Kids Don't Listen? Change the Way You Speak

"How do I get my kids to listen" and "Will you give me the concrete tools I need to make it happen?"

Definitely, the top questions that parents want to know.

"What do I do to get her to pick up her clothes, finish her lunch, turn off the iPad, etc.?"

I ask myself these questions all the time.

Then, I breathe... because I know the lessons are not in the behavior correction, but in the connection that flourishes in each moment of frustration that is met with empathy rather than force.

I remember the time when my 9-year-old daughter slammed the door of the bathroom, shutting out her dad and interrupting a conversation he and I were having. 

"Just be quiet, Daddy!"

"We were speaking, why did you do that?" I asked.

"Ugh!! Unnnnhhh!!" she squawked.

You can see how well this was going. She fled my inquisition for the safe haven of her room and a comfy beanbag.

If we look through the narrow lens of traditional discipline, her actions were unacceptable and the grunts and groans that followed - disrespectful.

But, if we remember that humans don't act disrespectfully without first feeling disrespected, unheard, or disconnected, then we can wipe away the judgment to create a deeper connection through a teachable moment. 

Children who don’t listen are sending very specific if somewhat coded messages about:

  1. their level of skill
  2. how connected they feel
  3. what tools and resources they have available to handle their emotions

I accepted that my child did not have many resources at that moment. 

She would never act like that unless she was really upset about something. So, I composed myself and headed in to investigate. 

"I can tell you're upset about something. (long pause to let my energy, tone, and words reach her) Would you like to share it with me?"

"Brando (the dog) knocked me into the wall, and I hit my head, and DADDY didn't even care that I got hurt."


"Oh wow, you got hurt, and he didn't notice! I'm sorry, baby. Come here."

She melted into my arms.

After a few minutes of validating and snuggling, she was able to reflect on what happened and decide - on her own - how to better express herself next time.

Her behavior took a turn for the better because her negative emotions had been discharged through our connection.

Now, she was willing, invested and committed to "listening."

That morning which could have ended drastically different was just one small moment of thousands that will create a child who respects what others have to say.

Isn't that what we really mean when we say, "I want my children to listen to me?" 

We want to feel heard. Just like they do.

If your child's behavior confuses you and you're not sure how to set limits without feeling like a pushover, then I’m here to help.

Experience the real power of your influence – influence that doesn’t come from the force of your will nor the pain of your punishments - but from the strength of your relationship.

I can give you the tools to address what’s really going on with your children when they don’t listen, and show you how to relate in ways that won’t negatively impact your influence - but actually, reinforce it.

You can start accessing positive change today! Click here to access my free 10-day course Chaos to Cooperation!

Have a great week!

Talk soon, 

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About Lori

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