MY DAUGHTER DOESN'T LISTEN TO ME!!

Amanda - posted on 02/11/2009 ( 29 moms have responded )

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My daughter has just turned 4 and is a little madam. If I ask her to do something, or more importantly ask her to stop doing something!! She will either totally completely ignore me or just laugh at me.



I have tried all forms of discipline e.g. naughty girl step/corner, taking her favourite toys away, no treats etc etc, all to no avail.



It is not only me that she is naughty for it is her dad and her grandmothers also. Is anybody else having the same problems with their 4 year olds. Or do any of you have any suggestions with regards to effective disciplining.

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Anne-Marie - posted on 03/25/2009

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I used to have a similar problem with my 4 year old little boy. I have found that the more time i spend doing things with him, the more well behaved he is.



Even spending 10 mins doing a packet cake mix, reading a page of a story book, colouring, singing, even tidying their room, helping with housework etc. all of these help. Anything you can praise them for.



He is so happy for being praised that he has no need to misbehave for attention.



I know some mums dont have a lot of time to spend witht their little ones after work, housework etc, but even spending that extra 5-15 mins a day can really help. You will notice the difference. x

Sherri - posted on 11/16/2010

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Hi All...

Remember this... your child wants to do the RIGHT thing! So, try this: say for example your child is standing on a chair - insteading of yelling "get down from there!"... say to him or her "is the chair for sitting or standing?" They will ALWAYS do the right thing. It also helps teach them right from wrong. I learned this from one of my son's therapist and it works like a charm... I've passed it on to others and they tell me the same. Don't give up!

Beatrice - posted on 12/15/2012

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YES. This is what worked for me BUT consistency is important. It is drastic. But it could save a child's life.
You ask your child to turn off the TV and come to the table. WRONG.
You ask your child five minutes before they need to turn it off that it needs to be turned off in five minutes. Then one minute before tell them they have one minute. Then it is time to turn off the TV and wash their hands before coming to the table. They don't. Keep watching. Don't walk to the TV. Walk to the wall plug. Turn it off.
Ignore them. Take the TV AWAY. Lock it up.
Next day, NO TV at all BECAUSE they didn't listen. (You need to ensure they DID hear you. Kids watching TV don't hear because they are in a state of hypnotism almost. You need to be in front of them with eye contact).

You take children out and they don't listen. Next time, DONT TAKE THEM.
They run off down the street, NEXT TIME, you embarrass them by using a walking leash or saying they don't go.

You have to do these things the first times they don't listen. Withdraw the things. Be firm. It is not mean. It will work. But also to be fair to children, you need to ensure they are listening to you and that you don't NAG. Ask firmly, have prepare them before hand. 'we are going out to the park, you need to be by my side unless i say it is ok for you to run and play or do whatever'. If they do not listen, next time say 'i am going to the park, you didn't listen last time, so you can't go.

They also need explanation of why families have to work as a team, and why safety is important and why parents need to be the boss of their children.

If my child did not get in the car after school when I said to, i would just drive off and park down the road. Let them freak out. You are in control not them.

I HAVE also had a child who threw tantrums in the shopping centre especially at christmas when the shops are full of stuff they want. I ignore them and walk off. it works. BUT i say, well if you want to embarrass yourself go ahead... i do not buy them stuff and give in. My children are healthy and happy and we have lots of fun together. but these things although they sound mean MUST be done as soon as they play up or you do lose control. star charts and rewards set them up to think they should get something for doing what they should do. i never ever have used them. It perpetuates the problem.
and don't nag all day and fill their heads with talk and criticism about what they don't do.
Strength can be gentle. Its in your actions, not your words so much.

Sia - posted on 04/02/2009

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Spending more positive time helps a lot.  I figured my son doesn't listen because he has his own ideas about what he wants to do.  I have been working on him listening the first time when I tell him, not ask him, to do something.  This has been challenging, but it is getting better as he knows certain things are not up for debate.   He now knows my "mom is upset" face.  He has not done a 180, but he is getting a lot better.  I find myself enjoying his company more than disciplining him constantly.  It does take time, and remember kids are for the most part all about themselves.  We just have to teach them that there is a world and it does not revolve around them.



First I started telling him to behave because of me, now I put it on him.  when he does a good job at school or home I ask him how does that make him feel?  He gets very proud of himself and wants to do a good job.  I do not bribe him with treats or presents.  When he misbehaves, he is actually hard on himself and ashamed (after the fact of course)  We are now working on him stopping the bad behavior before it starts, which is the current challenge.

Andrea - posted on 03/04/2009

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Sooooooooooooo not alone and its not only girls, my son is out of control he reminds me of the screeming kids on te supper nannie sometimes just dose not listen. We went to a conference about dealing with little demons and the gist of it was there old anough to get it but not old anough to understand it so the things we were told was to give them the op eg. will not eat dinner? ok eat dinner and get your ice block or you don't have to eat dinner and you can go to bed right now and not get a ice block. I am not fully convinced yet but it is early days we d it for every thing down to the arguement over opening the milk in the car the choice was open it and you will not have it or wait till you get hime and you can have it, I found following through was the hardist no milk means no milk and trust me the tantrums have been herd in china but he is slowly learning to listen to his choices because if he dose not he has to sit in his room till he decideds and then fingers crossed its the positive one he was in there crying for 3hours the first day every five min I went in there and asked the same Q all calm and everything he did decide in the end. Talk not yell stay calm it dose work let us know if you have and Q about it i am happy to help If I can.

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Jericho - posted on 12/04/2013

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Of course, I have the answer.

The 4 year old daughter is just reflection of you. She was born to learn and show you something.

Remember, you are GOD for her and all she knows, she learned from you mostly.

So, the best thing you can do is, that you start to listen to her, because at 4 years she can better listen to herself then you can listen to yourself. She might see things that you can't see any more. So, pay attention and everything should fix, either you change or you accept her the way she is!

The only way to have things changed is that you change.

Christina Lee - posted on 10/30/2012

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I think she should not do fhat to u i mean its so obvious that she judt wants attention

Courtney - posted on 09/20/2012

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I have a 3 yr old daughter and a 1 yr old daughter. My 3 yr old has completely lost any interest in listening to daddy, nana, or me! I hate going out, because she will not listen to anything and I feel like I have lost control! I have no clue what to do. Her pediatrician recently suggested a book for me to read called '1-2-3 Magic'. I have it ordered so we will see if that helps!

Theresa May - posted on 09/17/2012

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i have 5 yrs old daughter..she is demanding too and sometimes I lost my temper..she reason out so well that i could not answer back..but in other side of that she is sweet and she make me smile..maybe all children had thier temper too its up to us parents to understand them,,maybe it come to the limit but we are here for them to give love and understanding...

Annika - posted on 09/15/2012

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My nine year old doesn't listen either and it drives

Me nuts. Now I can't wait till its Monday and I hate the weekends!!

Flower - posted on 09/11/2012

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Hi there,

You re not the only one. Have a 4 year old boy. When I ask him to switch off the tv to go and brush his teeth then get ready for bed,he just ignores my instructions. So I turn off the tv, and he take the remote and turn i on even when I say no. I prepare him in advance that his diner would be ready soon he says ok but when I go. And ask him to come to the table he just refuses and Jamps on the sofa or lies down. When I pick him up at school at 3 h 15 pm , I leave him to play in the school outdoor area for 45 min . He is very happy but as soon as I ask him to go home he just runs away from me many times. I see all his friends listen to their mums and just leave as soon as they are aske to, but for me it is always a nightmare. So I sometimes lose control and either shout at him or smack him on the hand or the bottom, when he is really naughty with me.

Please help as I m not happy when I do that and I want him to be more responsively me.

At school he is perfect.he is never happy or satisfied ! He always complains about something.

Alexis - posted on 11/24/2011

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great i just noticed this was posted 2 yrs ago, i hope you managed to get ontop of the problem :)

Alexis - posted on 11/24/2011

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i have a 4yo adn 6yo they are both pretty full on kids, they love to ignore me, yell kick hit etc. i have found that reward charts work well with them, i have one that only has 5 things on it, "nice hands" "nice feet" "listening ears" "use a tissue" " nice words"
i sat down with them and asked them what things we can and cant do at home, i made up a list of 12 house rules, thinks like, no toys at the dinner table, no playing with knifes, no yelling at mum, no hiting mum, play with balls outside etc, then at the bottom of the list i drew a huge heart and put loving things in it, "mummy loves you" "we read together" " lots of laughs" etc
in the first week they had to do the basics, no hitting, kicking, swearing, answer mummy when she calls you.
as the weeks have gone on i have added new things to the list, so for the hands its no hittng, pinching, throwing things etc, feet are kicking and hurting with feet, words now includes yelling at eachother and saying sad things to eachother, it seems to be working, once they get stickers in the one day i give them a tangable treat, like a sticker or a cheap medal, but if they get 5 sad faces then they have to give me a favorite toy for 2 sleeps, and if they get 5 sad faces for the same thing in 1 week then they have to give me their favorite toy for 5 sleeps..
so far so good, i have just given my 1st medal and i havent collected any toys...
it is hard to be consistant, but i am into the 3rd week and i have seen great improvement,
also i give them 3 chances, so if they kick a door, i will say to them " is that on our house rules" and then i remind them about the chart, if they do it again, then i say " once more and you loose your smiley face for your feet"
as i said it is starting to work..

i hope this helps

Jenny - posted on 10/31/2009

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hi i also have a four year old daughter and was going through the same i found that house rules with consiquences the same every time and also a star chart rewarding for good behaviour helped ,also when she did break the rules a pointed out to her what she had done wrong a followed through witha consequence,once she noticed the pattern that i was going to following through every time she learnt,also lots of praise when they are rewarded a star for good behaviour they love it,also stay calm good luck

Amy - posted on 07/04/2009

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i have the same problem too! and it kills me because it can be downright dangerous! he is terribly energetic as he is a 4 yr old boy and he loves to run far ahead of me when we are walking or going in the car but..i live on a terribly busy street and i have to run as fast as i can if he hasnt already crossed the street. he scares me it doesnt maTTER WHAT i say or do he wont listen i go crazy because i stay home with him all day and night and my husband works two jobs and when he comes home and sees our son like that he says you see its your fault i hate it becaUSE I REALLY TRY.,.,

Kris - posted on 06/20/2009

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Oh my goodness so in the same boat! she started getting worse a few months back before we had our second baby in arpil 09. I have the not listening and the attitude to go with it of a teenager already, its horible, esp. when timeouts dont work, taking stuff away doesnt work anymore she will simply just give it to us and say she doesnt want it anymore anyways. we even tried to spank (not hard at all, so those of you who would freak out dont, Im not a bad mom just trying differnt ways to disapline my child and find what works luckily it does not becuase i would feel so bad) her but she laughs. I Even tried reward charts for good behaviour listening and such, it didnt work after like 3weeks. I too am at a loss if you get any good advice let me know as i will let you know as well. Short of needing Nanny Joe to come help me. maybe im a wimpy parent or I guess I need to be more consistent.

Rosalia - posted on 05/23/2009

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Quoting Andrea:

Sooooooooooooo not alone and its not only girls, my son is out of control he reminds me of the screeming kids on te supper nannie sometimes just dose not listen. We went to a conference about dealing with little demons and the gist of it was there old anough to get it but not old anough to understand it so the things we were told was to give them the op eg. will not eat dinner? ok eat dinner and get your ice block or you don't have to eat dinner and you can go to bed right now and not get a ice block. I am not fully convinced yet but it is early days we d it for every thing down to the arguement over opening the milk in the car the choice was open it and you will not have it or wait till you get hime and you can have it, I found following through was the hardist no milk means no milk and trust me the tantrums have been herd in china but he is slowly learning to listen to his choices because if he dose not he has to sit in his room till he decideds and then fingers crossed its the positive one he was in there crying for 3hours the first day every five min I went in there and asked the same Q all calm and everything he did decide in the end. Talk not yell stay calm it dose work let us know if you have and Q about it i am happy to help If I can.


How is your "fight" going?  I am trying the same method.  It seems to be working but we do have our moments from time to time.  Would love to hear more from you about your journey.

Rosalia - posted on 05/23/2009

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I have the same problem. My daughter will be 4 in Sept. Some things I do. If you have to punish, try to be as unemotional as possible. Don't yell, cry, scream, tear your hair out, you know what I mean, all the things that will make you feel better. Just tell her to go to the corner, or what ever the punishment is.

DON'T give in. Mistake, then she will walk all over you. If you use the corner, I find the best way is to have a little timer going and set it for how ever long you want, then go about your business. Only engage your child when she is out of the corner. This really gets to my daughter. She hates it when I don't answer her. You will see the behavior will get better, but remember they are not perfect.

Also, when your child starts acting up, and I have to catch myself all of the time, step back, look at the situation, is she over stimulated, bored, tired? Many times if I can redirect her to something else, we are fine.

I hope this helps. This is a great group and I hope to learn and share lots with all of you.

Kristen - posted on 05/09/2009

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I have a 4 year old son who is driving me absolutely to my breaking point. He has so much energy and does not listen or sit still for 1 minute. I have tried many things as well to no avail. I mostly try the naughty chair and sometimes works and sometimes doesn't. He normally just screams "your a meanie" at the top of his lungs. I really am at my wits end at times. It is so good to know that I am not alone. This all started a little before he turned 4. I guess it is now the terrible 4s.

Ashley - posted on 04/07/2009

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MY DAUGHTER HAS ALWAYS LISTENED TO ME UNTIL NOW THAT SHES 4 SO I CANT HELP U SORRY

Katie - posted on 03/11/2009

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My daughter is 4 and she won't listen to me. She's a sweet little angel for everybody else. Seriously... any of you ladies could take her and you'd think I was crack. But if it's jut me alone, she's the devil incarnate. I've also tried everything. Sitting in a chair in a corner (sings to herself) She gets in trouble for talking or singing and she growls at me! I've sat her on the steps, on the toilet seat even! I just started telling her that I was disappointed in her (it worked for me as a kid). She always asked me if I'm proud of her when she picks up her toys or something and I'd say yes and she gets ecstatic! So I thought a little reverse might work. When she does something wrong or bad, I tell her I'm disappointed in her. She cries and then does whatever it is that I've asked her to do, or STOPS doing whatever it is that she was doing in the first place.

Although I have to point out this does not always work. But for the most part we live a happy little life when it's just us, now.

[deleted account]

my daughter is like the freaking devil. one minute she is as sweet as can be next she can be soo mean and hurtful and she doesnt listen. she says inapropriate things like talk to my hiney and stuff like that she doesnt listen to me her father or his mother but for my mom and grandparents she is soo good. i've done everything nothing works.

Amanda - posted on 03/05/2009

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Thanks for your help Andrea, will try your suggestions and let you know how I get on.

Christine - posted on 02/24/2009

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Keep in mind my daughter is 8 and my son is 4. When my daughter does this I remind her that she is setting the example for her younger brother. I then talk to her about whatever the offense was, why we don't do that, the whole 9 yards. She usually ends in tears because she realizes what impact her actions have om herself and our family.

I too have been thru the yelling, screaming, taking away, spanking, time outs. I hope that this helps.

[deleted account]

You are not alone.  My daughter has recently been ot of control.  We have also tried all types of discipline including spankings.  Nothing seems to be helping.  We are desperate for help.  She is my oldest of three.  I also have a 2 year old little girl and a 7 month old boy.  Something needs to change aruond here fast before I lose my mind.  I hope someone posts some ideas that have worked for them. 

Anne - posted on 02/15/2009

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I am having the same problem with my 4 year old daughter and I haven't really found anything that works either although I am still trying a few other things so if I find anything that works I will let you know and if you find something please let me know.

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