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How to Get Your Children to Do What You Ask

Don't Ask Your Child to Do Something If You Can't Follow Through with Consequences | Parent Like a Professional

Have you ever asked yourself, "Why won't my kids do what I ask?"  It's a common frustration amongst parents, but here is some helpful advice: Don’t ask your kids to do something that you’re too tired to follow through on.

To work on our children listening to us and respecting the rules of the house, it’s important that your words are meaningful.  In other words, that your children listen to your words and do what you are asking of them. 

One of the ways that we work on this is by making sure that you follow through each time that you ask something of your child (Read: Why Doesn't My Child Listen???).  This essential action allows you the opportunity to enforce the request... then, reinforce the good behavior!  Because the power of positive reinforcement is contagious!

So, if you ask your kids to clean up their toys, then you’ll want to check in and confirm that the toys are cleaned up. If you allow your child to continue playing, even after being asked to clean up, then what you are teaching is that your words are not important and they don’t have to listen to you.

Don’t ask if you can’t follow through.

Following through every single time that you make a request of your child can be exhausting!  And sometimes, we know in our heart of hearts that we don’t have it in us! 

Follow through with any consequences of your children breaking the rules | Parent Like a Professional

Here’s the nice thing – there’s a trick to still making sure that your words are meaningful and that you follow through each time that you ask your child to do something…  Don’t ask if you can’t follow through.

If you’re tired, don’t have the energy to get into a battle, then just don’t even make the request of your child at that time. 

If cleaning up toys is notoriously difficult, then perhaps you just don’t ask your child to clean them up; let them go to bed with the toys messy. 

If you’re out in public and you know that asking your child to turn off the iPad will result in a tantrum that you’ll be embarrassed by and will give in on the iPad anyway, then save yourself (and your child) the heartache of the rigmarole and just don’t ask. 

Obviously, there are times when we can’t avoid telling our children to do something that they don’t want to do.  Just be prepared to follow through in those instances.

Oh, and one more thing we all get: Every single one of us parents understands the pain of your child melting down in public. 

So don’t be embarrassed; be comforted by the fact that everyone in this village of parenthood has been in your shoes and is silently cheering you on from behind their sunglasses!


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