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Getting children to listen

Question: I frequently find myself telling my kids the same thing over and over again. How can I get them to listen? - Allison T.

Answer: Say it once, never more than twice.

Here is a clear case of "learn from what I do not from what I say." Your children have learned that they do not need to listen the first time you speak. If you sincerely want your children to hear your message the first time you say it, you must stop repeating yourself. Immediately stop whatever it is you're doing, stop talking, and look at your children awaiting their acknowledgement. They probably heard you the first time. If there's any doubt, repeat the message one more time now that you have their attention.

Now, you can start working on compliance. They will know if you're serious without yelling or threatening. Here's where clear messages, your helpful assistance, and setting consequences gives your words the weight they deserve.