10 Phrases That Can Help Any Parent When Their Child Isn’t Listening

Family & kids
4 years ago

It is human nature to behave in an oppositional way when we’re told what to do. And kids are not an exception. Despite this, you can pick the right words and intonations to influence your child and redirect their negative behavior.

We at Bright Side got curious about which tips we can use to manage unwanted behavior in kids and found phrases divided by situations that can help you in your daily life.

1. If your child refuses to eat or never finishes a meal

  • You are a healthy eater!

It’s better to encourage your child for each eating action they make. Say things like how you are proud of them and don’t call them picky. This is not the right motivation for a small child.

2. If your child doesn’t want to clean their room

  • “Would you like to do it on your own or have me help you?”

It is normal to get irritated, but phrases like, “Do it immediately! I’ve told you so many times!” will hardly help or motivate them. It is better to give them an option and to not be pushy.

3. When you need to go, but your kid is not in a rush to pack

  • “Do you want to leave now or in 10 minutes?”

Sometimes kids can behave in a very spoiled manner and often there can be situations where you are late, but they just don’t want to put their clothes on or they don’t want to leave their friend’s house. You can tell them a zillion times to hurry up and explode out of frustration. But it’s actually better calm yourself down and ask nicely.

4. If your child doesn’t want to listen

  • “Your actions are telling me that you’re too tired to go out today.”

Kids’ actions can say a lot about what they want and how they feel. Maybe they can’t say in a straightforward way that they are bored or tired, but crying, not listening, or throwing toys shows their mood. Communicate to your child how you think they’re feeling based on their body language.

5. When your kid wants one more toy, but you’ve run out of money

  • “Let’s add that toy you want to your birthday list.”

Your sweet baby saw one more toy in a shop and really wants it, but your budget is limited. Don’t say “No! Enough!” This could even hurt an adult.

6. If there are always dirty dishes left on the table

  • “Could you please put that in the sink?”

They eat and run away, leaving you to clean the whole mess. Don’t concentrate on words like “stop doing that,” “you never,” or “don’t leave that plate.” It is better to say it in a positive way.

7. When a kid finally does what you wanted

  • “Thank you for listening. You’re doing so good.”

We may get irritated when a child doesn’t listen, but if they finally did what you wanted, don’t ignore their good behavior. This will motivate them to listen to you in the future.

8. If you want your kid stop do something

  • “Can you help me read this book (or do something) over here?”

You can see that your child is playing, again, in a dangerous place or right in front of you while you are trying to finish your report for work. Don’t demand. Instead redirect the kid.

9. If you want to boost self-esteem in your toddler

  • “You did it all by yourself!”

To boost the self-esteem of your toddler, encourage good behavior and independence. It is important to react in a good way and this can push the child to do more good things.

10. Show your love, even if your kid doesn’t listen

  • “I love you no matter what and I like it very much when you...”

A “No hugs and kisses” response to a kid’s bad behavior will not fix the situation, make them be nice, or encourage them to listen to you. Sit down, so you’re on their level, and tell them how much you love them.

Which phrases are you going to use to make your child listen to you? Do you have your own secrets for good parenting? Please share your experience with us!

Illustrated by Leisan Gabidullina for Bright Side


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Your comments work (or not) for a child. But these set a behavioral model that will continue on into the child's teen years. A child is taught respect for him/her self at home. You haven't included any ways to teach responsibility and cause and effect. Just imagine begging or dealing withan ungrateful, disrespectful teen that now uses your whole home as "his" room. Good luck.


I worked full time as did my husband. I told my sons to clean their rooms. I gave them a specific number of days. After the specific day, I came in with a broom, trash bag, and dust pan. I cleaned the room completely and threw the trash bag away in an unknow location. My sons learned that inaction has consequences.


My mom always did the "should I help you clean" phrase and god it's annoying, she has insanly high ocd so my room is clean enough (for normal standards)


Parents should learn to control their kids or dont take them if you arent ready for it. I dont want to listen to your kid yelling and screaming for a toy


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