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Being a parent is not always easy. There will be moments in which your child will test you, because news flash, children are autonomous beings with their own will. Due to that, there will be times in which their will conflicts with yours.

That’s perfectly okay. The good news is, that getting your child to listen to you doesn’t have to be a war every time. If you take care to follow certain steps and habits, you can set yourself up for success every time. I know that may sound too good to be true, but I assure you, it is possible. Here are 10 tricks that will help get your child to listen to you.

1. Say it short & sweet.

It might seem like the more you say, the more prone they are to absorb what is said. But the opposite is true. Kids have developing brains, and when you over-complicate something it can be overwhelming. So, when giving orders, keep it short and simple.

2. Help break larger, more complicated tasks into smaller ones.

If you need to tell them to do something more complicated, get them to do small, mini-tasks that will ultimately get the job done. For example, rather than saying, “Clean your room,” if it’s a total pig-sty, ask them to make their bed, and then ask them to take out the trash and so on until the job is done.

3. Don’t ask, tell.

You might feel drawn to ask them to do something, but when you ask, they notice wiggle room, and they will jump on that. Instead of saying, “Can you clean your room,” say, “Go clean your room, start with _______.”

4. Give them the illusion of control.

If you give them options, they are much more likely to feel like they have some power. In turn, they are going to be more eager to do what you are asking. Instead of saying “Clean your room,” (I know I am beating this horse to death but hear me out) ask them “Would you like to make your bed first, or take out the trash?” Giving them options gives them a sense of control, so they aren’t as likely to go against you.

5. Praise their efforts.

When you notice them doing a good job, praise them for it. Kids want to hear you praise them because it makes them feel good. And the more often you praise effort, the more likely they are to give effort.

6. Stay consistent.

Consistency is so important. Maintaining a routine will ensure that they do several tasks because they will be second nature. For example, when they wake up, make it a habit for them to get ready, and then eat their breakfast at a certain time every day. They will be so used to it, that they will feel weird when you don’t do those things.

7. Help them understand.

Instead of demanding them to do something, explain why they should. When you do this, they are going to understand the reason behind why you are asking, and they will absorb it and learn much easier why it’s necessary.

8. Be clear on your expectations.

Be clear on what you expect from them. Don’t beat around the bush, and make your intentions/expectations and the consequences loud and clear if they refuse to follow through.

9. Don’t repeat yourself.

When you repeat yourself, your words lose their value. After a while, your kids will begin to tune you out. And no parent wants that. Say what you need – follow with your expectations and the consequences, set a deadline, and if they don’t do it, follow through.

10. Master your voice.

It’s all in your voice. It might seem odd, but when we speak with a high-pitched voice, it makes us sound weak and even anxious. This sound can be extremely unpleasant and others may tune you out, even your kids. So, use a loud, more firm voice (your mom’s voice) when telling them to do something.

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