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How to Get Your Child to Listen to Your Request

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I cannot count the number of times I’ve either heard my coaching clients or parents on the street say, “My child just doesn’t listen to me!” or “Why can’t he/she just listen?”

ParentChildThere are two issues here:

  1. The child doesn’t have a healthy level of respect for the parents’ authority (as hard as this may be to admit)
  2. The parent is making the request at the wrong time.

Luckily, there are two great solutions to these issues.

I’ll never forget my first year of teaching. I was fresh out of university and was hired to teach French to a class that had gotten two other teachers to quit; they saw me as their new challenge and boy did they challenge me! I spent months trying to use every technique I had ever been taught – nothing worked. I tried talking to them, bribing them, yelling at them, punishing them, rewarding them yet nothing seemed to improve. One day I called the parent of one of the more difficult students to inform them, once again, of their son’s rude behaviour. The response I got from the father shook me to my core. He said, “Look, I can’t make him respect you. You have to do that.” How embarrassing!

“What do I do now?” I thought. After a lot of thought, prayer and contemplation I devised a 4 step discipline technique that I would try to use over and over again; I was tired of trying so many different strategies. And truly, once I really thought about things, I realized that the kids didn’t know what to expect from me because I kept changing my relationship and expectations with them.

It only took a few days to notice a HUGE improvement and by the end of that year even the most difficult kids cried at having to leave my class and move on to a new teacher. I had earned their respect and when I asked them to do something…or not to do something, they intrinsically wanted to listen.

This is what every parent needs to do. Once respect is there, not just love, but a genuine respect, then parenting becomes easy, simple and an extremely joyful, stress-free experience.

Using a simple, consistent form of discipline is key, as is enjoying special moments together as a family and spending one-on-one time with each child. Furthermore, specific praise as well as non-verbal praise needs to be present. If all of these areas are present between parent and child you’ve got yourself a winning situation and a child who will listen to you.

The second issue I see as being a problem with parents I coach is in the timing of their request.

We have our own agendas and when we want out kids to do something we want it done NOW so we can move on to our next task. Although this is understandable, we must understand and respect that our children have their own agendas and even though they seem trivial to us, they are very important to our kids. No one likes spur-of-the-moment interruptions, so be considerate.

When you want you child to do something try to:

  1. Give a countdown. “Sally, in 5 minutes it’s time to eat dinner.” Or, “In 5 minutes it’s time to clean up.” Then gently count down.
  2. Make the request after their TV program is over, during a commercial or at least not during an exciting part. If you have the option to pause the movie or program do so, then make your request, but be very specific. For example, “After this show it’s time to ________.”
  3. Use praise or thank yous when your child listens well. For example, “Thanks for coming so quickly after your program was finished, I appreciate that.” Then solidify the compliment with a quick smile, back rub, thumbs up, or squeeze of the hand.

Putting a few things into practice will change the dynamics in your family dramatically, as well as your relationship with your child – what’s better than that?


Erin A. Kurt, Stress-Free Parenting Expert, is founder of and the author of Juggling Family Life: A Step-By-Step Guide to Stress-Free Parenting, the proven step-by-step program that shows you exactly how to raise happy, respectful and well-adjusted kids in just 3 steps…guaranteed. To get your F.R.E.E. video series and receive her stress-free parenting articles on how to parent without yelling and get your kids to listen to you the first time, visit

This article is taken from another source. Views expressed in this article are those of the author and may or may not be the views of From The Pulpit and DiscoMaulvi. To submit content for From The Pulpit, please email FromThePulpit [at] MuhammadAly [dot] Com.

Other Articles of Interest


When Goals Stop Working

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by Celestine Chua

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Most goals usually set off on a high note.  At the beginning, you are self-driven and motivated to achieve them. You diligently adhere to your plan. When you do, you feel terrific. You are on an upward momentum and the possibilities of what’s next excites you. For a while, you look forward to what’s next.

But then after a period of time, the momentum wanes. You think about the goal, but you don’t feel like working on it. You become rooted by inertia and you start to procrastinate. Frustrated by the lack of results, you begin to resist your goals. You subconsciously turn to other activities as avoidance.

When Goals Stop Working

I’m an advocate of goal setting because it works. Goals are important and they serve their place. If you don’t already set goals on regular basis, here are 6 important reasons why you should do so.

But there are times when goals don’t work. Such as:

  1. When you no longer feel motivated by the goals.
  2. When you dread/avoid working on the goals. You see them as a chore, another “task” to be completed. You have to literally force yourself just to do them.
  3. When your goals make you feel lousy about yourself (more than they inspire you).
  4. When you feel your goals are like a burden.
  5. When you don’t even remember why you want those goals in the first place.

There are times when I feel burdened by my goals. For example, I set targets to write a certain number of articles and guest posts every month. If I don’t achieve them after the goal date, I would feel lousy. Then for a period of time, I would be dancing the tango between trying to accomplish the goal ASAP and getting nowhere in it.

I have learned from experience that forcing myself to write is the last thing to do when I feel uninspired. Doing so brings me nowhere. Not only do I spend a copious amount of time and effort just to get the words out, the end result is unreadable. The writing is convoluted, the words are empty, nothing connects in the writing with the reader – you can easily tell it’s written in an uninspired state. Articles I write when I’m uninspired never get to see the light of the day. Whatever writing I manage to churn out gets deleted/trashed, and in the end I’m back to the drawing board (or in this case, the WordPress editor). Now that’s a whole load of time and effort wasted and I feel even worse off because all my effort went down to the drain.

Likewise for some of my clients, there are times when they have goals which they are no longer inspired by. Initially they would be enthusiastic about their goals, sticking to the plans they created and making good headway. But after a while, they begin to slip. They feel bad about it and try to pick up the pieces with limited success, making them feel even worse. They become weighed down by their goals, as if they are a ton of bricks.

If you find this happening to you, that’s means your goals no longer inspire you. That means it’s time to relook into your goals list.

Relooking Into Your Goals List

The very reason why you set goals is so you can achieve more than you would without goals. Yet, if your very goals are putting you off, making you feel crappy and causing a misalignment inside you, then your goals aren’t exactly helping you to achieve more. In fact, they are probably making you achieve lesser than normal since it’s stirring up all these negativity in you. You are too busy resisting and battling these stray thoughts that you are too tired to do anything else. That’s red alert that something is wrong.

There are various reasons why you may be uninspired by your goals now:

  1. You became attached to your performance of those goals. When you didn’t achieve your earlier milestones, you became weighed down. This snowballs into a bigger burden over time and repeat encounters.
  2. Your goal was just a way to achieve your desired outcome, which should be your real goal to begin with.  (Read Principle #4 on Objective vs. Activity Goals.) It has since become irrelevant as you know of other, better ways to achieve your envisioned outcome.
  3. You lost touch with why you wanted these goals or there is no longer a reason to achieve these goals
  4. Your priorities/interests have changed and you are no longer interested in achieving these goals

Your Goals Have To Inspire You First (Read the rest at The Personal Excellence Blog)

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5 Secrets to Raising a Courteous, Well-Mannered Child

by Erin A. Kurt

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It is such a beautiful feeling when everywhere you go people marvel at how lovely it is to be around your child, whether it be in a store, restaurant, friendly visit or classroom. It is not so lovely when you cringe inside at your child’s behavior, rudeness or lack of ability to interact confidently in a social environment. So, how do we ensure that we raise well-mannered, socially competent and polite children?

There are some basic strategies that are highly effective. One is to learn and use my 4-Step Discipline technique as this creates the perfect platform in which to build upon. Children learn how to be self-disciplined from it and research shows that self-disciplined children are more self-confident, polite, compassionate and generally nice to be around.

Other effective ways are:

1. Prioritize Courtesy

Commit to raising a courteous child. Reinforce politeness and the importance of good manners everyday so your kids know that that is how your family treats people in and out of the home. Being civil, respectful and courteous is expected. Period. You do not listen or give attention to mouthy, rude talking.

2. Be an example of courtesy.

Children learn how “to be” by observing us (their parents). So, remember to always say please and thank you, excuse me, I’m sorry, and speak kindly to and of others. Seeing you and your partner do this consistently will show your child that this is just normal behavior for your family.

3. Model new manners.

When my son was old enough (3 years old), we taught him how to politely order at a restaurant and ask for the bill. He feels so important and confident and of course, we always reinforce how his manners impacted the waiter or waitress, i.e.: smiles, laughter, happiness.

4. Comment when you see other people using good manners.

When someone holds a door open for you, be sure to say, “Thank you” to the person then continue with, “That was very kind of that man to hold the door for us, wasn’t it?” My son, now 3 1/2 years old, will hold doors open for people – imagine the smiles he gets! His comments are, “Mommy, I helped that lady. She smiled at me!”

5. Use the phrase, “Try that again in a polite way.”

When your child responds to you or anyone else in an impolite way be sure to point it out and use the phrase above. If they refuse simply say, “When you talk nicely I’ll listen to you” or if need be, use my 4-Step Discipline Technique.

Vast numbers of studies find that well-mannered children are more popular and do better in school. Teachers speak glowingly of them and parents make sure they are on the top of their kid’s invite lists. Let’s face it, polite children are just nicer to be around!

In addition to this, courteous kids are more considerate of others thoughts and feelings and are more respectful. Courteous kids also have an edge in adult life too, as businesses report that their first interview choices are applicants who display good social graces.

All in all, it pays to raise well-mannered children; you benefit, your children benefit and the world benefits. I’d say it’s a pretty important priority, wouldn’t you?

Erin A. Kurt, Stress-Free Parenting Expert, is founder of and the author of Juggling Family Life: A Step-By-Step Guide to Stress-Free Parenting, the proven step-by-step program that shows you exactly how to raise happy, respectful and well-adjusted kids in just 3 steps…guaranteed. To get your F.R.E.E. video series and receive her stress-free parenting articles on how to parent without yelling and get your kids to listen to you the first time, visit

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