Ep 39: Getting Kids to Listen to You
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Chris Smith, bestselling author of The Conversion Code, reveals a step-by-step formula for how to get kids to listen to you and follow your rules. Learn how to deal with teenagers and use Pattern Interrupt statements. Getting kids to listen to you is easy when you know this.
Full Show Notes
Do you ever have trouble getting kids to listen to you and do what you ask them to do? How to deal with teenagers who won’t listen to the rules is the most common question parents have when they find my website.
The problem, according to neuroscience, is that around age 12 kids stop listening to you merely because you are their parent. They want a better reason. Getting kids to listen is a whole lot tougher after this point.
The “I’m counting to three” technique becomes completely useless by this age unless you back it up with some extremely heavy consequences. But that just backfires and creates resentment that is hard to undo.
Here’s how to deal with teenagers who don’t respect your authority: you have to sell them on whatever it is you want them to do.
This episode of the podcast is all about how to get kids to listen to your requests and follow them.
I spoke with Chris Smith and worked through a step-by-step plan that will teach you exactly how to get kids to listen. Chris is the bestselling author of The Conversion Code, and the Co-Founder of Curaytor, one of the fastest-growing companies in America. He’s an expert at selling products over the phone and he’s trained thousands of salespeople around the world how to do this.
In this episode, we go through an in-depth, step-by-step example of how to deal with teenagers who don’t want to clean their room. And Chris reveals some actual word-for-word scripts he’s used on his own daughter to get her to clean her room too.
You can apply these principles to any behavior you want your teen to start doing.
The first step in getting kids to listen is to find something they want, Chris told me, and to uncover both the logical and the emotional reasons they want this thing. He uses a technique called “Digging Deep” to achieve this.
Once you know what they want, here’s how to get kids to listen: start the conversation with a Pattern Interrupt statement that grabs their attention and subtly establishes your dominance without making them feel threatened. Chris gives examples during out interview.
Next, use the Five Yes technique followed by a Feature-Benefit Tie-Down and follow Chris’ simple strategy for locking down the terms of the agreement.
With this system, you sell the teen on what you want them to do rather than expecting them to do it because you are the parent and you told them to. This is how to deal with teenagers.
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Word-for-word examples of WHAT to say to your teen
1. When your teen asks for something, start by reminding them about your history of being reasonable in order to establish a feeling of trust:
“Well, the last three times you asked if you could go to the movies I did say yes. And I let you go to Disney with your friends. In fact, the last 10 times you’ve asked for anything I said yes most of the time, right? So it’s not that I’m not open-minded. I’ll probably let you do this too. I just need to think about it a little.”
2. When you want your teen to clean their room:
3. When you want your teen to clean their room:
4. Make your teen feel heard by separating the listening phase from the answering phase:
5. Establish control from the very start of the conversation by asking your teen to do something small:
6. Establish control from the very start of the conversation by asking your teen to do something small:
7. When you want your teen to do something, connect the result you want to a benefit, then end in a tie-down:
8. When you want your teen to do something, connect the result you want to a benefit, then end in a tie-down:
9. When your teen agrees with something, make sure to tell them exactly what they need to do:
10. When your teen brings up an objection to what you want them to do, acknowledge it, respond to it, and then re-establish agreement:
Step-by-step guides for applying the ideas from this interview
1. Use a Pattern Interrupt to get your teen’s attention:
Chris is a leading expert on sales and he taught me how to sell your teenager on doing whatever you want them to do (like cleaning their room, trying harder in school, doing the dishes after dinner, or treating you with more respect).
The first step is to uncover something that your teenager wants from you (like a later curfew, permission to go to prom, money to go to the movies, or to borrow your car for the weekend to go skiing with their friends).
When you start this conversation, you need to immediately establish yourself as the one in control. You should be the leader and the teen should be the follower. The way to do this is to ask your teen to do something during the first 60 seconds of the conversation and not to continue until they do it.
This should be something small and seemingly insignificant. It is called a Pattern Interrupt and it is very important. I also recommend including a benefit in the same sentence so that your teen knows this conversation is going to be a positive thing for them.
Below, I’ve included a few complete examples you can steal word-for-word, as well as some space for you to come up with your own. Choose one and then move on to the next exercise, the “Digging Deep” technique.
- “Hey, John, I want to talk to you about giving you some more freedom and getting rid of some rules, come out to the back porch with me.”
- “Hey, Julie, I want to talk about letting you use the car more often, grab your phone and open the notes app so you can jot a few things down.”
- “Hey, Toby, I want to talk about your plans for this weekend so I can make sure you’re getting to do the things you want to do, turn off your light and come over here for a few minutes.”
2. Use the “Digging Deep” technique to uncover your teen’s needs:
3. Plan your 1+1 statement to take time off from the conversation:
4. Use what you uncovered for the “5 Yes” technique:
5. Plan out your Feature-Benefit Tie-Downs:
6. Work out the exact terms your teen will follow:
7. Overcome objections by ARC-ing around them:
About Chris Smith
Chris Smith is a USA Today bestselling author and the co-founder of Curaytor, a social media, digital marketing and sales coaching company.
In less than four years, Chris used the blueprint in his book, The Conversion Code, to grow Curaytor to over $10 million in annual, recurring revenue. His work has been featured in Forbes, Inc., Entrepreneur Magazine and many other publications.
Prior, Chris worked for two billionaires (Dan Gilbert and Lou Pearlman), a near billion dollar publicly traded company (Move Inc.), and a startup (DotLoop) that was acquired for $108 million (by Zillow Group).