3 Tips for Getting Your Toddler to Listen

toddler, listen, attitude

I was worried for a while that my child might have hearing issues. The doctor informed me that my child was fine, he was just not listening to me. She assured me this was normal, but what can I do about this? 

Are you tired of being ignored by your toddler?

Are you frustrated with NOT being listened to? Do you hate the feeling of yelling, but it is the only way to get your kid to hear you (and that doesn’t even work half the time)? Here are three non-yelling ways to get your toddler to listen AND respond to you.

These methods may feel silly at first, but when you see the magic happen, you will embrace the silly and celebrate. Please – you have endured tantrums in restaurants, been thrown up on in public, and have not gone to the bathroom by yourself in years. What’s a little silly, right?

Sing A Song

Young kids REALLY respond to singing. You don’t even have to be a good singer, and heck, it doesn’t even really need to make sense (think Row, Row, Row Your Boat). “Go, go, go to the car, we have to go to school. Go, go, go, go, go, go, go go, go, go, go, hop in the car.” So, NO this will NOT win a Grammy but it WILL get your kids to the car.

Other simple tunes: Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, Happy Birthday, London Bridge (NOT Fergie’s version from 2006 – the kid one).

Simon Says

It is almost Pavlovian. You say, “Simon Says…”  and your kids feel that they must do whatever it is you say to them. “Simon Says touch your head. Simon Says touch your belly. Simon Says touch your nose. Simon Says find your chair for dinner.”

Honestly, it is almost creepy how well this works. They are like tiny mind-controlled zombies with this whole Simon Says thing, but as with all things powerful, wield that power wisely.

Point, Nod, Mime, Smile

Kids can get tired of being nagged all of the time. We, don’t see it as nagging, but they do. Sometimes just nodding in the direction of trash can get that wrapper where it needs to go. Pointing, nicely, to a lunchbox can be a reminder to grab it. Do it with a smile, and the response will be even faster. Hey, we forget stuff too.

It is amazing what can happen when we think outside the box. It can be hard at times and feel alien. Keep at it. Take a deep breath and pick the one that feels and works best for you.

You will be shocked and delighted at how well these simple communication tweaks will work and how quickly your kids respond to you, not to mention how great not yelling feels.

Like what you read? Check out our previous Ask & You Shall Receive here! Also check out our latest FREE online classesparenting advicejobs for momseventschildcare listingscasting calls & raffles, and our Parents With Nannies Facebook group.


Brandi Davis, ACC, is a professional Parenting Coach, Parent Educator, and Author of O.K. I’m A Parent Now What? She can also be found on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and be sure to catch her parenting podcasts on iTunes. The goal of Brandi’s practice is to bring respect, calm communication, teamwork, and FUN into the home or classroom. To discover all that Child and Family Coaching can bring to your family stop by www.childandfamilycoaching.com.

Tags: , , ,

Comments are closed.