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How To Get Kids To Listen


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  • Jackie November 19, 2017, 10:13 am

    My ex would lecture the kids when they did something wrong. You could see the kids blank out when he did it. When he was done, I would ask why he did it, and he would say, his dad did it to him. I asked, “Did you listen?” he would say “No” “They aren’t listening to you, quit doing it.

    I never squatted down, but I did bend down, to make a point, in a growl type whisper, to make them understand, I was not. messing. around. when we were in public. That voice usually made them stop doing what ever they were doing, and shape up.

    • Lyn November 21, 2017, 11:42 am

      I did something similar. When in public and my kids were acting up, I’d lean close to them and whisper “You. Know. Better. ” Worked nearly every time.

  • PlainJane November 19, 2017, 10:20 am

    I’ve been a fan of John Rosemond for years. I’ve also heard adults say, “I always hated it when my parents said ‘because I say so.'” Of course you did. You were a kid and wanted the power and your parents wouldn’t give it to you…Go John!!!

  • Just4Kicks November 20, 2017, 3:15 am

    I have tried to take the best of what my parents taught me and how they disciplined me, and add in what I thought was right.
    My folks came from the spare the rod (wooden spoon actually) spoil the child mentality, and with the very rare exception, have never hit any of my kids. One that comes to mind was one of my kids almost darting into traffic in a busy parking lot, they got one pop on the backside .
    My mom was very free with the wooden spoon and for “bad infractions” I was made to kneel on uncooked rice on a hardwood floor for half an hour.
    My kids didn’t believe me until one day I told them to ask their grandma.
    She said that’s how things were done back then….then got mad at me for telling my kids she used to do that.
    My kids suddenly didn’t see being grounded as all that bad anymore.

  • Elle November 20, 2017, 12:04 pm

    Okay, I was going to type out a bit about how the belief that quiet and obedient always means good and happy is dangerous to certain children, but someone earlier in the comments mentioned the speakers name, and I was curious so I searched him up.
    To be frank, John Rosemund does not seem to be someone I would trust at all for parenting advice. He claims that ADHD is fake, not over diagnosed, but entirely fictional (and seems to ignore that it is not purely a childhood disorder?). He picks what studies he considers valid without explaining the issues with others. He believes that psychology ruined parenting, which is entirely disconcerting. This man believes that a fuller understanding of the human brain, how it grows and functions and develops, has ruined us. He fails to remain consistent, stating that anecdotal evidence has no meaning, but then using anecdotes (sometimes on their own) in his advice column. Multiple child psychologists have said that his advice can border on “unethical” and “dangerous”, and he has received both a reprimand and a suspension from the board in North Carolina.
    The short version of this is, I’m not on partial to taking advice from a man who says that humiliation is good for children. And I’m especially not on board with a man who told parents that they shouldn’t have their toddler, who had been sexually abused, attend therapy.

    • Dee November 21, 2017, 10:29 am

      I wasn’t going to comment because I didn’t want to just be a negative voice, but I have to agree with you, Elle, and the others who have made good points about this man’s beliefs. I have seen this guy before but I couldn’t watch much of this particular video because so much of it strikes me as false and a red flag. I have known obedient children who were so afraid to challenge their violent parent(s) that they lived in quiet fear and desperation every moment of their lives. Obedience is a reaction to something but it shouldn’t be a parent’s goal.

      My kids were so very difficult when younger, due to neurological issues. They could be quite obedient and certainly always tried hard to get along but were so impulsive and had such attention span issues that they often found themselves in trouble for something or other. It’s a very fine line for a parent to walk in disciplining kids like that. They have turned out well, still have their issues but get glowing praise from their elders. These are people we’re trying to raise, not guide dogs.

      Kids from certain Asian cultures who are the product of Tiger moms are peculiar in the classroom. They impress the heck out of the other kids with their academic devotion but when it comes to putting that study into action they are completely lost. Magnificent grades but fail the lab work, every time. And they don’t know how to socialize, get a job, make decisions outside of a textbook, etc. These are the obedient children who are supposed to run the world tomorrow. I don’t know about you but I want kids like mine, the testy ones, to take care of me and advocate for my world when I’m old. I live in fear of the obedient adults.

      • Kate 2 November 21, 2017, 7:30 pm

        I’m sure you don’t mean to, but your post sounds incredibly bigoted and judgemental. There’s a huge gulf between “crushing the spirit” (something people often say) and “raising guide dogs” (a paraphrase of your words) and not disciplining your kids at all. Plenty of Asian moms aren’t “tiger moms” and not all “tiger moms” raise kids who can’t do anything but follow orders, as you describe.

        • Dee November 22, 2017, 12:24 pm

          The speaker in the video says that obedient children are happy ones. We expect obedience from guide dogs, who don’t have long lives, due to the stress of being obedient most waking hours. That’s not the definition of happiness. I don’t want to give my kids the burden and dysfunction of obedience. And I did discipline my kids, a lot, including corporal punishment. It’s not about obedience, it’s about boundaries and behaviour. Guide dogs don’t take care of their surroundings or think for themselves. That is the opposite of healthy and happy.

          I made it clear that I don’t believe all Asian moms are tiger moms, so the bias you have claimed is mine is actually yours. But I DO believe that all tiger moms work hard to raise kids who can’t think for themselves. And that is what’s so evident in the classrooms around here. It’s a huge problem with those poor kids who live in fear of getting anything less than an A+ but have never been encouraged to question the lessons they are being taught or the adults in their lives. And that problem manifests itself when it comes time to actually DO the work and to work the job. The kids perform well on paper but struggle greatly with real life.

        • Egwene December 5, 2017, 7:06 pm

          You are right Kate 2 — Dee seems to have very bigoted ideas. I find it more despicable that others have not called her out on her stereotypes and biased assumptions.

    • Airelenaren November 21, 2017, 11:22 am

      Thank you.
      There is sadly a lot of bad parenting advice out there, and it seems a common attitude towards children is something like “show them who’s boss”. Then those same people look at the children later and wonder why they don’t have a close relationship.

    • Melissa November 21, 2017, 7:48 pm

      Knowing your source is the single most important part of reviewing an “experts” supposed advice. Without knowing anything more about this person, I would have to say that certainly there are PLENTY of other experts out there to get information from instead of this guy.
      If you defend the work of someone who has a mountain of evidence to contradict his “expertise”, then what you are saying is that you and your children deserve bad advice. And really, you don’t. 😉

  • Anonymous November 20, 2017, 1:16 pm

    I actually don’t love Dr. John Rosemond. He seems to believe that all kids are the enemy, and their sole purpose in life is to see how much they can get away with. I remember adults like that when I was a kid, and I didn’t like them–it put me on edge, and, I guess, created a self-fulfilling prophecy for them. I’m not saying that parents should try to be BFF’s with their kids, but when I was a kid, I did better with a “we’re all on the same team” approach, when something had to get done, like, say, getting ready for work and school on a weekday morning, or getting the car packed for skiing on a weekend morning in the winter, or even, say, if we had to leave someplace fun (park, beach, ski hill, whatever), because we had to get home for dinner. It worked at school too–some teachers would use that approach for things like, say, cleaning up after art class, so we could get outside for recess, or be ready to leave at the end of the day, more quickly. I knew that the adults were still in charge, but I felt better about it when I was treated as an ally in whatever we were doing.

  • Stephanie November 20, 2017, 1:28 pm

    No. When you raise a child you are supposed to be teaching them how to eventually be an adult. This is short sighted at best, focusing on the now instead of you child’s future. Allowing no choices and expecting blind obedience with no explanation is one extreme- allowing the child to dictate everything is the other extreme- there’s a middle ground when the child gets to have age apropriate freedom to make choices within the boundaries set by the parents will actually help them grow to be a discerning and independent adult. There’s no space for learning in blind obedience.

  • Rod November 20, 2017, 3:16 pm

    “Because I said so” is code for “daddy is too lazy to think of a reason and just likes being authoritarian”.

    Look, I’m a parent of two young kids, and yes – discipline is important. But I’m (trying) teaching my kids to become rational, thinking, ethical human beings. Not mindless servants of “authority”. That said, if you want complete subjugation, get a good whipping rod and use it. Guaranteed your kid will put his/her hands in hot water if you use it enough times.

    As for “obedient children are happy children” – I’d be happy to see the resources that prove that statement.

    • EchoGirl November 21, 2017, 1:41 pm

      Of course they’re happy. If they’re not happy, they’re ungrateful and get punished.

      I follow a blog from a woman who was raised this way, and that’s one of the things she talks about, that parents treat a child’s unhappiness as a deliberate affront.

      • Rod November 21, 2017, 4:32 pm

        LOL. “Floggings will continue until the morale improves”.

        And again, just to put this in perspective: I had to discipline my 4 year old boy last weekend after hitting his sister and told me he didn’t want to be my friend anymore. I told him “Boy, you’ll make a lot of friends that will love you very much. But I’m your dad, not your friend; and although I love you very much it’s my job to make sure you learn to do things the right way”. Wasn’t happy, but that kind of sunk in.

      • Lerah99 November 21, 2017, 6:39 pm

        “Parents treat a child’s unhappiness as a deliberate affront.”
        This turns my stomach. This is the worst parenting technique I’ve heard of since “blanket training”.

        • EchoGirl November 22, 2017, 1:33 pm

          Same subculture, I believe.

    • Kate 2 November 21, 2017, 7:34 pm

      Yes, good parents do explain, but sometimes you just don’t have time to break down all the complex, grown-up level thinking in why your kid should wear a seatbelt when grandpa doesn’t, when you are trying to get your kids to school on time. Or why, when you are about to visit a sick friend, your kid shouldn’t tell them they look awful.

      It’s not about forcing obedience or punishing your kids. It’s about trust. Most of the time my parents explained. Occasionally they fell back on “Because I said so.” I knew my parents only wanted what was best for me, even if I didn’t agree on the way to get there (yes veggies are good for you, but couldn’t I just take more vitamins instead?), so I did what they said, even when I didn’t always know why, because they would never lead me wrong. That’s trust and love, not abuse or punishment.

      • Kate 2 November 21, 2017, 7:36 pm

        ETA: When you are about to walk in and have been seen by the sick friend or are in front of the sick friend.

      • Stephanie November 22, 2017, 3:02 am

        The first one’s easy and has nothing to do with the kid at all. “Dad, I will not allow you to set a bad example for my children. You will wear a seatbelt when you ride in the car with us, or you will not ride in the car with us.”

    • Melissa November 21, 2017, 7:50 pm

      When a parent has a very argumentative child, “because I said so” can be the reply to a child who is challenging authority and trying to create an argument where there shouldn’t be one. Although “love you too much to argue” is a better response.

  • JennJenn68 November 20, 2017, 5:37 pm

    Oh. I’ve been doing this from the beginning. Never thought about it much; always wondered why my friends and family had such trouble getting their kids to mind them, especially when those same kids always listened to me. I just went into parenting with the expectation of obedience to necessary orders, and that I, as the adult, was the one to determine the definition of “necessary”. Children are not and should not be treated as equals by the parents. I used to hate it when my parents lived by the philosophy “the United Front”. Never could get an advantage over them… and that was the biggest favour that they could have done me. (It worked to my advantage when I volunteered in my son’s school, as well. The kids listened to and obeyed my instructions generally a lot better than they did those of their actual teacher.)

    • Kate 2 November 21, 2017, 7:48 pm

      All through school, some teachers could control their classes easily, some had classrooms in chaos. Same group of kids and everything. But certain teachers commanded our respect, and gave us theirs. They almost never had to give anyone detention, they expected us to act like civilized people, and we lived up to their expectations. I don’t think people realize how much they hurt kids, expecting them to act, and treating them like, savage little animals. And how much it hurts their kids when no one, not even other children, wants them around.

  • Alexandra Lynch December 9, 2017, 8:53 am

    Children learn to listen when they are listened to.
    Children are respectful when they are given respect.

    There were a few times, yes, where I picked up a toddler, rigid with rage and WILL NOT, and carried him through the next phase of “going to bed”. But by the time my sons were old enough to want privacy, I knocked before I went through a closed door, and they learned to do the same. We modeled cleaning the bedroom, and by the time they were teenagers, we had an understanding; you keep your room clean, and help with the yearly clean-and-move work, and don’t give me a reason to go toss the room for contraband or clues, or what the heck is making that stink, and I won’t mess with your stuff. Similarly, they didn’t mess with my private stuff.

    So many people just do stuff to kids, and don’t respect their growing boundaries and sense of privacy, and then are surprised that kids don’t treat other people with respect and don’t listen to anyone.