Children play video game

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1. Don't Let Your Child Multitask While You're Speaking
Children don't always listen when they are given instructions or asked questions. Rabbi Shmuley offers his advice on effective ways to get your children to listen when you speak.

When you're talking to your children, you should stop whatever else it is you're doing, and your children should stop what they're doing and listen, Rabbi Shmuley says. Ask for your child's complete attention. "If you're distracted and they're distracted, it tells them that your instructions aren't important for them or for you," Rabbi Shmuley says.
Mother and teen daughter talk

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2. Be Direct
Once your child is paying attention, look him right in the eye and speak to him. Get him to verbalize an answer to your questions, and make sure he's going to get started with what you've asked him to do. "If they say, 'In 10 minutes...let me finish this video game,' tell them kindly and directly that your instructions have to be listened to now," he says.
Parent talks to annoyed teen

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3. Don't Continue to Repeat Yourself
If you've asked your child to do something and she doesn't, repeat yourself up to one time, and that's it, Rabbi Shmuley says. If you constantly repeat yourself, you become a nag, he says. "The last thing you want to do is become a nag, because they tune you out and avoid you," he says.

If your child still doesn't listen, point out the consequences. For example, tell them "I told you to clean your room once. If you don't do it this time, anything left on the floor is being given to charity," Rabbi Shmuley says. "The third time, don't repeat yourself," he says. "Follow through with the consequence and make sure you do what you said you would, otherwise you have no cache in the house."
Child in time out

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4. Establish Age-Appropriate Punishments
If your children don't listen, make sure you give them age-appropriate consequences for their actions. For younger children, Rabbi Shmuley suggests putting them in a corner for a time-out, sending them to their rooms or denying something that they like. If it's something related to an object, like a toy that you asked them not to play with, Rabbi Shmuley says you have to take that toy away.
Mother and son eat ice cream

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5. Reward Them
If your children do what is asked, give them a reward, Rabbi Shmuley says. "Sometimes I let my kids have a treat like ice cream or take them somewhere fun with me when they did a really great job at something," Rabbi Shmuley says. "It also makes them happy to do things for you because they know you appreciate it."

More advice on communicating openly with your child
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