Child Not Listening to Instructions? Here’s 17 Funny Ways to Get The Kids To Listen!

Child not listening to instructions? We’ve got you, mama. Motherhood is the mother of invention. Pun intended.

Kids are savvy, courageous little creatures who aren’t afraid to push your buttons and call your bluff. The old standbys, like time out, don’t seem to be as effective as they once were. Sometimes, you need to think outside the box to get your message across to your adorable little scoundrels.

Child not listening to instructions? Get creative with it!

  • Use reverse psychology: Ninja”Whatever you do, don’t clean your room!” Suddenly, it’s the most appealing task in the world.
  • Sing a silly song: Instead of yelling instructions, try turning them into a catchy tune. “Brush your teeth, do the math, clean your room, it’s a piece of cake!”
  • Use Jedi mind tricks: “You will finish your vegetables… You will finish your vegetables…” Sometimes, a little mind trickery works wonders.
  • Have a dance party: When it’s time to clean up, crank up the music and have a spontaneous dance party. Cleaning becomes a lot more fun when it’s set to a beat.
  • Opposite day: Kids not listening? Declare it’s “Opposite Day” and watch as your kids do the exact opposite of what you say. Then, casually slip in the tasks you want them to do.
  • Zombie apocalypse: Stage a mini zombie apocalypse and make completing chores the only way to survive. Who knew folding laundry could save lives? I probably won’t be using this one. Zombies are a huge NOPE for me.
  • Beat the timer: Assign yourself, and your kid’s tasks and see who can beat the timer and do the task properly.
  • Family Olympics: Turn chores into a friendly competition. Who can fold the most clothes in a minute? Who can pick up the most toys in a race against the clock? Add some fun, homemade medals, and everyone’s a winner!
  • Secret mission: Turn mundane tasks like grocery shopping or cleaning into secret agent spy missions. Equip them with “spy gear” (like sunglasses and walkie-talkies) and assign them covert missions to accomplish while running errands.
child not listening to instructions parenting dance party
Grab the kids and dance around to get their attention! Source: Bigstock

Struggling with their behaviour? Try these tricks!

  • Hand holding: One day my kids were at each other’s throats over the smallest things (as always), and I had reached my limit. I had them hold hands. I only had to tell them I’d send them outside once before they listened. They decided holding hands inside was preferable to doing it outside where their friends might see them.
  • Giggle off: Child not listening to instructions? Situation tense? Is everyone on edge? Challenge your kid to a giggle off. See who can make the other laugh the fastest and watch the tension fade.
  • Fort neutral: Have your kids work together to build the most epic pillow fort imaginable, complete with peace flags and silly decorations. The act of collaborating on something fun can shift their focus away from the conflict.

Kids always annoy you when you’re relaxing? Use it to your advantage!

  • Read a book: Without a doubt, this is the fastest way to get my kid’s attention. The second I sit down with a book or turn on an audiobook while I do dishes, one of my kids will need me for something.
  • Go to the toilet: Remember seeing tiny fingers under the door whenever you went to the loo? The fingers go away, but the need to ask a million questions does not. Even when they’re in their 20s.
child not listening to instructions parenting meme
Always! Source: Facebook

Kids not listening? Become a tech hog!

  • Change the Wi-Fi password: Child not listening to instructions? Change the Wi-Fi password to “John do the dishes for today’s password Mary mop the floors” or something similar or put a list of chores out with a sign that says they’ll get the password once they’re all done.
  • Low battery horror: Instead of taking their device if they refuse to do chores or misbehave; take their chargers. Nothing is more terrifying than seeing your battery slowly die and be unable to charge it.
  • Social media master: Make a short video of you dramatically asking them to do something and send it to them. Or one representing the struggle you have in getting them to listen, like this parent on TikTok did!

Is your child not listening to instructions? Sometimes, you just have to laugh. Doing something unexpected and out of the box is a surefire way to at least get them to pay attention to you. Go with your gut. If you want to promise to throw out their toys if they’re not cleaned, go ahead. But if you go down that path, be prepared to make good on it. They will call your bluff. These unique parenting methods for encouraging better behaviour will add fun to your home and keep you from losing your cool until it’s time to roll out the hard discipline.

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Tina Evans is a complete introvert, an avid reader of romance novels, horror novels and psychological thrillers. She’s a writer, movie viewer, and manager of the house menagerie: three kelpies, one cat, a fish, and a snake. She loves baking and cooking and using her kids as guinea pigs. She was a teenage parent and has learned a lot in twenty-three years of parenting. Tina loves Christmas and would love to experience a white Christmas once in her life. Aside from writing romance novels, she is passionate about feminism, equality, sci-fi, action movies and doing her part to help the planet.

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