How to Make My 9 Year Old Listen


Getting your 9-year-old to listen to directions, instructions or even a simple conversation can feel stressful and challenging at times, especially as she continues to grow. As your 9-year-old is growing physically and intellectually, her personality is, too, as well as her way of thinking, rationalizing and reacting to those around her.

  • Look your child directly in her eyes when speaking with her. Also ask that she keep eye contact when speaking with you as well, as it shows that she is attentive and not distracted by toys or others in the household. When speaking to your child on serious matters, lower yourself to her level physically by squatting or sitting down across from her, to avoid appearing intimidating and overpowering.

  • State your child's name before asking her to complete a chore, to first grab her attention. You also can ask your child to repeat what you requested to confirm she understands her chores or what you have said to her. This also will help her to remember to listen to you.

  • Keep your sentences brief, simple and to the point. Avoid using words your 9-year-old may not understand, as this may cause confusion and lead to distraction from your point.

  • Stay positive in your directions and conversations with your 9-year-old; avoid criticism and find a positive in any situation your child may be upset about. This will allow her to open up when speaking with you and will also encourage her to listen to you more thoroughly as well. Respecting your 9 year old's opinions and ideas also will encourage a closer relationship and active listening.

  • Avoid raising your voice or yelling at your 9-year-old, as this may cause him to close off his emotions and future thoughts and ideas with you. He also may begin ignoring you when you yell, only making matters worse. Show your 9-year-old that it is possible to always openly discuss issues and problems without yelling to encourage discussion and listening on all topics, even negative subjects.

  • Show your 9-year-old you are interested in what he has to say, as he is growing and learning new information and experiencing new situations each day. Stay active in his conversations, showing manners and that it is respectful to listen to others.

  • Praise your child for listening to directions and instructions when she completes them. Encourage the behavior by letting her know you appreciate her listening and how much her listening helps you both avoid conflict and upset one another.

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