How to talk to children so they will listen

From birth, warm, light and responsive communication help babies and kids feel safe and secure in their worlds. Additionally, it builds and strengthens relationships between children and their parents and carers.

To grow and develop and nurture skills, children want safety, security and robust relationships, so communicating well with children is vital for their growth and development.

Address The Child With His/her Name

Always open request with the child’s name,” Ananya, will you please…..” As it helps to get their attention before delivering your message.

Connect With The Kid Before You Direct

Before giving your child directions, squat to your child’s eye level and have an eye-to-eye contact to urge his/her attention. Teach him the way to focus: “Ananya, I need your eyes. “Beth, I need your ears”.: Offer an equivalent visual communication when talking. Do not make your eye contact so intense that your child perceives it as controlling instead of connecting

Be Brief And Keep Simple

Too much talking is a very common mistake when dialoguing about an issue., so put the main directive in the opening sentence.

kids have trouble following too many things given at once. We can probably relate that to travel directions when we ask someone how to reach xyz place and he/she directs us with lot many routes and turns we tend to forget later. Now think how kids will feel if you gave him/her a lot of information at once.

Stay Positive

Instead of commanding “No running”, “no jumping” be polite to the kid and tell them “Outside in park you run, jump and play. Inside you may walk”


“When you get your teeth brushed, Then we will begin the story”, “When your homework is finished, then you can go for playing” this implies that you expect obedience. Whereas in “If” there’s a choice which you don’t want to choose the other option

Speak Progressively Correctly

As discussed earlier, younger the child, shorter and simpler your directives should be. Think about your child level of understanding. Giving an example, a common mistake that parents make is asking a 3-year-old child, “Why did you do that” and s you are aware most adults find it difficult to answer because the question is linked to behaviour. Instead, try, “Beth, Let’s talk about what you did.”

Give Notice

If your child is indulged in an activity and it’s time to depart, give them notice so that they get the idea and aware that its time to leave. Providing an example,  “George, it’s nearly time to go. Start saying goodbye to Mia please.”

Rhyme Rule Works!

“if you hit, you must sit” get your child to repeat them

Don’t Be Hurry To Children

No hurry-burry to children, give them advance notice. For example, if you are leaving the place with the kid say, “we are leaving, say bye-bye to uncle, aunty, toys.”

Calm The Listener

Restore emotional equilibrium before giving your directive otherwise, it’s a waste of time. Nothing gets in when someone is in an emotional wreck and its same for adult and so are kids

Provide Likeable Alternatives

“You cant go to the park alone” instead of stopping it there give an alternate that you can play in neighbour’s yard

Share The Feelings

“When you run away from mommy in the store, mommy felt so worried and tensed not seeing you around” – share the feeling

Be A Good Listener

Try not to interrupt or scold your kids when they are telling you a story. Kids will lose interest in sharing their feelings/thoughts with you when you shift off from their story and use the time to teach them a lesson.

Speak Empathetically Correctly

Threats and judgmental openers are more likely to get a child into a defensive state. Instead of using “I need you to clean the table.”,  Say, “I would like you to clean the table”,

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