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How do I get my child to listen?

A question that we hear a lot within the halls of Norwood is “How do I get my child to listen?!”.

Parenting definitely has its challenging moments, and with all the different strategies, resources and ideas out there, it can be hard to know which one is most effective or “right”.

Now, we recognize that you, as your child’s first and most important teacher, know them best, but as we head into the hustle and bustle of the busy holiday season, here are some tools for your toolbox to make those tough parenting moments just a little easier.

  • Choices, Choices, Choices

Giving your child choices when asking them to do something empowers them to be part of the decision-making process, often making them more willing to follow through. This might sound like “It’s time for bed. Would you like to wear the red pajamas or the blue pajamas tonight?” or “It’s time to clean up the toys. Would you like to pick up the blocks or the stuffed animals?”. Just make sure that both choices are possible and positive for both you and your child.

  • Warnings

Giving a child a heads up when a transition is coming helps them mentally prepare for the change that is about to happen. This could sound like “In 5 minutes it’s going to be time to leave the park” or “I will read one more story and then it’s time to go to bed”.

  • Consistency

Children thrive on routine and knowing what is coming next. Keeping a consistent routine helps them understand what is happening and what will come next. Consistent boundaries and expectations for the child also helps the child create those connections in their brain (last time I pushed someone at the park, we had to go home. I better use my words this time).

  • Age-appropriate expectations

Keeping your expectations in line with your child’s age and development is crucial. Age and development appropriate expectations will look different for every child, but again, as their first and most important teacher, you know them best and know what they are capable of!

Are you curious what age-appropriate expectations and development look like? Check out these developmental checklists from the CDC broken down by age here: CDC’s Developmental Milestones | CDC While each child develops at their own pace and rate, these will give you a general idea of the milestones.


At Norwood Centre our team of qualified Early Childhood Development Subject Matter Experts work to provide tools that caregivers can use to support early childhood development. We hear you! If you have a question or concern, please ask us. We have a variety of Child Development Activities available on our website, including the topics of Social Development, Physical Development, Language Development, Intellectual Development, Creative Development and Emotional Development. Find them at For short-term one-on-one coaching, please call us at 780-471-3737.


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