Repeating yourself won't work

By Step by Step Consulting

Do you ever feel like a broken record, “No John, don’t touch that”, “Mary stop, put it down” To try and get our kids attention or to get them to listen, we often repeat ourselves but to no avail. It is easy to get stuck in this loop and to feel annoyed when your child just doesn't listen. It happens to us all, and it can be exhausting! I am sure you have asked yourself, why aren’t you listening to me? I know you can hear me!

Toddlers are impulsive beings, they can grab, climb, run without thinking of the consequences- kids will be kids. However, it becomes challenging when there is a constant battle around setting boundaries and limits. When the battle is daily and constant, we look at these refusals through a behavioural lens and try to understand why we are getting so much push back- is your child trying to communicate that they want more social connection? They want to avoid a situation. Whatever the answer is, understanding why it is happening will help us support your child with listening. 

Here are some tips to support your child with listening:

  • Rather than telling your child what not to do, try telling them what they can do instead. This sounds easy, but it will take practice. For example, if your child is jumping on the couch, tell them that the trampoline is for jumping and redirect them to the trampoline outside.
  • State things clearly for your child. If they are splashing water in the bathroom. Rather than repeatedly saying “no turn the tap off” or eventually shouting “stop splashing”. Go to the bathroom and say “Buddy, I asked you to turn this off, this is for washing our hands, your hands look nice and clean, I am going to turn it off” and redirect to another activity. 

The above examples give your child a clear alternative and gives them the opportunity to engage in this alternative behaviour. We are creating an opportunity for them to listen and helping them through the decision-making process.

For support with times like this, reach out to us at or call us on 0852737466.