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How to Make Your Child Listen and Behave!!

Are you worried about how to make your child listen and behave? Here are some things you should focus on!

  • Get on their level to make children listen.
  • Focus on “Do” and not the “Don’t” to make children listen.
  • Model Graciousness to make your child behave.
  • Trust in YOURSELF before trusting your kids.
  • Praise your kids as often as possible.
  • Empower the kids.

Get on their Level to make children listen!

Children have their levels of brain activities. They may be quite sharp in certain things as compared to adults. However, there are many things where they lack. Children lack the abilities of comprehension as compared to adults. Therefore, parents need to get to the level of kids to make them understand what they are expecting.

A simple example: Suppose you are working in the kitchen and your kids start fighting in the other room. If you’ll start yelling from the kitchen, chances are that they won’t listen. Proximity is what you need! You need to leave your work for a little bit of time and go to your kids. Make eye contact and then let them know what you want them to do.

Kids understand that they are receiving full parental attention at that moment. They can see you and hear you. They know you are there for them. In this way, your communication with kids is strengthened. Try this for a couple of time to see the results.

Focus on “Do” and not the “Don’t” to make children listen

This is a very important thing. Usually, we give negative commands to the kids. Just sit back and count the times you have asked your kid “Don’t” in the whole day! Such statements tend to confuse the kids. They cannot understand what they are expected to do. This is because directions are either vague or missing in such commands.

If you’ll give them positive alternatives, then they can easily comprehend your commands. For example, Instead of saying “Don’t shout while playing”, try this: “Please speak softly and nicely with each other while you are playing together”.

Model Graciousness to make your child behave!

People usually say that children learn from what we do or from what we say. I believe that they learn from who their parents are! And believe me when I say this! Our genuine actions and genuine personality traits are what inspire our kids. When we do something superficially, it losses its effectiveness. You have to be authentic if you want your kids to be authentic.

You might say that I always try to be as authentic as I can be with my kids. But do you really? Is there no resentment or irritation in your responses ever? Because if there is, then trust me the kids can feel it clearly. You have to be completely unconditional and positive in your approach towards your kids.

Your true self must be visible to them. You have to show them that this is Who You Are! This is the only accurate method to answer how to make your child listen and behave!

Trust in YOURSELF before trusting your kids!

In my opinion the most elusive trick of successful parenting is Trust. You have to develop complete trust and faith in yourself before doing the same for your kids. What we, as parents, do is to let ourselves focus on control and fear. We never trust in our selves. We want our kids to do better than us. You do not want them to do just like us. And this is where the problem lies!

Kids watch us. They can never do better than us. They can always only do what we are doing. So, we have to trust that our kids will learn from us and exhibit that learning at their own pace and time. For example, thinking how to get my 6 year-old to listen and behave in an instant will not take you anywhere near the desired results. We should let them go according to their pace. What we, as parents, do wrongly is to look for results in an instant. Kids have their own sense of learning and exhibiting their learning in actual form. So, always remember that patience is the key.

However, at the same time, remember that things might not always go your way through this strategy of modeling graciousness. Sometimes, the situation needs some other strategy. At times, strictly adhering to the rules can sort out the situation. For some other instances, playfulness can help you a lot. However, most of the times modeling graciousness can really help parents a lot.

Praise your kids as often as possible!

Most of the time, parents set rules and use all means so that kids will follow those rules. However, when kids do follow the parents forget to appreciate them. Positive and reinforcing statements increase the morale of the kids. Therefore, always appreciate your kids whenever they listen to you and behave accordingly. For example, if your kid puts his empty plates in the dishwasher after dinner, you can simply say “I am so proud of you! You are such a good boy!” Try this technique and you’ll surely see the difference in your child’s behavior clearly.

Empower the kids!

This is a technique that can be initiated when the kids start to understand things around them. You can start with very little and minor decisions. Let the kids take the decisions for themselves in cases that are in accordance with their developmental ages.

For example, when kids are fighting, ask them how do they plan to stop their fight! You’ll be surprised to see that they have more options and creativity than you could have imagined. This is because they’ll feel the power of decision-making that has been given to them. If their decisions seem okay, go with them. Otherwise, modify them slightly so that you can have the desired outcomes.

How Fear and control CONTROL parents to make children listen

Being parents, all of us (almost always) try our level best to interact with our kids respectfully. We try to set respectful limits, offer them with the best choices and understand them. We also go for realistic expectations from them and focus on the consequences of our interactions with them. Nonetheless, there comes a time (and that also many a times) when we are pushed to our limits. At such instances, we ask ourselves:

“I am asking him to do this but he is simply refusing me. What should I do?”

“How to get my 4 year-old to listen and behave?”

But, wait a minute!

When these questions resonate in my mind, I can listen to another version which says:

“What should I do when I am not in control of my kids?”

She HAS to listen to me. I am her parent! Not she!”

“I DO NOT accept having such kids who want their parents to do all things!”

“If I won’t make him do this thing at this very time, he’ll always walk over me!”

I bet most of you can easily recall having all these thoughts and questions in your mind from time to time. Right?

how to make your child listen and behave
Understanding your child is important!

Have a look again at those above statements and see how the element of CONTROL is evident in each of these statements. Yes! We all want to be in control. I guess this is a general human tendency. But I believe that somewhere deep in our minds, there is also FEAR that drives us to behave in such manners. We are afraid that people will judge us as being ineffective parents. They might think of us as failures as being parents. Not to mention that they will say these things to our face or behind our backs or in worst cases – at both times!

Again you’ll ask yourself how to make your child listen and behave!!!

But don’t you think that you are seeing your kids as your enemies while having these thoughts? You are treating them as your adversaries who need to be broken down at any cost, whatsoever! Do you really need this kind of relationship with your kids? Or are you so pressurized by your controlling tendencies and fear of other people that you are behaving in this particular way?

Keep all thoughts away for a moment and try to answer these questions! I am sure that you do not want to have such relationships with your kids at all. So, if you are also looking for a realistic way to make things better between you and your kids, continue reading as we’ll show you a strategy that really works! Even if the results are time-taking, still success is guaranteed in the longer run!

An Example!!!!!

how to make your child listen and behave
Modelling graciousness

Let me tell you a personal example about how to make your child listen and behave. Suppose that you are having dinner with your family and your little one accidently throws the glass of water on the table. The water quickly spreads on the table and also falls on the floor. You bring a piece of cloth and ask your little one to wipe the floor. (She did the mistake so its her responsibility to clean it!!!) But she runs away. You go after her and bring her back on the spot. Very calmly, you tell her that the water will make the floor slippery and even she might get injured. But she again refuses.

You also tells her that you will help her in the task by bringing two pieces of cloths. You also offered her that she can either clean the floor or the table as per her choice. But she again ran away. You are very likely to get frustrated that why is she not listening to me. I even gave her choices and offered to help her as well.

A sudden surge of anger and resentment is also highly likely to occur. She is not in my control, what should I do? is the thought you that will arise in your mind. This is the time for you to be modeling graciousness. Clean the floor and the table and say confidently, I am happy to help you this time and I am sure next time you’ll help me too! And trust me! There will definitely come a time when she will help you. May be it’s not the very next time. Or may be it’s not the next five or ten times. But, it’ll surely come If you’ll keep on modeling graciousness genuinely on every instance.

Try it for a day! Let yourself be a willing helper to your child and trust that your kids will learn from you. But the point to remember is: your kids should be feeling your graciousness genuinely. If you’ll trust in the capabilities of your kids, only then you can work together with them. I know that this feels scary. You might be thinking that I cannot wait for a long time for my kids to do what I want them to do. You might also think about how to make your child listen and behave as quickly as possible. But it’s worth the wait. In the future, your kids will always (both consciously and unconsciously) copy your actions and will also remember them.


Just keep practicing graciousness and keep all the resented thoughts away from your mind. I know this is something difficult. However, parenting needs you to grow as well. Be patient and keep going on. Very soon, that time will come when your kid will become gracious and helpful just like you.

We would be very happy to hear from you on the comments sections of our Facebook page. You can also visit our Quora page. Feel free to leave your comments and queries about how to make your child listen and behave!!

About The Author

Affaf Amjad

Having an MPhil in Applied psychology and being a mother of three kids, I have always tried to try and test different psychological interventions and approaches in the day-to-day routine of my kids. Sharing my results and effective strategies with parents around the globe is the my main aim as a writer.

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