To Get Kids to Listen, Be a Detective

July 20, 2016

By Guest Contributor – Rachel Bailey M.A., CPDPE

If you feel helpless when it comes to getting your kids to listen, you are in very good company. The truth is, most parents simply don’t have effective tools to get their kids to cooperate.

You know that yelling, nagging, and threatening to take away electronics don’t work in the long run – and often they’re as much of a nuisance for you as they are for your kids.

So here’s a different solution: Be a detective. Your job, as a detective, is to figure out WHAT YOUR KIDS NEED to be successful.

The next time you ask your son to clean his room and he doesn’t, ask yourself what he needs to be successful. Does he need to make the task a little more stimulating by placing baskets around the room and shooting the (non-breakable) items into the baskets?

Blog_ To Get Kids to Listen, Be a Detective (Rachel Bailey - Guest Contributor)


The next time your daughter refuses to stay in bed at night, ask yourself what she needs to be successful. Does she need more focused time with you during the day so she doesn’t crave your attention at bedtime? Or does she need a strategy to manage the thoughts that come into her head when she’s lying by herself in bed?

Of course there is a chance that you might know what your child needs. Fortunately, every good detective has a tool. (What would Sherlock Holmes be without his magnifying glass?)

Your tool is CURIOSITY. The next time your child refuses to listen to you, instead of asking with judgment, “Ugh, why is he DOING that?” ask yourself, with curiosity, “Hmm, why IS he doing that?”

Your answer will likely tell you what your child needs…so that they can finally listen.

About Rachel Bailey:

Rachel Bailey is a stress-free Parenting Specialist who has been serving families in Northern Virginia for a decade. Besides being a mother of two, she also has Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology and a certification in Positive Discipline. She has worked as an ADHD and Academic Coach, Intensive In-Home Mentor, and psychotherapist. Rachel is committed to helping parents feel good about themselves — from providing hands-on tools for raising children who meet their full potential…to helping them conquer the guilt, pressure, and overwhelming feelings that are associated with parenting today. For more information, please visit her website at or email her at

Stay tuned for monthly blog posts from Rachel Bailey! She will be a regularly featured contributor on our blog and we would love your feedback and comments on the wonderful insight she bestows upon us. 🙂

Be Wise!