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How to Get Kids to Listen
  Published: 2 weeks ago


Why is it so hard for so many parents and teachers to get kids to do as they are told? Because too many adults have followed some very bad advice. Family psychologist John Rosemond offers some useful tips on how to get the little barbarians to listen.
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When was the last time you heard a child referred to as obedient? It’s probably been a while. That’s too bad because the best research tells us that obedient children are happy children. And, from my experience as a family psychologist, the parents of obedient children are happy parents.

Since all parents want their children to be happy, the question becomes: How does one get a child to obey? Is there some trick to it?

Well, there are certainly are a lot of parents who think so. They believe that proper discipline is a matter of using the right methods, techniques, and strategies: what I call consequence delivery systems. Parents have been using these behavior-modification-based methods since they became popular in the 1960s – seemingly to no avail. Would anyone argue that today’s kids are more obedient than kids were several generations ago? I don’t think so. The reason these methods and techniques don’t work is that proper discipline is not a matter of proper methods. It’s a matter of a proper attitude on the part of the parent.

Let me illustrate the point. Let’s say that for a week I observe the classroom of a grade school teacher who has the reputation of being the best disciplinarian in her district. She consistently has fewer behavior problems than any of her colleagues. What is she doing? She’s making her expectations perfectly clear. Which means, first, she communicates in simple, declarative sentences. She doesn’t use fifty words when she could use ten. The more words you use to communicate your expectations, the less confident you sound.

Second, she prefaces her instructions to her students with authoritative phrases like “I want you to…” and “It’s time for you to…” She says, “It’s time for you to take out your math books and turn to page 25” as opposed to “Let’s take out our math books and turn to page 25. Okay?”

Third, this teacher does not explain the motives behind her instructions to her students. Why? Because she knows that explanations invite arguments.

Whenever parents tell me they’re dealing with an argumentative child I know that these well-intentioned people are explaining themselves. They tell their child why they want him to pick up his toys, for example. And he argues, because you can always pick apart an explanation. If you don’t explain yourself when you give an instruction to a child, then the child, being a child, is almost surely going to ask for one. He’s going to ask Why? or Why not? At which point… get ready for a big surprise… your answer should be “Because I said so.”

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Comments Directly on YouTube

7 hours ago
Hey, let me give you a hypothetical situation: A father, along with a group of men, stoned his 13 year ols daughter to death for running away from the wedding. Is this #ToughLove or abuse?

9 hours ago
...Nature vs. Nurture
Obedience =/= Good

10 hours ago
very well explained.

19 hours ago
That kid looks like Ben Shaprio.

21 hours ago
I believe in a slap on the cheek of the child or a spanking on the child buttocks can be a useful tool for discipline. But it should done lightly it's not meant to physical hurt the child, more to shock him/her at the right time. They will cry because it's the action. This be in the memory of the child it will never do that again.

This is one of the few videos I like from PragerU (PU). However in typical PU fashion it's extremely superficial and lacks accurate information.

23 hours ago
how to get leftists to listen?

1 day ago
This channel should be translated to Polish language. It has very big amount of valueable informations. Keep it up! Good work :)

1 day ago
honestly though, I know there are exceptions to research, and I'm not just one of them, I'm one of millions... my dad was born in the early 40's, and I've just turned 19. I was far more obedient than my brothers and sisters as a kid, but my dad used anger and fear to keep me in line and he pressed down on me during my whole childhood. it made me even sadder when my dad would contradict himself, not practice what he preached, or did things he really shouldn't have done (calling me worthless, useless, good-for nothing, a jackass etc porn within reach of us as young kids, etc). because I wasn't so bad, my abuse was mainly physical, but my brothers and sisters got disciplined for ridiculous things which definitely classify as physical abuse. as an adult, it saddens me how my dad has solved his problems and I often wish that I was never born. I don't know where he got the idea that being angry with your kids will make them obedient, happy and productive but it was wrong. I can't help wondering what his childhood was like, I think his parents had even less tolerance than he does somehow and he sees this as perfectly normal.
now, I'm terrified to have kids because I worry the cycle will continue.

1 day ago
I would prefer my child to be reasonable and honest than obedient; Nazis were very obedient, dipshits!

2 days ago
Saying "because I said so" is never and will never be a way to garner respect from your children. It is a fallacy argument. Not logic or reason behind it.

Without first earning a child's respect, garnering their obedience via "consequence tactics" or whatever the term mentioned isn't video is, is impossible.

You of course should never stoop down to a kid-so I agree wholeheartedly with that. That is pandering.

Explanations are needed for everything. Everything.

Now I'm not talking about getting a kid to avoid a street and/or hot stove or a pool they could potential drown in

Those two situations where clear and present danger is manifesting in the moment warrants total authoritarian verbiage and frame from the parent. That will never damage a child psychologically.

What doesn't warrant total authority are more attitude-based values held by parents. For example, Susie asks mom if she can go to the dance with Billy, and her mom remarks "no, because I said so" . Congratulations, you have just subversively nullified Susie's ability to make her own future decisions by eliminating her ability to problem-solve challenges and obstacles. To slam to the door shut on someone opinion is wrong. When was the last time you got a person on your side by saying "your wrong, and thats final"... this is exactly what a child "hears" when you utter "because I said so"

Saying because I said so is a cope
Plain and simple. (When of course applied to any situation between a parent and child that doesn't involve clear and present danger. means one thing and one thing only, that it is your duty as a parent to be able to use logic and reason better than your child! If you can't do that, then heck you shouldn't have a kid.

"Because I said so" is the battle cry of dictators.

Respect must always be earned first- then and ONLY Then, can it be demanded.

The key fact of the matter is this.

Just because you are a parent, you do not deserve the respect of your child at out some birthright. This is a false paradigm, and one that if removed from society, would serve the world very very well.

2 days ago
my kids are obedients ... :)

2 days ago
I hate when my parents say because it bothers me so much when I'm not given any reasonable explanation.

2 days ago
I have a feeling that there's a large group of people who want PragerU shut down and they always dislike and report every video.

2 days ago
That was my biggest problem with being obedient growing up... no one would explain to me THE REASON WHY I shouldn't do this and why I shouldn't do that. I was too curious as a kid and so I would always do what they don't want me to do in order to discover what could have been so "wrong" about it, and that maybe they just don't understand it.

3 days ago
My baby brother keeps saying the f word and my parents are looking at me. The child does not listen.

3 days ago
Yes Prager, submission to authority = happiness

3 days ago
"disobedience is the true foundation of liberty"-Henry David Thoreau

3 days ago
Guy looks like donald trump

3 days ago
The first half of this video is just saying the same sentence 20 different ways. You don't learn anything because the man never explained what anything he says means. He just says "what I call." he assumes we have all heard every vocab word in the video before.

3 days ago
Ha Ha, How about respect and setting a good example and not referring to your child as It. ?

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