how do i get my 3 year old to listen to me?

Michelle - posted on 04/14/2010 ( 10 moms have responded )

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I have a 3 year old son, and he does not listen to me. He is good when my friends watch him but he is a wild maniac for me. Eatting dinner is a constant battle he always wants snacks and I give into him because I dont want to hear him whine and cry...what will work without hearing the constant battle? I know everything he does cant always result in a time out so what else can I try to make sure he knows the behavior he is doing is not acceptable?? please help

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Melvina - posted on 09/03/2010

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You must stop giving into him just because he whines and cries or this will continue or even get worse as he gets older. Say no and mean it! If you don't want to hear the whining and crying, tell him to stop it or to be quiet, if the crying continues tell him to go to his room until he is finished crying. Stand firm each time, and it will stop. Tough love is often neccessary at this age, especially with boys. Teach kids early to respect boundries and to respect you.

Pauline - posted on 04/14/2010

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I agree with what has been said. Dont do battles though over dinner it is not worth the stress, if he isnt going to eat when it is dinner time then dont panic about it. When my daughter was his age she refused to eat i used to stress and end up crying (it didnt help that she was underweight for her age) but i learnt quickly a few tips I am hoping will help you
1. kids WONT intentionally starve themselves
2. most kids prefer to snack so offer smaller meals during the day and then at dinner offer smaller portions of what you have cooked on the plate to make it look interesting maybe make faces etc
3. Juice and milk fill children up so use this as a treat AFTER meals
4. dont use food as a punishment or a reward as such
5. Let him whine and cry dont give in to that behaviour because it just encourages the behaviour if the whining etc is too much then make sure he is safe and leave the room and take some deep breaths to calm youself before you go back in to deal with it
6. Remember it is his behaviour that is not acceptable not him so tell him that is a stern but calm voice ' your behaviour is not acceptable because.....'

Goodluck Michelle i hope it all goes well for you, I think the hardest thing about doing battle is the guilt that you can feel if he looks at you will teary eyes. Stay strong and best wishes to you both

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Kylie - posted on 08/30/2010

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ditto my son learn't very early on i don't dig the whinging thing it drives me mentle so i just walk away and he losses anyway. no means no i explain why to him so he file it but thats that.

Antonia - posted on 08/26/2010

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Sorry if someone else already said this, but here goes. I have a really hard time with whining. I tell my kids, "I'm sorry, Mommy doesn't understand you. Can you please use your words?" It gives me a chance to calm down and it helps them do the same. I also tell them this is a no whine zone, but that's just me being a smartie and it never works.

Kylie - posted on 04/18/2010

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oh sweetie you have been conned!!!! children are such intelligent cunning individuals that from birth their functioning and behavioural skills are very tunned in. and they pick up very quickly on button pushing skills. i went to a couple of classes called 123 magic as i found it extremely difficult with a child that despite ADHD has an above average IQ and knows how to use it. also being an only child and very dearly loved it was so hard for me when it came to no and dont do that because of my childhood, i was afraid i would lose it and well have a child that feared rather then love and respect me.

the 123 method when used correctly works like a dream. it does that patience to start but stick to your guns dont yell and screem because you do that and the battle is lost. instead remain calm talk to them eye to eye and time out is a minute to the age group. there are DVD's on this course available and i would suggest it to everyone as now having a six year old he knows and understands the value of positive reienforcement rather than the negative even though they have been punished there is no yelling screeming you can do it in public as well and you feel so much more confident in communication and your children trust you to be there for them with other things and dont fear you they look up to you as a loving fair parent. and trust me 3yr olds do understand you keep it simple straight to the point. explain what you arde going to do from now on then when you say 1 its only for one behaviour at a time and what will happen if they get to 3 if time out doesnt work which it didnt for my son taking something away did it was like finding gold. i commenced this with my son at the age of three and it has been a charm ever since. he knows the WII skate board scooter DSi etc will be gone for a week if i get to 3. goodluck and be strong and remember remain calm!!!! :)

Danielle - posted on 04/17/2010

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let him help get dinner ready. i knw that he is only 3. but my 3 yr old was doing the samething them i started letting her dump things in to the pan. and also let her help pick out what we were having for dinner. i would show her 2 things and let her pick from them. now dinner is fun and she eats. on the behavior part you are just gone to have to let him cry. i learned the hard way with my son when he was that age.

Michelle - posted on 04/17/2010

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thanks everyone i really need to stop giving in im gonna try a few things that were mentioned and see if that works...i just hate the whining but i guess i can deal with it to make him listen to me and realize mommy runs the house not him

Tiffany - posted on 04/14/2010

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Consistency is key. Do not give in. My daughter is almost 2. She will repeat the same thing over and over and over again in a whiny voice and she gets the same answer every time. I get down to her level, I tell her to look at me, and I firmly tell her "Mommy said no" If she starts to throw a fit or cry, I make her go to her room and she always comes out when she is finished.I do not give in, ever. At dinner time, we occasionally have issues and it is because it is something she simply does not like. I make her take a few bites and if I can tell she doesn't like it I will offer her something else. I schedule her snacks as well. Morning, afternoon, then one in the evening if she ate a good dinner. If she did not eat well, she gets cereal and not the fun stuff. I give her Multi Grain Cheerios on nights like that.
Since you already in the pattern of giving in, it will be hard before it becomes easy. I wish you luck. Stay firm, they need that.

Stacy - posted on 04/14/2010

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I use that method for dinner as well. If she doesn't eat it, then she doesn't get anything else the rest of the night until it is gone. She doesn't give us to much of a problem now, but it did take a little while. My daughter likes to snack too, but I have kind of scheduled those now to. She gets breakfast then a little morning snack, lunch then usually a little snack after nap then dinner. More times then none that works for her.

Jennifer - posted on 04/14/2010

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I hate to say this but you are going to have to listen to him whine and cry a bit. You mentioned giving in and the truth is that he knows you'll get frustrated and give up before he does. Once he actually learns that you have decided you won't cave it should get easier but it'll probably get harder first as he battles to see which one of you is REALLY the boss.



One thing a co-worker told me he, and his wife, did when they were having dinner battles though was that if they kids didn't eat their dinner, when it was time for the evening snack, they got whatever it was they hadn't eaten at dinner instead of the actual snack that the siblings got. You didn't mention siblings so I don't know if the sibling pressure would work but having to eat broccoli for a snack instead of graham crackers (one of my daughter's favorites) might make him more inclined to eat his dinner when it's offered.

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