When do children actually start listening to their parents?

United States
August 26, 2007 6:20pm CST
My little kid is almost four years old and most days she does a really good job of listening and doing as she is told. However, on some days when she is really sleepy, she ignores about two thirds of everything that I ask from her. And, sometimes I wonder if kids that age really can't hear what's being said. Either that or she is just ignoring me on purpose, which is probably more realistic. Do you think really young children have the capacity to understand what they are being asked to do? At what age do little kids actually start to do as they are told? Does that actually ever happen? If I had an older kid, then I would know the answer already, but as is, I'm walking around in the dark on this issue. Would appreciate some feedback.
5 people like this
11 responses
@theprogamer (10539)
• United States
26 Aug 07
Well in my case it was somewhere between age 1 and 2. I listened just fine according to Ma. For other kids, yea it could take a bit. 3 is pretty typical, but I've rarely heard of 4 and being unable to listen to the parents. But every kid is unique so anything is possible.
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Aug 07
As a mother of 3 daughters I find it the older they get the worse they are at listening..They think they can get away with it more...My girls listened better when they were young...Oh to have that back.LOL It's not they don't listen it's cause they don't want to do what they are told to do.Thats what I think and what my girls show me..Best of Luck
1 person likes this
@KrisNY (7591)
• United States
3 Sep 07
Do kids really listen?? My daughter is 10- and I still have to say some things over and over again so will get the idea- I think it’s called selective hearing- That is the key – enforce when they are little- that you expect them to mind and listen- Keep repeating yourself until she does mind or does what you are asking- Do it in a nice way. Structure is a good thing
@maddysmommy (16233)
• United States
30 Aug 07
Ummm NEVER LOL My son has selective hearing and chooses when to listen and when not too. I think its because most of the time he doesn't want to stop what he is doing when I am trying to talk to him. He is getting better at it though however I still have a little trouble getting him to listen immediately. He is only 5 so I am not sure when it will get better if he is older :) I would hope to think it would.
@Aussies2007 (5339)
• Australia
27 Aug 07
Children are no different than adults. They have a brain which they use to process information before doing something. If you treat a child or an adult like a robot by asking it to do something... without giving it a good reason for doing it... it won't do it. You have to teach by example. When you want your child to do something... or not do something... you need to take the time to sit down... and explain to the child why you want it to be this way. Usually... if the child understand what you are saying... you will need to do it only once and it will stay in its brain for the rest of its life. You do that with everything... and it will grow as the perfect child, teenager and adult. It is the parents who are the teachers. Unfortunately... a lot of women today are too busy to have the time to teach. They let the teaching to others and lose control of their children. Men are even worse and spend very little time with their children. They feel that earning money to support their family is all that matter. They are so wrong. Having a child is the biggest responsability in the world. You are responsible for its life and what it will become. Money can creates advantages for the child as it has more opportunities. But in general... someone poor and not working who devotes her life in educating her child will have a far better child that someone rich who is never at home and leaves the charge of her child to others.
• India
27 Aug 07
Nice question... children actually believe their parents when they feel that their parents always do things for Child's best.. whether that may be liked by them or not.. They listen to their parents once they get the maturity mentally to think and understand and also analyze the things in their day to day life.. this does not depend on their age.. for instance, I know a boy who listens to his parents not because he is afraid of them but he understands the situations that come in his way and does things accordingly.. Thats all i have to say. Hope this might help you a bit.. Thank you.
• United States
27 Aug 07
About the age of three or four is when children actually listen to their parents. Honestly though, children do not actually truly listen to their parents until they are grown up.
@ivyzhan (33)
• China
27 Aug 07
I think you should tell the thing she should do some more times. A new habit need time and patience. Good luck to you!
@vinzen (1022)
• India
27 Aug 07
Hi, i think all kids listen right from the moment they are in their mothers womb, but its just that we dont see them listening, as most of the time they do not respond to us. All kids, no matter what age they are, always do listen, but kids who are too small say around 1-2 years, have to be told and re-told till they learn to listen to thier parents,and its a training that goes along when we have to deal with them patiently there, so that they learn that they have to listen to us and follow what we teach and tell them, and gradually they learn and pick that up, some take more time than others,but all the kids do listen. It is different , if they are following what they listen or not, that is our duty to make sure that kids listen to us. That is where the training and teaching comes in i think. Normally kids do listen and if we train and teach them well, they respond and are good children. But if at times they do not listen, we have to be pateint with them and try to analyse as to why they are not listening to us, as maybe there is something bothering them or they are troubled or not feeling well. And once we understand that problem, maybe on our own or by asking our kids why they are behaving this ways, we are eable to help them out, talk to them and make them understand things. When kids are older and they have good communication with the parents and others, they are able to listen and we too are able to make them listen and undertand us, of course there are exceptions here too, as some kids just wont listen to their kids, more so those who are in their growing or teenage years etc, and those kids need to be dealt with differently and need more care, love and attention to make them understand so that they learn to listen to their parents and elders.
@nandans (1161)
• India
27 Aug 07
depends on children as how much they obey to their parent, also depends on the parents as how strict they are..
@3lilangels (4639)
• United States
27 Aug 07
well i would love the answer to this too.i think kids do understand us very well no matter what age they are,but i think they have selective hearing,they hear what they want.lol kids are smarter than we think and they just want to hear all the good stuff like wanna a cookie,or wanna go outside.you ask them to do something they look at you like what is she talking about and give you a smile or grin.i know with my 3 young babies if i ask them to pick up their toys,my little girl will do it in a flash,but if i ask her twin brother he tries to sit there and pretend to turn his head like he didnt hear me,so then i will say i will give you a treat if you do it and man he jumps like he won the lottery lol.sometimes we just have to play reverse psycology on them,and it does work.