How to Get Your Child to Listen to You

Tips on How to Get Your Child to Really Listen to You

It really is the holy grail of parenting, the one thing I didn’t prepare myself enough for before Cassie came: how to get your child to listen to you. I am going to have a little brag moment right now – I was the best child ever. I’m not lying to you or even exaggerating – my mum has told me over and over. She said I would just sit on her lap in silence and watch the world whenever she took me out. People were always amazed and used to ask Mum what her secret was. So, naturally, I was fooled into thinking that my little girl would be just like this. Oh how I was mistaken.

Cassie is a firecracker. She has a gorgeous, bubbly personality and she loves to be right in the thick of things. She really is just a social butterfly and will happily skip her day nap if we go out, as she is too scared of missing out on something. And then there is the getting her to listen to me side of things. I have tried everything – and I mean everything.

There’s gently mummy, who feels like she has a halo over her head as she attempts to explain to Cassie in a nice calming way to get her listen to me. This mummy slowly turns into mean mummy who loses her patience when she realises Cassie isn’t having a bar of it and my methods are being laughed at. And of course there are the thousands of mummies inbetween from the pleading mummy, to the tired, resigned mummy, to the straight-to-the-point mummy and even the ‘wait till daddy gets home’ mummy. We’ve been there and done that. Let’s face it, getting a toddler to listen to you is no easy feat, and they don’t come with manuals.

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What works for one, may not work for another, and what works on one day, may not work on the next. Parenting is all about finding that beautiful balance to make it work for you and your family. After 18 months of trial and error, I have found a few tips that have helped me out in this process.

Here are my tips:

Get Down on Their Level

No child is going to pay attention to an adult standing over them and yelling. It is intimidating and they will likely learn to switch off if it keeps happening, which is frustrating for both of you.

Keep Your Temper

Trust me, I know how tempting it is to yell at your child. You are angry at them and you want them to know that. But all this does is upset your child and the message and lesson you are trying to teach them is lost in the process.

Explain Why They Are in Trouble

Make eye contact with your little one and explain what the problem is. By making eye contact, you can ensure they are listening to you in that moment, and by remaining calm they are more likely to take in your message.

Make Sure There are Repercussions

Let’s be honest, no child is going to listen to you if all you do is make empty threats. Work out a form of discipline that is suited to your family and make sure you follow through when the need arises. Your child will respect you for it and is more likely to listen to you in the future.

I find the most important thing is to do what works for you and your family. Don’t be embarrassed by tantrums out in public and give in to them just so people stop staring. You will find many other mums are quite understanding and will give you a sympathetic look, not a judging one. Stand strong in how you handle these situations as it will help you out with future incidents. No child is perfect (even I had my slip ups as a child), so don’t expect your child to be. We need to understand that they are just children and they are learning. The best thing we can do is teach them and guide them along the way. And to realise they just aren’t going to listen ALL of the time.

Felicity Frankish


Tags: Parenting
Felicity Frankish

Felicity Frankish is married and a mum-of-one to a little girl, living in the suburbs of Sydney. Having worked with children all her life and also having a great a love for writing, Felicity combined her two passions when she was on maternity leave and set up her own parenting blog: The Baby Vine. She survives day to day on coffee, loves keeping busy, and enjoys getting out an about on her...

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