List of Ways to Get Your Toddler to Listen Every Time

List of Ways to Get Your Toddler to Listen Every Time

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List of Ways to Get Your Toddler to Listen Every Time

If you have a toddler at home, you may be looking for a list of ways to get your toddler to listen every time.

My granddaughter is now 3.  She listens better now than she did when she was 2, but she still challenges us.  She is still busy trying to do what she wants to do when she wants to do it.  How do you get your toddler to listen?

This is what I have found to be most effective with Hadley:

  1. Get down to your toddler’s level.

    I will usually sit down with Hadley or I will sit down and she will stand up.  (If you are a Christian, you may say a quick silent prayer–Lord, please be with me and Hadley.  Help me to communicate this lesson to her and help her to understand and obey.  In Jesus name I pray, Amen.–I guess you could pray that prayer silently or out loud with your toddler.)

  2. Have your toddler look at you while you are talking.

    You may have experienced your toddler holding your face and putting their face in front of your face in order to get your attention.  They really are pretty smart.  They are teaching us how to get them to pay attention, without even knowing what they are doing.  They just want you to listen to them.   When they hold your face and they are in your face, hopefully you realize you need to put down what you are doing and listen to them.  If your toddler won’t look at you, gently hold their face and tell them to look at you so that you can talk to them.

  3. Don’t talk too long.

    If you haven’t heard, a child’s attention span is usually only as long as the number of years old they are.  Your 2 year old will likely only have an attention span of 2 minutes and your 3 year old will only have an attention span of 3 minutes.  That time can vary depending on how interesting the topic is.  Try to make sure your instructions to them are as easy to understand as possible.

  4. Give Simple Instructions.

    Make sure you give your toddler simple instructions that they are able to repeat back to you.  One thing I have talked to Hadley about is that she is not to go anywhere that I may not be able to see her.  I told her, “If you can’t see me, then I can’t see you.  Whereever you go, make sure you can see me.”

  5. Have Toddler Repeat Instructions.

    Have toddler repeat back to you what you have just told them.  Hadley may first say “I don’t know.”  If she does, then I will tell her what to say…”If I can’t see you, then you can’t see me.”  I then remind her of the importance of that such as “Grammy needs to be able to see you at all times to make sure you are safe.”

  6. Inform Toddler of Consequences.

    Inform your toddler what the consequences are for not doing what you are talking to them about.  I told Hadley, “when we are outside playing, if at any time I can’t see you, we will have to go back inside the house”.  Make sure the consequences are ones that you will follow through with.  If they don’t have consistent consequences, they are not as likely to listen to you.

  7. Thank Toddler for Listening to You.

    Thank your child for listening to you.  Give them a big hug and kiss and tell them how much you love them.  It’s important to keep this time as positive as possible.  The next time you sit down with them face-to-face they will remember their previous experience and know what to expect, for the most part, from you.

List of Ways to Get Your Toddler to Listen Every Time


Usually that little bit of face-to-face time improves listening in other areas–not just the issue you just talked about.  Although, Hadley may need to be reminded as we walk out the door to remember “If you can’t see me, I can’t see you”, she knows what I am saying to her and what I am expecting from her.  She will often repeat what I say.  🙂

Your toddler will listen to you when you take the time to do the above steps.  Of course you are not going to go through these steps every time you tell your toddler something, but I encourage you to take the time to go through these steps whenever you are trying to teach them important lessons.  As parents and grandparents, it is our responsibility to teach our children everything they learn during these first few years.  The better we are at teaching them to listen and obey as toddlers, the easier it will be raising them during their teenage years.

May God bless you abundantly as you continue this adventure of parenting/grandparenting!

Please comment below if you have more tips to help parents with parenting their toddlers.  🙂



As I was doing face-to-face time with my granddaughter yesterday, I realized what I was trying to teach her not to do was something I was guilty of just doing to her.  Ugh!!!  They learn from us–the good and the bad.  I apologized for what I had done and we will both be working on sharing and not snatching things from people.  I am thankful that I realized my error and that I need to do some analyzing as I am disciplining.  🙂

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