I’m sure every parent has been there. You ask your toddler to do something, like put on her shoes. She ignores you. You ask again, and again you are ignored.
It’s like you are not even there.
Finally, after maybe the fifth time of asking and your toddler not listening, you break down and yell at your child.
Five minutes later and the guilt sets in. Why did you yell? How can you get your toddler to listen? Why is parenting so hard and frustrating? No one told me it would be THIS hard.
This situation was happening way too often in my household with two 4 year-olds and a 2 year-old.
I decided to do some research to address the problem. After trying some things out, I found 2 unbelievably easy things that got my toddlers listening to me.
After implementing these 2 SIMPLE things, my kids are listening and I have found that I am not yelling at my kids.
Since it’s so effective, I had to share it here.
How To Get Your Toddler To Listen
So, what are these two easy steps to get your toddler to listen?
- Kneel down to your toddler’s level and make eye contact when you speak to him.
- Have your child acknowledge he heard you.
Why are these two things so effective in getting toddlers to listen? I believe it’s because you are making sure they cannot ignore you.
In my experience with my kids, if they don’t want to do something, their immediate response is to ignore you by acting like they don’t hear you.
By making eye contact and getting acknowledgement, it’s pretty much impossible to be heard by your children.
Make Eye Contact
Have you ever noticed yelling at toddlers is just completely ineffective? One would think it would light a fire under them to do what you say so they don’t get in trouble.
When you yell, I’m guessing your toddler either freezes because he’s afraid, or he ignores you. Once in a while it’s effective, but most of the time it’s not.
Yelling does not make a child accomplish a task faster or more efficiently. In fact, sometimes it has the opposite effect.
So, when you are having a hard time getting your toddler to listen, instead of yelling, kneel down and make eye contact.
This is part one of ensuring that your toddler hears you.
Once eye contact has been established, tell your child what you want them to do.
The second thing you must do after making eye contact and telling your child what you need her to do, is have your child acknowledge she heard you.
An example could be:
Parent: “I need you to go potty before we get in the car.”
Parent: (If i’ts been a minute and you notice your child is not going potty) “What did I say you need to do before we go in the car?”
So, now there are two options. Either your child knows what she is supposed to be doing. Or, your child has forgotten or ignored your original request to go potty.
If your child does know what she is supposed to be doing, get down to your child’s eye level again and tell her she needs to go potty.
If she doesn’t go, you could have a consequence, like no T.V.
On the other hand, if your child doesn’t know that she is supposed to go potty. Get down to eye level again and tell her she needs to go potty.
Have her repeat back what she needs to be doing by asking, “what do you need to go do before we go in the car?”
Make sure your child gives you the right answer and if not, correct her.
What If Your Toddler Still Doesn’t Listen?
Now, let’s be honest. Is this method going to be 100% effective. Of course not. But, it will improve your child’s listening and it will lead you to stop feeling like you are always asking your kids to do things and getting no response.
Of course there is always the scenario that your child just doesn’t want to do the thing you have asked them to do. And, today he just wants to be stubborn.
The next thing you can try is explaining why you need your child to do the task at hand.
An example is:
Parent: “You can’t have dessert, unless you eat your dinner.”
Now you have offered and an incentive, a treat, if your picky toddler eats dinner.
If you cannot think of a positive spin on the task at hand, you could offer some sort of treat, like extra T.V. But, this is a last resort.
Stop The Yelling
Go ahead and try these simple tricks to get your toddler to listen better. In turn, you will find you are resorting to yelling at your kids anymore.
It really is not helpful or effective to yell at children anyway. And, the main reason parents end up yelling is because their children aren’t listening, which is extremely frustrating.
I know by speaking to my kids at their eye level and making sure they acknowledge and understand what I’m asking them to do, their listening has improved immensely.
These two tips are so easy to implement, with great results so, that’s why I wanted to share my experience.
I hope these 2 easy hacks on how to get your toddler to listen make things a little bit easier for you on this difficult road called parenting.