How To Get Your Kids to Listen To You

Wednesdays in the Word


Ecclesiastes 9:17 “The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded than the shouts of a ruler of fools.”


Matthew Henry says “What is spoken wisely should be spoken calmly, and then it will be heard in quiet and calmly considered. But passion will lessen the force even of reason, instead of adding any force to it.”

Are you baffled at the fact that your children are not listening to you? Research has shown that when a parent raises their voice at a child – a defense mechanism kicks in that helps the child emotionally protect themselves by tuning out what you are actually saying. When we as moms go on a long rant about something the child has done wrong – we may feel better because we got our feelings out – but our child has not been brought any closer to wisdom and understanding.

Surprisingly, when we harshly tell our children we do not like something they are doing – all they hear is – “you don’t like me”- period. It’s the harshness that accompanies the correction that causes the child to take personal offense and not listen.

So here’s an application for us all. Practice using your “nice” voice when you say your child’s name. Sometimes our children’s names are turned into a snarl when they are making us angry or not coming when they are called. Rather than shout, scream, snarl and get unpleasant – commit to using your children’s names in a fond and pleasant manner. Using self-control with how you say their name, will help you break through the ice and begin a respectful dialogue where you can be heard.

You may just find that your pearls of wisdom are more easily accepted when you speak to your children in a gentle, quiet voice. God will be pleased and I can guarantee that you will feel better about yourself as a mom!

Walk with the King!


  1. Thanks for this blog! My oldest son is 12 and starting to go through the teenage years, and I have been dealing with this for the past 2 weeks. Trying so hard not to sound harsh and frustrated with him. It is a hard age and in middle school so much more is required of him.. a hard transition for sure. Something I have been praying about!! I am bookmarking this blog to read everyday to remind me of this!! THANK YOU!!!

    – Melodie

  2. Hmmm…something I need to work on, for sure. You're right…after a long rant nothing is changed and we both just feel bad. Thanks for the reminder and advice:-)

  3. Courtney, this is a truth that I know, but I have SUCH a hard time practicing! I am constantly repeating to myself "a soft answer turns away wrath."

  4. While I am painfully aware I was not the perfect mother (I lost the manual somewhere :), I am appalled at interactions between mothers (yes, usually the mothers) and children when I'm in a store. Such hateful, hateful tones of voice I'm hearing. And the worst part is that I know I used that same tone over and over myself! *sigh*

  5. This is definately some thing I have been working on really hard this week. Today has been a really hard day to practice that though!I've noticed a yucky attitude in her that I very clearly realize is coming from me so I have really been trying to make the effort to calmly and sweetly correct her and talk to her in general instead of the usual bitter sound. I really want her to remember her mommy with a smile and a sweet voice plus I always feel better when I'm not yelling. She really does ultimately respond better to a kind gentle mom, even if its not right in that moment. I think the yelling gets the immediate response but it hasnt changed the attitude of her heart or mine!!Thanks for the reminder at this moment as I just totally screwed this up about 5 minutes ago!:(
    I love Michelle Duggar's example of this and her constant sweet gentle spirit with her children!!I know you do as well!

  6. Off topic but — recently you had posted some information about a little girl named Melana who was battling brain cancer. I have been following her Grandma's (Omi's) blog ever since. I was so saddened (and joyed at the same time)to hear that she left this world this week and has made her way home to Jesus. Her Omi's blog is a true testimony of faith through the darkest of times. Thanks for leading me to her blog. It gives me something to aspire to as I continue my faith walk as a fairly new believer in Jesus Christ.

  7. Kimmy – Yes – Michelle Duggar is my hero in the area of gentleness – she is amazingly calm and cheerful in the midst of a pretty busy household! I want to have that same spirit!

    Anonymous – yes, sweet Melana passed away this week. Her Omi has been a pillar of strength and her blog has been an inspiration. I am glad you found her blog.

  8. Thank you for this post! It's so true! My husband and I are reaping what we have sown. Our five year old has been yelling and we know it's because she learned it from seeing us yell at one another. This year, we are purposing to show the love of Christ to each other. It is sad that we are usually most hateful to the members of our family that are closest to us. Shame on us! With God's grace, I'm going to be "nice" to my children from now on!

    1. That’s so true my daughter is the same way shes 5 to she acts like she can’t here us she makes faces at me and tells us that were mean I don’t know what to do this site has really opened my eyes thank you.

  9. The picture you posted speaks a thousand words. It is what I pray for for myself: more patience and quiet ways to influence behavior. I am a work in progress. Thanks for check and reminder, and the picture!

  10. Thank-You, Courtney for such strong and wise advice that I know you take as well. I struggle with this constantly and find myself "yelling' in order to get my almost 2yr. old son to obey and sometimes it's too late before I realize what I've done and my little boy is in tears. I don't like these habits and I'm working on stopping them. I want my son to love me and respect me but not "fear" me. And I know the only way he'll respect me is if I'm consistent and calm during conflict. Please help me in this area by praying for me as I will all the other Moms out there ๐Ÿ™‚
    Thank You~

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I accept the Privacy Policy

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.