How to Give Orders so that Your Children will Listen

There are many times when we make demands or requests and our children just ignore us. So, do you want to know how to give orders so that your children will listen and follow?
How to Give Orders so that Your Children will Listen
Mara Amor López

Written and verified by the psychologist Mara Amor López.

Last update: 27 December, 2022

How many times have you asked your children to do something only for them to ignore you? Most likely it’s more often than you’d like. In today’s article, we’ll provide some tips on how to give orders so that your children will listen.

Being a parent is no easy task. No one teaches us to do it, and there’s no instruction manual or online tutorial. However, what we do know is that we all want to raise our children in the best way possible. It’s important to educate little ones with positive discipline that involves respect, love, and care. At the same time, it encourages autonomy and provides little ones with a happy and healthy environment.

We need to get rid of punitive discipline based on punishment, comparisons, pointless sermons, threats, and insults. There are often times when we don’t stop to think about the negative consequences that the type of parenting can have on our children.

How not to give orders

The first step is to always speak from a place of confidence and security. We should give orders, requests, and instructions in a calm but firm manner.

There’s no point in yelling at your children – you won’t get them to listen to you by doing so. What’s more, as parents, we’re our children’s role models. So, with time, they’ll also begin to scream and shout as a way to express their anger and discontent with others – including you.

How to give orders so that your children will listen

How to Give Orders So That Your Children Will Listen

Choose the right time to give orders

Before making requests, you need to make sure your child’s in a receptive mood. Don’t do it when he or she is angry, tired, etc. Therefore, you’ll need to wait until the moment is right to talk with your child and communicate with him or her.

Look your children in the eye when talking to them

This is a very important aspect when it comes to communicating properly and effectively with our children. Yelling orders from the other side of the house isn’t nearly as effective as talking to your children face to face.

Pay attention to the way you address your children

It’s essential to use a firm and gentle tone of voice  without yelling. And, at the same time, you need to use simple language so that your children understand just what it is you expect of them.

Be clear and concise when it comes to giving orders

Use short phrases that are easy to understand so that your kids understand what you’re telling them to do.

Always be consistent

If you don’t want to use the authority you’ve gained, you need to be firm when making demands of our children. For example, if you tell your child one day that a certain behavior isn’t allowed, then you can’t contradict yourself the next day by allowing it.

Be coherent

If one parent gives an order and the other parent isn’t in agreement, it’s still important to support one another. You can discuss the issue later in private, but not in front of your children.

How to Give Orders So That Your Children Will Listen

Always praise your children for doing things right

If you give an order and your children comply immediately or display positive behavioryou should always congratulate them and offer your appreciation.

Don’t be excessive when it comes to giving orders

Give orders one at a time and never contradict yourself. If you make several requests, you should space them out in time rather than giving them all in a row.

Be careful about your language

When you want to give orders so that your children will listen and follow directions, then you should be careful not to say “no” all the time. Also, avoid simply barking orders. In the same way that we, as adults, want people to talk to us in a polite and respectful way, so do children.

Don’t make threats when you give orders

Making threats to get children to do things won’t be effective, especially when it comes to smaller children. Nor should you threaten with punishments that you’re not actually going to apply. For example, don’t say “pick up your toys or you’re not going to the park” because, in the end, you’ll pick up the toys yourself and then take them to the park. So, by making those kinds of statements, you’re actually nullifying your own word and authority.


Without a doubt, despite the above advice, there will still be times when your children disobey you. This may be because they don’t understand your expectations due to their level of development. In other words, they’re not prepared to understand what you’re asking them to do.


This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.