LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – It’s Parenting Connection Tuesday and 6 News is here for you with tips, strategies, and helpful reminders from local child development experts on how we can be better parents and guardians.

Today’s topic: Six Steps to Get children to Listen.

I bet if parents had to jot down the top things that annoy them the most, kids “not listening” will likely be at the top. Child experts say, if you want to get a handle on your child’s unresponsiveness, the first thing you need to do is figure out why he or she is not listening.

They say, more often than not, the lack of response is a symptom, not the actual problem. In fact, some experts argue children of all ages have a hard-wired need for power and by choosing not to listen, they can assert that power.

So here are six steps that can help your kids to pay attention to what you say:

*Get on Their Level. This means eye contact. When you lower yourself down and look into their eyes, you not only verify they see and hear you, but you strengthen the communication as well.

*Stop saying Don’t. Experts say it causes kids to wonder what not to do. Instead, tell your child what to do.

*Shorten your instructions or speech. Kids lose focus if you talk for too long when what you want them to do could be communicated quickly.

*Say Thank You in Advance. For example, a preemptive “Thanks for picking up your clothes” goes a lot further than, “I better not see your clothes on the floor when I return.”

*Make an Observation. If you see a request that’s been left undone, don’t dive in with a big reprimand. Experts say, make an observation, like “I see your clothes still haven’t been picked up.”

*Ensure Comprehension. An easy way to make sure your child heard you and understand is to ask them to repeat back what you said.

Experts say, by using these six steps, it’ll help get rid of the dreaded repeat and remind cycle that seems to never end when it comes to kids not listening to what you’d like for them to do.