Part II: What to Do When Kids Won’t Listen

In our article, How To Talk So Kids Will Listen, we discuss a lot of helpful ways to communicate with your child so they will listen to your instructions instead of continually disobey them. Your child may respond well to those tips MOST of the time…but of course there will be moments that they don’t. We want to first of all commend you for being a loving and caring parent who is working hard to raise great little humans. We want to help give you the confidence to enforce healthy communication with your kids by suggesting these two helpful tips in the moment they are misbehaving.


Provide Consequences

Consequences can be good and bad. Ideally, good consequences for good behavior (praise, rewards, etc.) should be given the most attention. Undesirable consequences for inappropriate behavior (Timeout, Loss of Privileges, etc.) should utilized less. In order for consequences to be the most effective, make sure all other caregivers are handling their behavior the same way. If you’re handling inappropriate behavior incorrectly, it usually gets worse before it gets better. Hang in there! We know it is hard to follow through with consequences but the other side of the hard moments is really great communication and behavior from your little one. If you’ve let them know that if they refuse to clean up their toys and they will have a timeout if they don’t do it (using all of the communication methods listed in #1-2), then follow through with the timeout if they don’t comply. Children need to know that you mean what you say. Keep following through and keep praising their good behavior once things start getting better! The next time when they listen to do as you say, you can say “I appreciate you cleaning up your toys and listening to mommy. Great job!” This will go a long way and things will get better.


Always Have A Plan!

Before asking your child to do ANYTHING, you should always think through what the responses of your child might be and how you will respond to each one of them. If they immediately listen to your instruction, you will want to immediately reward and praise them (“Thanks for listening!” “Great Job!” or *High Five*). If they do not follow instructions, having consequences memorized will make the situation easier to handle.

When creating a plan, make sure that it is realistic, properly communicated and understood by everyone carrying it out. Don’t be afraid to let teachers know your plan and how you handle non-compliance at home. Review it frequently to make sure it is being implemented correctly or if any changes need to be made. Every family and situation has a different plan they must put in place in order to succeed.

Now if creating plans overwhelms you and you need help right away, our team at Discover Hope is here! You can reduce trial and error by contacting us for an individual consultation where we can work together to come up with the best plan for your situation. Our goal and mission is to give all parents relief, answers, and guidance from our team who invest their lives in child behavior and know the proven strategies that work.

We believe in the family unit and want to see it succeed. We believe in the power of intentional parenting. We believe in YOU! The fact that you are here says so much about the amazing parent you are. We want to partner with you on the journey. You’ve probably heard it before, but raising children takes a village! There is hope and relief on the other side of the hard moments. You CAN get your kids to listen and communicate with them in a way that works! Try these useful tips and see what happens.

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