How to Speak to Your Kids so They Will Listen

Do your children LISTEN to you?

Do they respect what you say?

Do they harbor resentment toward you?

Do they argue with what you say?

It’s HOW you say it, more than WHAT you say that matters.


The secret is to speak from the HEART!!

“I thought I asked you to clean your room!  You are not going out to play until it’s done young lady!”

How effective is this form of communicating what you want?  I’ve tried it…many times…and their rooms are often still a mess days later!  Our children don’t like to be “ordered” to do something any more than we do!  They will resist as long as possible and it often even goes a step farther and they begin to resent you for your constant nattering and ordering them around! This is a very toxic cycle that you will want to do your best to avoid.

“I see that you didn’t get a chance to clean up your room yesterday.  Do you think you could the find some time to get it done before noon today?”

Better?  I’d be more likely to comply.  What do you think?  Doesn’t this one feel like the child has more control?  It almost “feels like” they have a choice as to whether or not to clean their room.  And perception….is everything!

So…Why aren’t your kids listening?

Have they LOST RESPECT for you? If you repeatedly ask them to do things and rarely follow up or give consequences when they don’t do it…it’s easy to lose respect.  They will quickly stop taking you seriously.  Consistency and firmness are essential ingredients in earning respect.  Of course you must give respect to get respect, so be sure to treat them with respect, in order to demonstrate what respectful behavior looks and sounds like.

Do they WANT the negative attention they receive when they don’t comply? Many children are so starving for attention from their parents that they will take it any way they can get it!  Positive or negative will do.  Shower them with the positive kind!

Are they desperately seeking some form of control in their own lives? When children have one or more controlling parents, it is easy for them to feel like they have no say and like no one ever listens to them.  They feel like nothing they do or say is good enough to be acknowledged.  They will FIND a way to feel like they have some sort of control in their own lives….even if it’s just controlling the cleanliness, or lack thereof, in their bedroom–their “space”.   Sometimes they’ll even resort to Anorexia or Bulimia; starving themselves and thinking – “at least you can’t control my body!”

Or, Are they so angry that they are attempting to get revenge and make you “pay” for all the pain that you or someone else, have caused them? This happens when things have gone too far; often when the emotional or physical abuse has cut your child deeply, to the point that they have built up walls around their heart and are now not afraid of being HURT anymore, but are only focused on HURTING others.  Payback!  You may need to seek addition help from a counselor or professional to remedy this situation.

There are many reasons that children don’t listen.  It’s rare that there’s actually a physical problem, although I admit to being tempted at times, to take my child to the doctor and get her hearing checked!

“WHAT….is wrong with you?”  “Are you deaf??”

Be sure to avoid these nasty statements.  They are NOT coming from your heart.

As a general rule, if it’s not coming from a place of love, do not say it! And, in those emotionally charged moments when you slip up and say something nasty….take some time to breath and then by all means, apologize.  No excuses like “it’s just that you make me soooo angry sometimes!” – that negates the apology in short order!!

A real apology involves taking responsibility; telling your child that what you said wasn’t nice, that you did not mean it, and that you should not have said it!  Now, tell them what you SHOULD have said; what you MEANT to say.  Here’s where you speak from your heart.  Try something like, “I feel really frustrated when you do not listen to my repeated requests.  Can you tell me what’s going on and why you haven’t been listening, honey?” Open the lines of communication and now it’s your turn to listen. I mean really LISTEN to what they say- paying attention to the verbal and non-verbal.  Listen from your HEART, not from your head!   Our “heads” tend to interrupt an awful lot and THINK waaaayyy too much!  That is not true listening.

Heart-centered listening gets you OUT of your HEAD, away from the constant chatter and thoughts about what you are going to say next; just waiting for your turn to talk or a “space” in which to interrupt.  Heart centered listening shuts off your head and the chatter and listens from the eyes and ears of your heart.  If you do this with your child, you cannot go wrong, for you are connected to the divine, to your emotional core, and to love 🙂  Be prepared for a deep, emotional, and heart felt conversation, for this is from where love and compassion flows!

And please remember….you ARE meant to mess up once in a while.  How else are your children going to feel alright about themselves when they inevitably mess up??  How else will your children learn how to recover and how to apologize when they make mistakes?  You are supposed to role model these things for them.  Give yourself a break!

You do not want your children to beat themselves up for every little mistake they make, so you must turn that very same love and compassion onto yourself. This is the best way, in fact it’s the ONLY way to pass that love and compassion on to our precious and deserving children.♥

Do you listen to your kids?

Do you RESPECT what they say?

Do you harbor resentment toward them?

Do you argue with what they say?

Turn it around!  You cannot change your children, but you CAN change yourself.

BE the change you wish to see in your children.  Practice speaking and listening to your child from your HEART.  When you connect with them on a heart level, they will listen, intently!

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