obeyed. We often make the mistakes of just reeling out instructions, without ensuring that the child makes a move to get it done. And of course, after a little while, the child has simply forgotten that instruction, and moved on to something else. I often tell my kids that “I don’t speak in vain”. When I speak, it is because I want you to respond, and carry out the instruction.


  • Stay Calm. Really? Even I am still working on that. But sincerely, it’s important to stay calm, and not lose your cool every time you relate with your kids. It shows that they, and not you, are in control of the situation. And there are no excuses, even if your kids are the most frustrating kids on the entire planet.
  • Try not to give complicated instructions. Keep your instructions as simple as possible. Children are not adults, and sometimes, find it difficult to process complicated talk. If you’re able to simplify what you want, then it’s easier for them to understand and carry it out.
  • Get your child to repeat the instruction given. This is just to check that they understood your instructions, that way, you’ll know for sure.
  • Establish Your Routines and Stick with them. Children find it easier to obey when they already have established routines and laid down guidelines. For instance, when your kids know what to do when they get in after school, you may not find it so difficult to get them to do it, you’ll only need to provide guidance.
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff. We have to remember that it’s our kids we are dealing with, and we’re not in competition with them. It’s not a battle of wits. Keep the muscle flexing for major things, so you’re not constantly badgering your kids. Sometimes, it could get boring, just hearing you go and on Mom!

We often believe that we’re the only ones who have stuff on our minds. Kids also have things on their minds! From school work, to their friendships, and all the in between, you’ll be amazed at all the things they also have to deal with.

So, Mom please be patient. You may need to get their attention to get things done.

Love, Oluseye


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  1. Happy New Month Mojisola.
    Thank goodness you’re past this stage. It’s a big relief, isn’t it?
    Have an awesome month.

  2. It’s great to know that there is a passing of this stage ’cause we are oh so very still in this stage. Thanks a lot for this very helpful piece Oluseye. I needed to read it and will be practising the useful tips therein!

    1. I am so glad you find this piece helpful. All the best in your practice. Please do come back to share how it went with the tips. Thank you.