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How to Get Your Kids to Listen to You

How to Get Your Kids to Listen to You

Melana D. is at her wit's end. Her daughter doesn't listen to her, and she says, "I feel I have tried almost everything and nothing seems to work. How did the rest of you get your kid/s to listen? I need some advise before I lose it."

Do you find yourself yelling at your kids, while your blood pressure rises because they won’t listen? You just want them to clean up their toys, go potty, put dishes in the sink, get dressed... I mean really, put the shoes on, clean your toys, WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL?!?!?!?!?!?!?

Okay, here is the quick solution and it only involves one idea: Being stuck.

What is "Being Stuck?"

When your child, for example, will not put their shoes on, they are stuck. When your child refuses to clean up, they are stuck. When your child won’t brush their teeth, they are stuck. What that means is that until they can complete the task at hand, they cannot move on to another activity.


Your child refuses to take a bath? They are stuck. They cannot move on to another activity until they bathe. There is no need to yell, fight or bribe. You state what’s going on; “Until you take a bath (clean up, put shoes on...), you are stuck. You cannot move on to another activity until you have finished this one. When you have taken your bath and get unstuck you may play with something else (go outside, watch a movie.....), but until then you are stuck. You are in control of your day/evening and you can get yourself UNstuck anytime that you want to.” 

Grab a book if you want to, go get some things done if you can. Your child will quickly realize that you mean business.

The life lesson? You are responsible for your actions. You make a mess, you clean it up. You do not put your shoes on, you can not go to the park. You do not put your dishes in the sink, you cannot come to family T.V. time.

Parents, your reward is the calm feeling of not having to yell and fight. Hey, we have all been stuck at one point or another. It’s all a part of life and learning what it means to be a part of a community.

Brandi Davis is a professional Parenting Coach with a Bachelors of Science in Child Development and Family Studies, and 14 years of teaching experience. Her book, O.K. I’m A Parent Now What? is a compilation of articles touching on a myriad of child rearing topics such as parent-child communication, quick dinners, tantrums, how to get your kids to listen, productive discipline and much more, and will help parents find new ways to get what they need accomplished without all of the tantrums and power struggles that create conflicts within the family.

Image Source: James Jordon via Flickr/Creative Commons

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.

Join The Conversation
JenniferSmallwood45119 JenniferSmallwood45119 5 years
I found this program called Love and Logic. It is a program that teaches your kids to listen and respect you. Getting angry at your children is what they want and most parents dont understand that so when you yell at them and lose your temper you are losing the fight with your kids. It also teaches them about being responsible for there own actions and understanding that what they do has a reaction good or bad. If they understand that they are not going to get what they want from you they will listen to you more.
JacquelineMchale JacquelineMchale 5 years
I found reward charts were good for me and my daughter. If she did something that i asked her to do without any fuss i would let her put a smiley face on the chart i made. If she refused repeatedly to do something that i may have asked her to do then she had to put a sad face on the chart. She hated having to ruin the flow of smiley faces on the chart. At the end of the week the faces were totted up and if she got a good amount of happy faces I rewarded the weeks behaviour. This worked very well at the time as children love to be praised.
SusannaMan SusannaMan 5 years
OK, I know what you means but the reality is we cannot just let them "stuck" all the time. Because they need to go to school on time, we need to get out of the house & go to work on time. If I have 48 hours a day to spend, I guess I can let them "stuck" all the time and I'm not getting mad!
LauraStemple LauraStemple 5 years
This is a great idea. And I definitely use this method with my own little twist in my children's lives; but my question is how does this apply to getting them to do things that there is no "fun" consequence they're missing out on. For Example, "put on your shoes so we can get in the car to go run errands!" To a kid (especially my two boys) this is torture!
MayowaGbolagun MayowaGbolagun 5 years
Wao! this is quite interesting and i am going to give it a try. But how do you stop yelling when you told a 7yrs old to stop playing rough, or ask him to stay indoor and the moment you turn your back he his doing exactly what you do not want.
LauraClarkeGiberson LauraClarkeGiberson 5 years
How is this possibly a bribe Shan? (and what's wrong with a little bribe now and then anyway!!!!?) This method works for my almost 4 year old twins most of the time, but you have to be firm and consistent and watchful.
CassandraCruse CassandraCruse 5 years
I am sorry but I just do not see this working
ReemSalah ReemSalah 5 years
very good suggesstion
pameladumestre pameladumestre 5 years
awesome idea thank you so much!!!!
AndreaFerry AndreaFerry 5 years
I ask my 2yr old plain & simple "Do you want to sit in the Naughty Corner?" Her response is always a compliant "No" & she immediately does as I have asked her. We have also never really spoken to our little girl like she's a baby, or a separate part if the family, we speak to her as we speak to eachother. She has always responded better & we think, developed better & faster as a result. We know how blessed we are to have such a well behaved princess & I feel for parents who have daily battles, being a parent is hard, but so rewarding!
SueTrabue SueTrabue 5 years
This approach worked well for me when I was raising my 4 children. It teaches natural consequences to their actions/behaviors. It can be difficult to apply to all situations all the time and maybe not easy at first, but as the article stated, it eliminates yelling or getting upset and gives the control to the child. By giving them the control in this area of their development along with other areas, like making clothing choices, etc. you will have a much happier little one and a much happier family life. When in a hurry, slow down a bit and take a deep breath. when you get frazzled so do your little ones.
lorrainetryon lorrainetryon 5 years
I see the words stuck, and yet my child will challange even that she is stuck. It's not apart of her vocabulary. She's a fighter all the way. Telling her she's stuck until she accomplishes her task at hand dosen't bother her in one bit. I need more for a very stubborn child. Lot's more!!!! Stuck sounds easy, but it's not!
CoMMember13613642465968 CoMMember13613642465968 5 years
@Tracie Brock. My idea for you regarding getting kids to pick up after themselves is this. They get to keep all of the things they pick up. Announce the new plan one night and then no more reminding thereafter. After the go to sleep pick up everything you can find that's laying around and either 1) give it away or 2) put it in timeout. I choose option 2 and give them a chance to earn things back by doing extra chores around the house to help out. It has worked, really, really well for both my 14 year old and my 7 year old.
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