How to Get Your Teen to Listen to You

If you’ve ever had to ask your teenager to do something more than once, you might question her ability to hear. Since she doesn’t have any hearing problems, unless you consider selective hearing as a problem, chances are pretty good that she just doesn’t listen to you. Whether she doesn’t listen to you when you ask her to do something around the house or she doesn’t listen to you when you enforce rules and consequences, your job is to remedy this situation and make sure she hears and acknowledges everything you say. Getting her to listen may seem intimidating, but it’s not so difficult when you know how to do it.

Issue consequences that are unpleasant and inconvenient to your teen anytime he doesn’t listen, advises social worker Janet Lehman for Empowering Parents 1. When your teen decides to ignore you, enforcing an unpleasant consequence helps him to understand that failing to listen has negative effects. If you take away a privilege such as driving or watching television for a weekend, he will begin to understand that his own personal enjoyment of his privileges is directly related to his listening skills.

Listen to your teen when she wants to talk to you, advises the Palo Alto Medical Foundation 2. When you model good listening skills and make it clear to your teen that you have enough respect for her to listen, she’s more likely to listen to you in return. If she comes to you with a problem and you are too busy or too distracted to listen to her, she’s more likely to reciprocate. If she’s not important enough for you to listen to, you aren’t important enough for her to listen to.

Ask your teen what he learned from his decision to ignore you, advises the Palo Alto Medical Foundation 2. If you asked him to fill up the car with gas on his way home from the store and he neglected to do it and ran out of gas, ask him what that taught him. Chances are, he learned a pretty valuable lesson running out of gas on the side of the road when all he had to do was listen to you. Not every lesson will be this valuable, but every time he chooses not to listen to you he will suffer a consequence, whether it’s natural or logical.