Can You Hear Me Now? 5 Ways to Get Your Child to Listen

Make your presence known.

As you're well aware, it's surprisingly easy for your 7- or 8-year-old to ignore what you say. But it's a lot harder for her to block you out in other ways. "Sometimes a simple tap on the shoulder will snap her out of it, or you may have to physically place yourself between her and whatever she's focused on," says Mark Sharp, Ph.D., a psychologist in Oak Brook, Illinois. A little drama or humor doesn't hurt, either. When 8-year-old Carly is lost in a world of her own, her mom, Lonnie Lane, goes for a laugh. "My strategy is to say something completely off-topic, outlandish, and silly, like 'Hey, chicken lips!' " says the Portland, Oregon, mom.

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