3 Year old daughter will NOT listen!!!!!

Erin - posted on 02/24/2009 ( 19 moms have responded )

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SO my wonderfully smart three year old daughter is not a good listener. She will only listen if the word "candy" appears in the sentence, so selective hearing is her thing. She does the same thing at school, her teacher tel her not to do something and she does it anyway. They ask her to do something, and she won;t do t or she will say "I don't want to right now". Shes a sweetie but this need to be completely in control is driving me nuts!!!!

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Leila - posted on 06/03/2009

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I have had the same problem with my 3 year old twins. I would swear they were deaf except they hear things they want to hear and anything I really DONT want them to hear. I have had to get tough and lay down the law. Strict time outs for not listening. If we are outside playing, I don't care how much fun everyone is having, if someone ignores me or does not come when called etc... , they go inside and miss out on the fun. It has not taken much of this for them to begin to see the light. It is hard as I don't want to deprive them of fun but it is the only thing that works. I have also found, on the flip side, that positive reinforcement works now that they are getting the hang of this listening thing. I can tell them that IF they do or don't do this, they will get this. At 3 1/2 they are finally getting old enough to understand. For example, IF they run down the school hall in the afternoon, then I will force them to hold my hand all the way to the car, but if they walk like big kids, then they can walk to the car by themselves. It is working.

Joy - posted on 05/30/2009

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Oh it happens to them all at 3yrs - their ears switch off! Apparently it happens again when they hit their teens, you have been warned. LOL



The trickl is to keep the request/sentance simple, get down and make eye contact and repeat it. Stop them doing what they are doing and make them focus if they still won't listen. Try to avoid negatives like "Don't do..." or "Stop..." or "I don't like it when" and swap them for positive things instead. "How about you do...." " I really like it when..."



try to talk in their language and style too - they love it.

Liz - posted on 03/08/2009

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Getting control of the situation is going to get you farther than you think. My husband uses negotiation with my daughter, and she runs tantrums around him. I give her two choices, and sometimes they are not choice at all...."You have a choice, either eat your carrots or go to time out." Sometimes she actually chooses time out, then after time out I tell her to eat her carrots. My last resort when she gets really riled up is to put her in bed, no matter the time of day. You will spend a week in this mode of frustration, but I am suggesting you hang in there to get the upper hand. Children naturally want to have control, but they also want some direction. Oh, and fill this week full of encouragement and praise for all of the good things she does. She is a good kid, just a little strong willed. Look on the bright side, she will not be influenced by others, which will be good in the teen years!

Brandie - posted on 03/07/2009

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my son is very defient.. we use the corner as punishment. what i started to do was give him a choice... for example:



if i want him to pick up his toys and he dosent.. i ask him.."would you like to pick up your toys or would you like to go in timeout in the corner".. he choses to do what i ask 100% of the time.



i know its not realy much of a choice lol, but to him i think he feels more in controll if i ask him this way even tho i know what the obvious choice is!

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Queenbeezoo87 - posted on 03/26/2014

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My 3 grandchildren and daughter has moved into my home almost 3 years ago.My daughter works a full time job. I take care of them every day and night when my daughter is working. The 3 year old has proven to be very headstrong. First off she cries for anything and everything all day long no matter the tone we speak to her or sit down for good eye contact as not to tower over her.. When she wakes from her nap she still cries. My 4 year old and 2 year old no longer cry upon waking from their naps or in the morning The 3 year old wants everything the other children are playing with and will take toys out of their hands and say she had the toy first when in fact she did not. She will refuse share. When we ask her to help clean up toys, go potty (she is potty trained),when we ask her where she is hurt , or put her in an age appropriate time out she will stand firmly in place and stare you down with a very mean look on her face as if to challenge us in any given situation. When she is in her bed for bed time, nap time or a time out she kicks the walls very hard. She can be very happy and having a good time one minute then without any warning change to a very cranky unhappy mood. When we discuss the reason for the time out and ask her something like why did you hit your brother, her response is " because I'm not supposed to" Does anyone have any suggestions? We give each the children special one on one time. I am at my wits end. This is extremely frustrating and exhausting for every one in my home. I feel if I walk away from her as to let her know I am not going to acknowledge her choice in that defiance state that I am giving her the security of winning over the situation.

MIRIAM - posted on 10/28/2012

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I thought I was the only one before reading all of your post... My daughter is three and bright BUT incredibly Stubborn and I cant help but to believe that she has selective hearing. When at school she is great and listens to the teacher but when she is home its like lets see how many buttons I can push. I love her to death but I have those moments when I have to step away for a minute and clear my head n order to deal with her not wanting to listen. I am hoping and praying that this is only a phase and that she will outgrow it... Any tips are very much appreciated.

Ashley - posted on 10/17/2012

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my 3 yr old daughter acts like she rules the world. she witnessedme being abused by someone who is now out of the picture . she hits me, curses,tells me to get something for her "right now". what do i do

Sarah - posted on 10/28/2011

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Well set her down talk to her, and tell her that if she keeps doing this she will be sent to time out. Also take away her favorite toy etc. Also 3 min. is a good time for time out... and DO NOT bribe her with candy !...:)

hope this helps !!
go moms!:)

Wuraola - posted on 07/03/2009

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My (angel) is exactly the same. I will give her simple instruction and she doesn't listen she wants to do it her way or no way. I know she's only 3, so what am I gonna do when she is 13. I will sit her down get on her level and tell her to behave and she will reply with "Mommy I want to behave" like I am trying to behave but you won't let me do my thing so how can I. Sometimes I laugh because this little character has so much personality and it can't be contained.

Jennifer - posted on 06/17/2009

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Catch'em being good. The theory related is that when we reward/prais ethe good behavior, the children will model it more often. Just a subtle pat on the head as you wlak by when your little one is reading a book nicely will encourage that positive behavior.

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its like ye are all describing my 3 and a half year old son!!! so clever yet sooo defiant...but we all have scorpian children when there good there very very good but when there bad there horrid lol.my son thinks he;s the boss,he doesnt listen 2 me or his daddy,he always trys to bargain a situation.hes over intellegent and doesnt grasp when we say no every answers followed by WHY? when we answer that q its another why?very tiring when ur answering a question for him because we've 2 describe every detail with all his whys?

Karrie - posted on 05/20/2009

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I have no good answers for you my three and a half year old son does the same thing. Sometimes I feel like I should tell him what I don't want him to do so he will do what I want him to. It is so frustrating.

Carla - posted on 03/09/2009

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ok im reading this and feel better as my 3 year old daughter is the same, we also do the 1, 2, 3 counting but then if she doesnt listen we put one of her toys in a carrier bag and take it to the bin and then when shes not around we take it out n hide it, first few times not much effect just crying but she soon learned as we took about 5 toys away in first couple of days n she soon realised she wasnt getting them back, we do give her them back but not untill she first got the idea of what was happening,, i hope this helps you.

Megan - posted on 02/27/2009

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Ola,



I know.  I have friends who feel like they are here to be their children's friends, and it always results in the children losing respect for them as parents.  That is why you see 13 and 14 yr olds who are calling their parents names, totally ignoring everything they say, and in some cases, hitting them.  It all starts as young as 3,4 and 5.  Now is when you have to instill a sense of respect in your children.  If you can teach them now that you are in charge, you won't have to do it later, when they are more defiant and independant.



 



Another thing I don't know if I mentioned, whenever your child throws a fit, focus on the fact that they are misbehaving.  Do no even acknowledge what they want or are upset about until they change their behavior.  This will show them that if they want something then throwing a fit will not get it for them.  If you turn a behavior into a useless tool, then children won't use them.  Acting out and misbehaving is one way children try to get attention, for example.  If you don't give them any attention when they are acting out but increase the attention you give them when they are being good, then they will increase their good behavior.  The same with tantrums.  If your child is throwing a tantrum because they want candy, don't give it to them.  Don't even discuss candy with them until they stop.  I often tell my son "I can't understand you when you talk like that." if he is pouting.  He stops crying and throwing a fit to talk to me, and then I re-enforce that if he needs something from me, he needs to stop throwing a fit and use his big boy words.  Then you can use their obsession with candy to your advantage.  I tell my son he can have a piece of gum everytime he cleans his room.  His room gets cleaned like three times a day.  But, I don't fell bad because not only is my three year old cleaning his room, but I can recognize a learned behavior about the relationship between working and reward.  You can also use the same tactics regarding potty training, manners (saying please and thank you), sharing, and just about every other problem area.  And if they just want a piece at random, don't just give it to them.  Make them work for it.  Have them help you with something.  I know it might sound mean, but I don't let my son have anything more than he needs without him doing something to earn it.  It is never to early to teach responsibility, in my opinion.



Best of luck to you all!



Momma Maggie

Ola - posted on 02/27/2009

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Maggie you're on point. I completely agree with all of your suggestions. Mother's take her advice. I actually enforce most of the same tactics you use!! That's great to know! Mother's out there it's very important to make eye contact, be firm, have a calm but direct and forceful voice and MOST IMPORTANTLY STICK TO YOUR WORD. if it's time out for 2, 3, 4, min then that's what it is. Kids know how to test us and see how much they can get away with. In a sens it's kinda like being married. lol You always have to be three steps ahead of them. Lol

Megan - posted on 02/25/2009

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Geenie,



 



The best thing I can tell you is to stop.  Stop babying her.  Stop letting her have her way.  The first fight will be the worst and she will kick and scream and throw a fit.  But you have created these bad habits and now you have to undo them.  One thing I did that helped break some bad habits I had created with my son was to differentiate between a big boy and a little boy.  And the habit I wanted to break was a habit of a little boy.  BUT, all of his toys and privileges were things a big boy got.  So whenever he wanted me to baby him I would ask if he was a big boy and if he said yes then I would tell him that big boys don't do that.  In your case tell her big girls sleep by themselves.  If she refuses and insists that she is a little girl to try and get you to sleep with her, make it unbearable for her.  Tell her that if she is a little girl then you have to take all her big girl stuff away.  Her favorite toy(s), movie(s), candy, dessert, whatever she has that she really loves.  In the end she will decide she would rather have her 'big girl' stuff and give up her little girl habit then continue on the way she has been.  Unfortunately, it sounds like you have lost the place of mother in your relationship with your daughter.  She sounds like she does not respect your place in the family, and if we aren't careful as parents, that can happen quickly.  I myself am just coming out of that problem with my son.  All you can do is force the situations to change in your favor and maintain consistency.  She will start to see that you mean business and you will find that your problems begin to take care of themselves.  As I told Erin, try rewarding her for acting like a big girl, and set up boundaries and punishments for when she misbehaves.  And then stick to them.  Regardless.  It is going to suck.  You are gonna wanna cry, but it will only get worse if you relinquish control as a parent this early in their life.  My son had this huge thing of telling you he wasn't your friend if he didn't get what he wanted.  That hurts, as a parent.  But once you set the boundaries and you hold firm no matter what, they realize they are gonna have to do what you say sooner or later anyways.  The longer you wait to take back the role of parent the harder it will be to do so.  Right now your daughter is treating you like a playmate.  Or a friend that she can boss around.  You don't HAVE to do anything because your daughter wants it.  Remember that.  Sometimes you just have to fight the fight until they give in first.  What has happened is that, for whatever reason, we give in first and when that happens, they immediately jump on it and push the limits even further.



The best example of this I can give anyone is potty training my son.  I tried off and on for a couple months, but everytime I told him to go he would end up just deciding he didn't want to go and that was the end of it.  I let him decide he didn't want to go until it got to the point that, if he wanted to, he could go into the bathroom take off his pants and diaper, use the toilet, wipe himself, and flush without ever having to say anything to anyone.  I decided at that point that it had become a power struggle.  So, we got up one day and I told him he was never going to wear diapers again.  I put underwear on him and every half an hour I made him pee in the toilet.  He screamed and cried and threw the BIGGEST fit the first day.  Peed through NINE pairs of underwear.  But by the end of the week I had cut back to five times a day and he wasn't wetting himself at all.  By the end of week two he was completely potty trained.  All it took was a couple days of consistent, routine behavior for him to realize this I was the one calling the shots and this is what was going to go down, whether he liked it or not.  Once he realized I wasn't going to give in, he stopped fighting me.  You just have to set your feelings aside (because that's what causes us to feel like we should give them everything they ever want and leads to spoiled children) and let our instincts for what is best for them take over.  And don't give in.  No matter what else happens you cannot give in.



Children are smarter than I think we give them credit for.  Mine is at least, I know that.  He can reason and figure out cause and effect of certain behavior at a much younger age than I expected it and at a much more advanced level than I was ready for.  Never underestimate the manipulative powers of children.  They know when they have won you over and they will push the boundaries until you hold them.  Hard to hear, but it is true.



 



Momma Maggie

Gennie - posted on 02/25/2009

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i have a 3 year old daughter who doesn't listen as well. She is very bright and listen to everyone else in her life except me.. No suprise i am a single mom and her father is not in her life at all really. at night when i put her to bed i have to lie with her for an hour just for her to get to sleep. if anyone has any suggestions please let me know

Megan - posted on 02/25/2009

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Erin,



First, let me say I share your frustration.  My three year old has/had the same problem.  We are slowly growing out of it.  What I have come to realize is that as they get older and we allow them more independance, they percieve this as control and dominance.  When my son acts out or doesn't listen, I get his attention and make sure he is looking at me.  Then when I know he is, I ask him if this is how we act or if this is how a good boy acts.  Then, if and sometimes when, he refuses to respond, I continue to make him look at me and do not let him do anything else until he answers me.  And if he does something wrong, I take something that he really likes.  I don't know about your daughter, but my son has this one toy he takes everywhere with him.  And is he doesn't listen, I take it away until he is ready to behave.  That usually gets his attention.  Then, if all else fails, I put him in the corner or in time out.  I have a Scattegories game, and the buzzer on it runs for two minutes then makes a notifiable "Whoosh" noise.  He knows this noise to mean the time out is over and he can get out.  I know it is exhausting, but the key to making any child behave is consistency.  If your daughter gets away with bad behavior, then someone, somewhere, let her.  Not necissarily you.  But children learn by trial and error.  If you consistently do something they don't like (such as take a toy away or refuse them dessert or candy) when they do something you don't like, then they will inevitably give in and start listening more.  Also, something I noticed helped with my son, is give them more attention when they are being good.  A lot of the time we take for granted the fact that our child did what they were supposed to or used the toilet or didn't make a mess when they ate.  But we generally always give them attention when they are misbehaving.  So, you might try some verbal rewards when she does happen to listen.  I tell my son, "Thank you for listening Peyton.  That's a good boy." When he cleans his room or picks up his dirty clothes or eats all his food like I tell him to.



 



I hope this helps. =)



 



Momma Maggie

Gizzelle - posted on 02/25/2009

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My three year old daughter is very controlling and demanding. SHe is bright and social and totally behaves when in school, but torments me at home. She also has a six month old brother whom she adores, but she actually gets all the attention when she is home and he gets practically none beside being fed, changed, clothed, etc... I feel drained and annoyed.

You have probably heard these suggestions, but I have tried the counting to three warning 1) I m asking you to... 2) you now need to...3) this is your last warning or I will need to put one of your favorite toys away until you are ready to listen.

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