“He never listens to me!” 4 tips to help your child understand you better

by Adina Levy

There’s that amazing moment when you ask your child to do something… and they DO it! If this feels rare for your family, a big part of the challenge is often how well children undertand what you’ve said to them. Other factors that can affect whether your child does what you’re asking or understands you can be: attention, processing, motivation, skill level, and more!


Challenges with understanding spoken language can be ‘hidden’ and it can lead to parents and kids feeling frustrated and confused. Let’s talk about how you can maximise what your child understands, when you communicate with them. Let’s aim for lots of understanding and connection, and a bit more calm!


Help your Child Understand You

  • Slow it down – speak slower, and pause more often. Keep it natural but slower.


  • Make it brief and clear – Keep the language that you use at, or just a little step above your child’s language level. So if your child doesn’t say words, You can say 1-2 key words. Keep your sentences grammatically correct but brief. If your child says or signs a word or short phrases, you can say short phrases about the length of your child’s. Emphasise the most important words, e.g. “Get your shoes and bag”


  • Repeat your message within that conversation, and across activities and days. This gives your child more chance to hear and process your message. Repetition and consistency helps your child learn your words over time.


  • Make it visual – That means show something to make your message visual.

Some ways to make your message visual

  • Objects
  • Pictures
  • Writing & Drawing
  • Gestures, body language and sign language


And any other ways you can think of that helps your child SEE your message, while you’re saying it.


What visual elements can you add more of, when you communicate with your child today?

💬 Get in touch

If you are enquiring about a workshop, webinar, training or a speaking opportunity, I will respond soon. Please note that it can take me a few days to get back to you as I juggle many roles!

If you've registered for a webinar or workshop and can't find confirmation or access information, please check your junk/spam email and add hi@playlearnchat.com to your safe senders/contacts list.

I am not able to provide personalised advice, resource or service requests/recommendations. You can view my resources & links page here, and view therapy services that I've worked with here. Please note that I no longer take on new speech therapy clients.

I am not able to reply to all feedback comments, but I do read them and appreciate you taking the time to share!

Thank you for your understanding!


For anything else - please feel free to contact me using the form below