Getting your child to listen to you is easier than it sounds


2001 By Jim Fay

You can train your child to hear you the first time you say something.  Or, you can train

them to ignore you.  Raising a child who listens to adults is a source of joy.  Raising one

who doesn’t is a constant source of frustration and torment.

Our actions either train kids to listen or not to listen.  Consider this situation I witnessed

in an airport recently.  Joshua, a five-year-old, was running out into the concourse.

“Joshua.  You stop that running!” called his mother.  She did not follow through, so

Joshua continued dashing in and out of a crowed of irritated travelers.

“Joshua.  You get over here!”  Once more, she barked an order, but did nothing to

enforce it.

“Joshua!  Get off of that!”  Another order was shouted by mom and ignored by Joshua.

Suddenly, Joshua was right at my feet staring up at me.

Mother ordered again, “Joshua.  You get away from that man.  You come over here.

Quit bothering people.”

I looked down at Joshua and asked, “Joshua, what’s your mom going to do if you don’t

do what she says?”

He knew the answer immediately, “Nothing.”

Of course he was right.  His mother had trained him to know that she would bark orders,

but never enforce them.  Why should he listen if he could do as he pleased — without

adult interference — by not listening?

In fact, Joshua never had to walk back to his mother in the airport.  She came over to him,

held his hand, and apologized to me with, “I’m so sorry.  You know how five-year-olds

are.  They won’t listen to a thing you say.”

It took a lot to keep me from saying, “I’ve known a lot of five-year-olds who listen to

their parents.  But their parents mean what they say.”

– over –Kids Can Listen/Page Two

Training kids to listen is not brain surgery.  It’s not complicated.  Joshua’s mom could

retrain him to listen by first retraining herself to do the following:

1. Make a commitment she will never repeat herself.  Kids unconsciously learn how

many times each parent will repeat a request before taking action.  She can give

Joshua the gift of knowing she will only say something once.

2. Be prepared to act.  She needs to be dedicated to making her child’s life somewhat

uncomfortable each time he fails to listen the first time she says something.  This

means as soon as he disobeys she goes to him, takes him back to his seat, and makes

him stay with her saying, “How sad not to listen.  Now you can stay with me.”

3. She should never accept, “But I didn’t hear you,” as an excuse.  When confronted

with this excuse, she should respond with, “How sad not to be listening.  Maybe your

ears will get better.”  It is important she says this without sarcasm and follows

through with the consequences of not listening.

4. Be prepared for Joshua to have a fit about not getting his way.  Even though this

will be uncomfortable, other adults around her will secretly applaud her courage and

willingness to put forth the efforts to raise a well-behaved child.

5. Get ready to enjoy a more responsible and happier child.

I have worked with kids and families for 47 years.  During that time I have never met a

child who failed to hear a parent’s promise.  They always hear promises the first time.

I’ve also learned their ears work the same way for requests when parents learn and follow

the four steps I’ve outlined.

Training and expecting kids to listen is one of a parent’s greatest gifts.  It’s the

Love and Logic way.

Jim Fay is president and co-founder of the The Love and Logic






Expert says getting kids to relate to their teachers is the best strategy


 2002 By Dr. Charles Fay

In my work with kids and teachers over the years, I’ve witnessed the many benefits of

healthy student-teacher relationships. Establishing a connection between your child and

his or her teachers is key to success in school and throughout life.

Regardless of a child’s scholastic abilities, parents can show him or her how to get along

with teachers. Before your kids start school, give them a powerful advantage over other

children by teaching them the following practical, easy-to-learn skills:

Tip 1:  Smile and say “hello” to your teacher everyday.

Kids who greet their teachers with a smile and a warm “hello” every morning usually

have fewer problems with their teachers throughout the day. It is important, however, for

parents to help their kids understand it is necessary to not overdo it. Try practicing with

your child.

Tip 2:  Pay attention to your teacher. While your teacher is talking, look him or her

in the eyes, smile, and nod.

Love and Logic parents know that helping their child relate to teachers will increase the

child’s interest in what is being taught. One parent I know had a daughter who

experienced difficulty paying attention in class. After the parent suggested looking at the

teacher, smiling, and nodding, she became more engaged in her learning and was better

prepared to ask questions about the lessons.

Teachers enjoy working with children who are interested in learning. Students who are

attentive and “encourage” their teachers during the lesson have an advantage over those

who do not. In addition, these children will be more comfortable approaching a teacher

with any concerns they may have.

Tip 3:  Raise your hand periodically to ask a question about the lesson.

A child who asks questions shows the teacher he or she is paying attention to the lesson

being taught.

Tip 4:  Say “please” and “thank you.”

It is important for parents to model good manners.  At the Love and Logic Institute,

we’ve found that children learn much more from our actions than from our words.

What we say in front of our kids is more important than what we say to them. For

example, when your child is nearby, you might say to your spouse, “I sure do appreciate

all of your help today around the house. Thank you so much.”

– over –School Success Starts Early/Page Two

Kids who use these skills in school will have an advantage over kids who do not.

These skills also will carry over to the workforce, which will give children an advantage

over others throughout their professional lives.

One student I know suffered from significant learning problems. Many people thought he

would not be successful in his professional life. Much to their surprise, however,

he went on to have a wonderful career and did better than kids who were much

“brighter,” because his parents taught and reinforced good relationship skills over and

over again.

Don’t wait! Start using these Love and Logic techniques and join the thousands of

parents who are raising successful, responsible kids.

# # #

Dr. Charles Fay is a nationally known speaker, parent, and school psychologist

with the Love and Logic Institute in Golden, Colo. His book, Love and Logic Magic: When Your

Kids Leave You Speechless, provides a host of helpful tips for teaching values, as well as

handling other perplexing parenting issues. For more information about Love and Logic parenting

and teaching techniques, call 1-800-LUV-LOGIC or visit





Try four easy ways to teach kids how to behave


 2002 By Dr. Charles Fay

In all parts of their lives, children with great manners have a powerful advantage over

those who do not. They make friends easier, get along better with their teachers, and

eventually make much better employees and spouses. Here are four techniques that will

give your child this life-long gift:

Tip No. 1: Make a list

Sit down with your kids and make a list of the specific behaviors polite people display.

Have fun with this activity. Your written list might look something like:

• Say “please” and “thank you”

• Eat with their mouths closed

• Burp in the privacy of their own rooms

• Say “excuse me”

• Hold doors open for people

Tip No. 2: Model these manners

Children learn much more from our actions than from our words.

Tip No. 3: Provide kids what they want only when they use manners

When parents use Love and Logic, they don’t waste their breath lecturing about good

manners. Instead, they very politely refuse to provide what their kids want unless they

hear a sweet “please” or “thank you” and see the other behaviors on their “manner list.”

For this to work, parents must respond to requests with polite sadness instead of anger or

sarcasm. For example, a parent might say in a sad tone of voice, “This is such a bummer.

We can’t go to the movies today because you need more practice with manners first.”

A parent who sets this limit, avoids anger or sarcasm, and holds firm by staying home

will see a very upset child in the short-term and a much happier, more responsible one

in the long-term.

Tip No. 4: Expect them to repay you for any embarrassment they cause

If your child continues to be rude, he or she may need to repay you for the embarrassment

or inconvenience created. With genuine empathy and sadness, a parent might say, “How

sad! Your rudeness at Aunt Mary’s house really drained the energy out of me. I’ve been

too tired to clean the bathrooms. When you get them done, I’m sure I’ll feel a whole

lot better.”

– over –Manners Matter!/Page Two

If the child refuses or forgets to do the chore, wise parents don’t lecture or threaten.

Instead, they quietly allow their child to “pay” for their bad manners with one of their

favorite toys.

Thousands of parents have transformed manner monsters into polite kids who are a

pleasure to be around. At one Love and Logic seminar, a parent commented, “When I

used these tips, my boys almost immediately started to shape up. They even warned one

of their rather rude friends who was visiting: ‘Better stop burping … Our mom’s gonna

make you do chores.’”

Give these Love and Logic tips a try, and see how much fun parenting can be!

# # #

Dr. Charles Fay is a nationally known speaker, parent, and school psychologist

with The Love and Logic Institute in Golden, Colo. His video, Hope for Underachieving Kids, and

his book, Love and Logic Magic: When Kids Leave You Speechless, provide a wealth of ideas for

raising kids who are ready to learn and ready for the real world. For more information about Love

and Logic parenting and teaching techniques, call 1-800-LUV-LOGIC

or visit





What To Do When Young Children Cry About Going


 2001 By Dr. Charles Fay

At schools across America, teachers see two types of first-year students: one quickly

adjusts to school and begins to enjoy it, the other cries each day at the door.  By applying

some easy-to-follow Love and Logic


 guidelines, parents can help their youngsters

belong to a very lucky group … students who start school with fun instead of fear.

Arrange a tour of your child’s school before the year starts.

It’s not unusual for young children to imagine the worst when they don’t have enough

information. Big fears about where they are going to sit, where they will eat, whether

their teacher will be “nice,” and what they will do if they need to use the restroom

become much smaller when parents take this step.

Teach confidence by showing it.

When parents spend too much time trying to calm their children’s fears, their children

begin to think, “Wow.  If my parents are this concerned about me, and they have to talk

this much about going to school, maybe there really is something to be worried about!”

More effective parents give lots of hugs, listen, and say, “I love you.” Doing this, they

send a very strong message of confidence.  Simply put, confident parents tend to have

confident kids … worried parents tend to have worried kids.

If you drive your child to school, leave quickly.

Smart parents give quick hugs, let their kids know they’re in a hurry, and leave without

looking back. Why? Because the underlying message they send to their children is,

“You can handle this. You’re strong!” It’s amazing how children either live up to —

or down to — our expectations.

Avoid backing down from tantrums and tears.

Don’t teach your child to be fearful by backing down to crying and allowing him or her

to stay home! Regardless of how heart wrenching their cries become, Love and Logic

parents send their kids to school. Why? Because all experienced teachers say the same

thing: “It’s amazing how fast kids calm down after their parents are out-of-sight!”

Parents across the country are finding these Love and Logic techniques are easy-to-learn,

teach kids to be responsible, and change lives! One parent commented, “My six-year-old

son was so afraid of school he wouldn’t even get out of the car when I tried to drop him off.

We were desperate. The day we tried these tips, and had some help from the teacher getting

him out of the car, was the last day we had these problems. We’re a happy family again!”

– over –Start School with a Smile/Page Two

Give Love and Logic a try, and see how it changes your life.  You’ll be amazed how

simple it really is.

Dr. Charles Fay is a nationally known speaker, parent, and school psychologist

with The Love and Logic Institute in Golden, Colo. His new video, Hope for Underachieving Kids,

and his book, Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood, provide a wealth of ideas for raising kids

who are ready to learn and ready for the real world. For more information about Love and Logic

parenting and teaching techniques, call 1-800-LUV-LOGIC or visit