Anne Hathaway's parenting hack to get kids to listen: 'Suddenly, there was no argument'

Picture: Instagram
Picture: Instagram 

We've all been there. You've tried everything to get your little monster to listen/stop chasing their sibling around a park with a stick/ease up on the meltdowns and yet nothing resonates. 

But Anne Hathaway's parenting hack may just be the fix we all need - for however long it takes them to cotton on.

The Witches actor appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon to talk about her ingenious solution to tricky situations with her sons Jonathan, four and Jack, one.

And it involves the age-old trick of invoking the man in red. Explaining how her eldest believed 'everything they told him', she said she used this to her advantage.

"This is the first year he's really believed in Santa Claus," she said.

"We were driving in the car, and you know when you're in the car with your kids and suddenly the car gets too hot? Like all of a sudden in a second, and everybody is loud at the same moment. And the baby is crying because he wants the cracker that the four-year-old has and the four-year-old will not give him a cracker."

"And then finally, I just have this spark and I go, 'Okay Johnny, but what about Santa?'," she added, noting saying the name was enough to shock the little boy into compliance. 

Adding that she then had the 'entire box' of crackers - no argument, her and husband Adam Shulman were left in disbelief. 

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Hathaway also told Fallon the pair were at a 'magic age'.

While Hathaway keeps her boys out of the public eye, she has been open on her own challenges when it comes to parenting - from overcoming fertility struggles to acknowledging her personal challenges - including why she chose to stop drinking until her eldest son turned 16.

"I'm going to stop drinking while my son is in my house just because I don't totally love the way I do it and he's getting to an age where he really does need me all the time in the mornings," she told the Ellen Degeners Show.

"I did one school run one day where I dropped him off at school, I wasn't driving, but I was hungover and that was enough for me. I didn't love that one."