How do I get my toddler to listen?


I am looking for some techniques to use with my daughter (22 months) in regards to listening, especially when excited or distracted. Generally, getting down to her level and asking her to "look at my eyes" has worked, but now she laughs and tries to run away. Her vocabulary and understanding is wonderful, so I know she understands generally what I "expect" from her.


Eye contact is overrated. Most children listen whether or not there is eye contact, and for a lot of children, eye contact creates anxiety. This anxiety can look like giggling or worse, screaming and ignoring. In this age group, choice is best; for example, You: "It's time to clean up." Little one: Ignores and keeps playing. You: "We can clean up while singing or mommy can help your hands and clean up." Little one: Ignores and continues playing. You: Go down to her level and begin to clean up while helping her hands.

Yes, sometimes it defeats the purpose of having them do it, but if you repeat CONSISTENTLY by the 11th-21st time, she will choose to clean up and sing, because that is more fun than having mommy move "my hands to clean up." Also, make sure you are not asking a yes or no question when giving a prompt to do something. For example: You:  "Can you please put on your shoes?" Little one: "No" She is not being disrespectful she is answering your question. Get use to saying, "It's time to put on your shoes, it's time for bath, it's time for dinner, and it's time to clean up."