As optimistic as you are in real life, you tend to be so as parents. However, at times, even with the most optimistic attitudes, you fail to make a point to your kids. Your kid just wouldn’t listen to you, which puts a stop to your optimism and puts your angry-Ella mode on.
While most parents have found a few hacks to the universal parenting complaint, including yelling, bribing, threatening, and punishing. These all aren’t permanent solutions. Instead, this will just make your kid more obstinate.
The moral of the story is that while you cannot force your kids into listening to you, you can indeed adopt a few tricks. These tricks will increase the probability of your kid listening to you without having to yell, bribe, threaten, or punish them.
Tips on how to get toddlers to listen without yelling:
Here are ten tips on how to get toddlers to listen without yelling and how to be a better parent without yelling.
1. The bigger problem
Behind each tantrum, there’s an even bigger problem. One of the biggest underlying causes of toddlers not listening to parents is because of a lack of connection between the toddler and the parents.
Experienced parent educators believe that the level of cooperation by a parent towards their toddler is directly related to the level of connection between the parents and the toddler.
Toddlers feel the connection with their parents when the toddlers feel like they mean something to their parents when they feel like their parents not only acknowledge their existence but celebrate it. Toddlers are then more likely to listen to their parents without yelling.
Other underlying problems, why a toddler would listen to you, the parent, include:
- Difficulty with transitions
- A slow processing speed
- The toddler doesn’t understand your expectations
- Auditory processing issues
- The task is too challenging for the toddler to achieve
- The toddler is facing issues with motor planning
Such underlying problems are most likely in toddlers with challenges like ADHD, autism, and sensory processing challenges. Such toddlers require extra care and support to understand your expectations and act accordingly.
2. Connect with your child
If you’re going to sit in your room and ask your toddler to complete their chores, it is most likely that your toddler will ignore your request. Rather than doing so, go over to your toddler, and start with acknowledging their work.
For instance, if your toddler is playing with Legos. Compliment their efforts by saying phrases like, ‘Woah! That’s one heck of a great Lego city you’re making.’ And then request them to complete their chores.
But don’t directly throw in the request. Instead, start with gentle, affectionate actions, like a gentle pat over their shoulder or a gentle stroke over their head. Look them in the eye and then request them.
Sure, it may not be very pleasing to complete another task while they’re in between one, but since you’ve connected with the toddler and just praised them, they’ll definitely listen to you with yelling!
The key to remember here is to state your request rather than demanding or ordering because rigidness is often responded to by resilience.
3. Offer choices
Toddlers are always seeking to get more power and control. And we cannot blame them for it; it’s human nature to seek autonomy. And giving a toddler autonomy or control is also an essential part of children’s development.
The more choices you offer your toddler, the more such opportunities, you present them with, and the more cooperative they will be with you. Complementing the request with a pair of choices after placing your request, similar to the one in the tip earlier.
Like when you ask them to complete their chores, follow by giving them choices to do which chore first. Start by asking, ‘Would you like to clean up your room first, or would you like to complete your homework first?’ You can even go with less complex choices, like, ‘would you like to put on your uniform first, or would you like to go to the bathroom first?’
4. Talk less, act more
Repeating yourself several times in front of your toddler makes them ignore our requests. If you go on nagging and repeating yourself quite a few times, making the same requests to your toddler isn’t taking you anywhere. If they wanted to listen to you, they would have listened to you the first couple of times.
If you’ve already tried the earlier tips, like making a connection, offering choices, and stating your requests, it’s most likely that you haven’t properly fulfilled them. Try going back to tip two and make a connection with the toddler.
In case you haven’t made a good connection with your toddler throughout, you’ll have to work on the connection first. Making a connection for the first time isn’t going to work with a gentle stroke or eye contact. Spend more time working on your connection with the toddler.
5. Control your tone
Have you checked your tone while talking to your toddler? If you come out as rude or annoyed, your toddler isn’t going to listen to you. Your tone is the most crucial element while addressing your toddler.
While it may be easy to think or say about controlling your tone, practicing it indeed isn’t, especially in this world of stress and impatience. Embrace yourself each time your toddler speaks to you, and control your tone because that can impact the reaction of your toddler.
6. Stop saying ‘no!’
Constantly putting off your kid without a logical explanation will make your toddler obstinate and lose self-confidence. Frequent No’s will make your toddler not listen to you anymore. So, the next time doesn’t say ‘No’; instead, put off their request with a logical explanation.
For instance, if you have a house rule, go to bed at 8 pm, which your toddler hates. Give them a logical explanation of why staying up past 8 pm will disrupt their routine the next day. How they won’t be able to wake up for school the next day, or how they’ll be so tired to function throughout the day.
7. The negative flip
Using negative comments will confuse the toddler. If you say ‘don’t hit your sibling,’ or ‘don’t throw water,’ the toddler will have to think twice. First, to process what they’re not supposed to do, and then to think of what they should do instead.
So, instead of using words and phrases including no or don’t, frame phrases in such a way that you’re communicating what you want them not to do while also suggesting alternatives. Instead of saying ‘don’t throw your clothes on the floor,’ say ‘put your dirty clothes in the hamper and clean ones in your wardrobe.’
This way, you’ll communicate what you’re expecting from them, which will increase the probability of them completing the task.
8. Include humor
In a struggling situation, try injecting humor. Make your tone a bit funny, act a bit silly, or diffuse the situation by making jokes. For instance, say something like this; ‘hey baby, it’s time to clean up your room, or tickle trouble may come.’ Followed by you coming to tickle them.
This will not only make the situation humorous but also the toddler will love it. And maybe next they make ask for some tickle trouble. And after a few minutes of tickle trouble, your toddler would most likely follow your orders without yelling.
9. Remove distractions
At times, the toddler may not be listening to you because they may be busy doing something else, like watching TV. While you’re talking to them, they would be busy with their activity. And for toddlers, too many thought processes can be challenging.
So, before addressing them, try to turn off or take away any distractions like switching off the TV or taking away either video game. However, remember to be extremely gentle while doing so. Anger and frustration can lead to shouting and yelling.
Once they’re free from distractions, repeat your request, and after they’ve fulfilled it, you can then return their gadgets or turn on the TV got them.
10. Set your boundaries
While you may let go of some things, there are some things that are absolutely unbearable. You need to draw the boundary somewhere. Decide on rules that you cannot compromise upon. It may be screen time for some, while it may be cleaning up after a meal for others. Some parents draw the line at bedtime, while others in helping with house chores.
While you can be strict about these rules, you show leniency towards others, like putting back the pillows on the couch after a pillow fight or straightening up the guest room after enjoying a movie. Similar to adults, kids even want some grace.
While these tips will help parents make their toddler listen to parents without yelling, we’ve also thrown in a bunch of frequently asked questions too.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions):
How do you discipline a toddler who doesn’t listen?
Disciplining your toddlers at this age is very critical. If you don’t do it now, you may never be able to discipline your toddler ever again. While most people think punishing toddlers is disciplining them, they’re wrong.
Discipline is a learning process, teaching your toddler to behave and how to express their feelings and emotions. While we’ve already discussed tips on how to get toddlers to listen without yelling, we’re going to add a few bonus tips ahead:
- Make eye contact with your toddler by getting down on their level
- Look for the greater problem behind their noncompliance
- Be respectful to them
- Make them feel empowered
- Reduce conflicts
How can I get my 2-year-old to listen and behave?
Getting your two-year-old to listen can be a heck of a task. A lot of parents struggle with getting their two-year-old to listen and behave. But we’ve compiled a few tips to put a stop to the struggle.
- Start by understanding why they aren’t listening and resolving that issue first.
- Stay calm and gentle with your two-year-old, even if you’re annoyed to the core
- Try to make physical contact with them, but do not enforce it
- If they refuse to do what you asked, inject FOMO, this works every time
Why does my two-year-old scream and not talk?
Generally, two-year-olds have an auto speaker in their vocal cords, which is why their voice is so loud. So, first, identify whether they’re screaming for help or because that’s how they usually speak.
Your two-year-old isn’t screaming because they like to. Instead, there is an underlying issue with it. Maybe they want to seek your attention, or they’re just frustrated because of not being able to express their feelings properly.
Additionally, two-year-olds also scream because that way, it is easier for them to express any emotions with more power, like happiness, sadness, anger, frustration, and enjoyment. Since toddlers don’t have the vocabulary to express themselves, they find screaming an easy way out.
How can I encourage my toddler to speak?
While each kid has a different development process, and you cannot limit it to age. So, if your toddler hasn’t begun to speak while other kids of the same age have, there is nothing to worry about.
And if you still want to speed up the process, try using these tips:
- Frequently read to your toddler and then make them practice reading for themselves.
- Teach them to sign language to ease the communication process. This will also make them less frustrated and more confident.
- Talk to them so that you would talk to an adult. Don’t baby talk with them because that will slow down the process?
- The more you talk in front of your toddler, the faster they’ll adapt and start speaking for themselves.
And even after these efforts, if your toddler fails to talk, speak to a pediatrician to look for any underlying problems. But remember to practice these tips for a while before heading towards a pediatrician.
In conclusion, yelling at kids can make them obstinate and stubborn. Yelling at kids isn’t taking you anywhere. Kids crave love and attention; it’s as simple as that. Give them what they want, and witness how they listen to you without even yelling. Happy parenting without yelling!