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3 Phrases to Get Your Child to Instantly Listen

by Dr Kathleen Hall
Alleviating Stress as a Family, Mindful Family, Mindful Living Network

Have you ever wished you had the perfect words to say when your child misbehaved?  How many of you have had the experience where you are at the grocery store and your child keeps begging you to buy something? No matter how many times you explain or say an outright, “No,” they still continue. Wouldn’t you love to have some effective phrases for your child to listen immediately?

Throughout the years of being a teacher, mother and Stress-Free Parenting Coach to working mothers, I realized that there are some very powerful phrases, when used consistently, that can be extremely effective when parents are trying to get their child to listen to them or get them to stop or start doing something.

If you’ve been feeling frustrated, exhausted or irritated by your children’s behavior lately then you are going to love the following phrases.

Three very effective phrases for your child to listen:

1)  “As soon as you _______ I’ll know you’re ready to __________.”


“When put your coat on I’ll know you’re ready to go to the park.”

“ If your toys are tidy up I’ll know you’re ready for some TV time.”

“As soon as you get your pajamas on I’ll know you’re ready for a bed time story.

2)  “One thing at a time.”


Your child is wiggling, talking, moving, or playing as you try to dress them, brush their teeth, etc.  Say:

“ Bobby. Right now we’re brushing your teeth.”

“ Sally.  Right now we’re putting on your PJ’s.”

“ Sam.  Right now you’re tidying up your playroom.”

3)  “Try that again, because we ___________.”

Use this phrase after your child has done something inappropriate such as not looking both ways before crossing the street, slamming a door, or talking rudely.


“Try that again because we always look both ways before we cross the street.”

“We always speak politely to each other.”

“We always close doors gently.”

Try using these three phrases consistently for a week. You’ll see incredible, fast results. Plus, you’ll be teaching your children your values and rules without being preachy. Nothing will encourage more resistance than being lectured to or belittled. From now on, you’ll simply and calmly say a phrase and then experience the cooperation you so yearned for.

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