How to Talk so Kids Will Listen: 3 Proven Methods

Join our Event and learn how to talk so kids will listen, break free from constant refusals or arguments, and build stronger connections with your children. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to enhance your parenting skills.

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how to talk so kids will listen

Understand the Problem: How Does Your Child See You When You Go off on Him?

Imagine this scene: You have just come back from work and you’re tired and angry. Your kid doesn’t know what your problem is and insists on playing with him. You try to give him arguments that it is not a good moment, but he doesn’t listen to you. You get even angrier and you go off on him. This scene might not be singular. Therefore, after a while, you feel bad about it and you might ask yourself “What would I change if I could turn back time?”

How does your child see you when you go off on him? In a recent report on parent-child interactions for the 0-17 age range, the World Health Organization highlights the importance of positive discipline in getting kids to listen and cooperate. So, you need to know exactly how to talk so kids will listen.

Harsh Punishments and Emotional Manipulation Tactics

Although research in child development and positive psychology has become widely available, many parents still use harsh punishments and emotional manipulation tactics to get their kids to listen.

Sometimes, parents may forget that young children are not yet able to sustain focus for extended periods. Other times, children may be bored, tired, or overwhelmed by their surroundings, making it difficult to pay attention.

It can be easy to tune out our children’s voices or dismiss their concerns when we are busy and stressed. We take their lack of response personally and react impulsively. To better learn how to talk so kids will listen, it is important to know what negative discipline means.

Harsh, negative discipline refers to:

  • physical punishment;
  • yelling;
  • name-calling;
  • shaming;
  • threats.

These tactics can be harmful to a child’s emotional and psychological well-being. Emotional manipulation can involve guilt-tripping, using blackmail, or making the child feel responsible for the parent’s emotions. Such tactics can bring out anxiety, low self-esteem, and confusion in children.

How to Talk so Kids Will Listen – 3 Key Aspects of Positive Parenting

Once you understand the reasons why you don’t have a great connection with your kids, it is time to focus on how to get children to listen. Here are some explanations you get from our experts when joining our online Event.

The following three key aspects of positive parenting will help you deal with how to get kindergarteners to listen.

  1. Understand the Importance of Empathy

    One key aspect of positive parenting is recognizing the importance of empathy. This means taking the time to listen to our child’s perspectives and validating their feelings.

  2. Encourage Good Behavior

    Instead of applying harsh consequences for kids, use positive reinforcement to encourage good behavior. When we take the time to listen to our children and understand their needs, we can learn a lot about how to be more empathetic and supportive parents.

  3. Prioritize the 3 Basic Psychological Needs in Your Parenting Approach

    Another crucial aspect of positive parenting is understanding the 3 Basic Psychological Needs:

    • Autonomy refers to a child’s need for independence and control over their own life.
    • Competence refers to their need for a sense of mastery and accomplishment.
    • Relatedness refers to their need for meaningful relationships with others.

    When we prioritize these needs in our parenting approach, we can help our children develop a sense of self-efficacy, resilience, and connection with others. We can also avoid outdated parenting practices that rely on threats and punishment, which can damage our relationship with our children and harm their emotional well-being.

Learn Everything You Need to Know on How to Talk so Kids Will Listen

Are you looking for proven methods on how to talk so kids will listen? Unlock the power of effective communication with your toddler and learn from our experts everything you need to know to build a stronger connection with your kid.

Join us for an online Event that will transform your parenting style. Learn how to talk so kids will listen and respect the rules without endless negotiations, pleading, or punishment.

If you participate live you can ask questions that concern you.
Can't participate live? Recordings available until 24:00.

Your Parenting Trainer

Lead Trainer at All About Parenting

Patrick Ney is a Neurodevelopmental Specialist who has been working with parents at All About Parenting for 5 years. He is husband to Maja and father to 2 beautiful daughters, Zofia and Mia. Patrick joined All About Parenting, determined to become a better parent before becoming a Certified Trainer. To date, he has run over 1000 workshops, events, and masterclasses for more than 100,000 parents.

Patrick is certified in a range of other methodologies, including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Solution Focused Brief Therapy, and the HANDLE Methodology for neurodiverse children. He is a Certified DIR Floortime Practitioner and has been described as a ‘natural born play therapist.’ Patrick bases his work with parents on neuroscience, studying Applied Neuroscience at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience at King’s College London. Patrick has appeared as a TEDx speaker, and his first book, ‘The Storm: How To Stop Shouting At Your Kids’ will be published in Autumn 2022.

But more than anything else, Patrick is a father. His love for his daughters has led him on a journey to being a better dad for his girls and sharing that story with other parents. His work inspires thousands of parents to start learning parenting, and he shares both his successes and his many failures.

Frequently Asked Questions

Indeed, it’s important not to raise our voices when trying to get kids to listen and cooperate. Scolding has the opposite effect. It engages parents and children in power struggles and nothing gets done. It can also create a negative association with cleaning up and make it even harder for your child to want to do it. This information is best described in our “3 Methods to Get Your Children to Listen” online free masterclass.

In a more concrete way, here are some methods on how to get children to listen and to clean up, using a positive parenting approach.

Turn Chores into Fun Activities

Most children will enjoy a fun game or challenge. You can turn it into a race, an inventory, or a sorting game. This can help you to:

  • Make the task more engaging for your kid;
  • Turn the task into an enjoyable activity for your child;
  • Help the children develop important skills like organization and problem-solving.

Additionally, making it a fun activity can create a positive association with the task. Therefore, kids will be more willing to clean up after themselves in the future.

Be Consistent

To make clean-up time a routine, it’s important to set a clear rule, such as “All toys must be put away before bedtime.” Stick to this rule consistently. Show your child how to organize and put away their toys in a way that makes sense to them. While it’s important to give your child some autonomy in deciding when and how to clean up, they must also understand that taking care of their belongings is their responsibility.

Model this behavior and teach your kid that more stuff means more time invested in cleaning up. Then, it becomes a choice to take care of things or give up some of them.

In conclusion, set clear rules and expectations. Teach your child how to organize and put away her toys, and praise her when she shows responsibility for her belongings.

👉 Need more practical solutions on how to get children to listen or other topics? Sophie, our clever AI assistant, is ready to help you.

Getting toddlers to cooperate can be an arduous business. However, the fact that they show great interest in manifesting their autonomy and independence should be viewed as a healthy stage in their development. Learn how to deal with a toddler not listening:

Make Sure Your Child Sees and Hears You

Before telling him that it’s time to go, make sure that your child sees and hears you. A few minutes before it’s time to leave:

  • Get down at their level;
  • Make eye contact;
  • Share the news.

For example, “We are leaving in 10 minutes, please start getting ready.” This gives your child time to mentally prepare and adjust to the idea of leaving.

Approach Your Kid Calmly

Your toddler doesn’t listen to instructions, even if you tried to give him solid arguments? Don’t lose your temper.  After giving the children a warning, and the time has passed, approach them calmly and remind them that it’s time to go. Ask if they need help gathering their belongings and offer to assist if necessary.

Offer Your Child Choices

“Do you want to hold my hand or do you want me to carry you?” or “Do you want to take this route or that one?” “Walk, or take the bus?” Giving choices can help your child feel more in control of the situation and may make them more willing to cooperate. Additionally, it can help your child disconnect from the previous activity and make the transition smoother.

While it’s important to be patient and offer choices, if the child starts hitting you, you should address this behavior immediately. Explain that hitting is not an acceptable behavior and that it hurts others. Encourage your child to express their feelings verbally or use alternative calming techniques, such as taking deep breaths or counting to 10. Praise your child when he uses these techniques instead of hitting.

In the early stages of development, toddlers explore the world around them, constantly learning and growing. This often manifests in defiant behavior as they assert their independence and push boundaries.

While this can be difficult for parents to navigate, it’s essential to understand that it’s a normal part of child development. Here are some efficient ways to understand how to handle a defiant toddler and give yourself an honest answer to the question “Why is my toddler so defiant?”

Remain Calm

Engaging in a power struggle with a toddler is neither effective nor elegant. Reacting with anger or frustration can escalate the situation and get your child to cooperate even harder. Instead, take a deep breath and try to remain calm. Use a firm but gentle tone when giving directions.

Use Short and Clear Directions

Toddlers have limited attention spans and may become overwhelmed if given too many instructions. Therefore, keep it simple and break tasks into smaller steps.

For instance, instead of saying, “Clean up your toys,” you can say, “Put the blocks in the box” or “Put the books on the shelf.” This will help your child understand exactly what you want them to do and increase their chances of following through.

There’s one thing to set rules and consequences for your toddler being defiant, but more important than that is to offer him a sense of control. You can do this by offering choices. This can help him feel more in control and may increase their willingness to cooperate.

As children approach adolescence and young adulthood, becoming more independent and private is common. This can create a sense of disconnection in the parent-child relationship. Here are some proven methods to get your teenager to talk to you.

How to Talk to Teens – Find the Reasons Behind Their Silence

There are two main reasons why a lack of communication can take place. Let’s find out more on how to talk so kids will listen, even when they are adolescents. The first is a normal stage in teenagers’ social development. They may start to focus more on their peer interactions. This can make parents feel left out or overlooked. Parents who are used to having their children reach for support and validation experience these changes more intensely.

The second reason is that parents are actively or unintentionally putting a strain on their bond with their children. Criticizing their choices, dismissing their ideas, or infantilizing them can lead to a breakdown in communication and trust.

Often resorting to phrases like “What were you thinking?” “That is not wise!” or “You should do as you were told” may hinder their self-confidence. It may also make children direct their attention to other relationships where they feel that they can express themselves freely.

Ask Open-Ended Questions

To find the cause behind the behavior, start a conversation with your teenager. See how your words and actions are perceived.

Some teenagers may be hesitant to share their interests or feelings with their parents due to fear of judgment or criticism. Therefore, it’s important to approach the conversation with patience, empathy, and understanding.

Ask open-ended questions that encourage your son to share more about his interests. For example, instead of asking “Do you like playing video games?”, you could ask “What do you enjoy most about playing video games?”

Share Your Interests and Hobbies with Your Teen

Lastly, share your interests and hobbies with your teenager. This can help create a sense of connection and encourage him to share more about his life.

You can plan family activities based on common or individual interests without forcing and putting pressure on them. Be respectful of your teen’s schedule and openness to try new activities.

When children reach their teenage years, most parents freak out. Children start to assert their autonomy more intensely than before.

Parents, on the other hand, feel the urge to hit the brakes, trying desperately to get back in control. Here are a few strategies that you can try to get your teenager to listen without being a nagging parent.

Have an Honest Conversation with Your Teenager

To get started, have an honest conversation with your teenager about their behavior, chores, and responsibilities. Try to keep these conversations bite-sized. Address one subject at a time. Communicate clearly and specifically what you expect from them, and remember to ask for their input and suggestions.

Regular family meetings can be a great way to improve family dynamics by giving everyone a chance to express their thoughts and ideas.

What to Do Instead of Nagging

When addressing negative behavior, actively listen and show empathy, and try to avoid the unpleasant effects of nagging parents.

Stay calm and don’t interrupt. Understand their thought process and create a safe space to offer suggestions. This can turn a mistake into a learning experience.

Nagging, criticizing, and especially yelling can block chances for growth. It can make them defensive and they stop sharing information about their lives with you. Rather than dwelling on the negative, focus on recognizing your teenager’s positive actions and praising their accomplishments to better motivate them.

As they transition from childhood to adulthood, it becomes more important for them to feel heard and valued. Parents can help build trust and strengthen their relationships with their teenagers by creating a space for open and respectful communication.

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I recently attended a life-changing webinar called “3 Methods to Get Your Children to Listen” offered by All About Parenting, and I’m amazed by the positive impact it has had on my life. The techniques I learned on how to talk so kids will listen have completely transformed our household dynamics. Now, our interactions are filled with understanding and respect, leading to better cooperation and harmony. What’s even more surprising is that I found myself applying these newfound skills at work as well, leading to improved relationships and productivity. This webinar has been a game-changer for me, and I’m grateful to All About Parenting for empowering me with these valuable communication methods.



As a mom, I have always wondered how to get kids to listen without resorting to yelling due to my own painful childhood experience. This program was the answer I needed… I am grateful for this solution and highly recommend it to all parents who are looking for a better way.



I’m incredibly grateful for this amazing program. Their 3 Methods webinar convinced me to invest in the program, and it has truly transformed my ability to make my 5-year-old listen and behave. The techniques and strategies I learned have made a remarkable difference in our family’s dynamics. Thank you, All About Parenting, for empowering me as a parent and making a positive difference in our lives.



I recently attended this webinar where I learned how to talk so kids will listen. It has had an incredible impact on my life. I have learned simple techniques that have completely changed my communication with my children. Our home is now one of understanding and respect, and we work together better than ever before. What’s even more surprising is that I have applied these techniques at work as well, and my relationships and productivity have improved as a result. I am very grateful to All About Parenting for teaching me these valuable communication methods.



I was tired and stressed with all the housework, and no matter what I did, my 1-year-old wouldn’t stop crying. But then I found this program and everything changed. It showed me how to understand my baby’s cries and meet his three basic psychological needs. Now our home is peaceful and not filled with screams. This program is a lifeline for exhausted mothers. It provides valuable insights and transforms the experience of motherhood.



Attending a live event organized by All About Parenting was a game-changer for our family. We are overjoyed with the knowledge we gained to help our children develop important listening skills.  It was truly impressive how the program incorporated the latest science into its techniques. We are grateful for these valuable tools and insights that have made a positive difference in our educational journey.



Dealing with a teenager who doesn’t care can be a challenge. I know the feeling of exhaustion when looking for solutions. But then I discovered the “3 Methods” masterclass. This program offered practical techniques that actually worked. It changed my teen’s attitude, and I am grateful for it. If you are struggling with the same issues, I highly recommend the All About Parenting program. It has truly changed our lives.



Struggling to discipline my 3-year-old who doesn’t listen was exhausting and frustrating. But then I discovered this masterclass that completely changed my perspective. Excited to learn more, I got the All About Parenting program. The results were amazing! Now I know practical strategies to get my child to listen without yelling at him. Thank you to All About Parenting, we have a stronger bond and are a happier, healthier family. I am forever grateful for the tools they have given me.



As a mom, I always wondered how to get kids to listen without resorting to yelling due to my own painful childhood experience. All About Parenting was the answer I needed. Investing in their program has given me effective tools to create a nurturing environment for my 6-month-old daughter. I am grateful for this solution and highly recommend it to any parent seeking a better way.



My 4-year-old’s behavior was so unpredictable, and I was so exhausted. I could not understand the motivation behind his behavior and was constantly frustrated. Luckily, I found the All About Parenting program and it changed everything. The trainer was great and explained the techniques in a way that made sense to me. The program gave me the tools to better understand and deal with my child’s behavior. Highly recommend it!



After attending an All About Parenting webinar, I decided to invest in their program. I am desperate because my 5 year old doesn’t listen or follow directions easily. Using their techniques has significantly improved my child’s behavior. I am grateful to this community for their support and highly recommend their program to all parents.



I had a life-changing experience at an All About Parenting event. It made me realize the impact of hurtful words said by parents to their children. The program they offer has completely changed my family dynamics for the better. I recommend it to all mothers who want to strengthen their relationships with their little ones.



Participating in a live event organized by All About Parenting was a game-changer for our family. We are overjoyed with the knowledge we gained on how to help our kids develop essential listening skills. The programme’s incorporation of the latest scientific research into their techniques was truly impressive. We are immensely grateful to All About Parenting for providing us with valuable tools and insights that have positively transformed our parenting journey.



I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to All About Parenting for their invaluable program. After attending their 3 Methods webinar, I was convinced that I needed to invest in their full program. It has been a life-changing decision in helping me understand how to get my 5-year-old to listen and behave. The techniques and strategies I learned have brought remarkable improvements to our family dynamics. Thank you, All About Parenting, for empowering me as a parent and making a positive impact on our lives.

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