Any advice for a 35 month old toddler who refuses to get dressed, refuses to stop screaming, and only listens to my husband?!!

Parvathi - posted on 03/02/2012 ( 3 moms have responded )

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I love DS, and he is usually a very sweet kid when we are one-on-one. However, when my husband is at home, we have more issues. I'm 34+ weeks pregnant, and have opted to stay home during this pregnancy. I want to help as much as I can, but mornings and evenings have become a battleground. We (DS and I) butt heads over everything! He ignores me, and refuses to listen. I'm so fatigued these days, and putting him in timeouts aren't effective anymore. He just laughs and thinks everything is s game. If DH is home, he ends up getting involved. For example, I took 45-60 minutes to get his face washed, brush his teeth, put on clothes, and eat breakfast. That's with several episodes of running away, screaming, throwing things, etc. I feel like I've lost control! At daycare, he won't listen and refuses to come home. A 4 minute walk to our apartment can take 30 minutes! And cajoling him to stop playing with friends? Another 20 minutes! One hour a day is wasted on making him come home, and then we get into evening battles with meal time, etc. He goes to bed around 730-800 pm and I am so spent by the end of the day! If there is anybody in a similar situation, please clue me in on what's wrong here. Am I too nice? I don't believe in corporal punishment and don't like to raise my voice, but I'm getting cornered by a 3 year old who is very clever for his age and most likely gifted. I want to foster a good environment and use that energy to teach him, not scold him for every bad/naughty act.

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Parvathi - posted on 03/08/2012

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Thanks for all the great advice and support! I am now getting down to his level and making more eye contact. He is now apologizing more to me and responding to requests much faster. I try to compliment him when he behaves, and it's definitely a work-in-progress!

Gabrielle - posted on 03/08/2012

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I know how you feel. My almost 3 year old son is like that. He is fine during the day but when his dad gets home or its the weekend he thinks dad is the boss and i dont have to listen to mommy.

Jenni - posted on 03/02/2012

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A lot is just a phase I believe, it sounds like a lot of the typical challenges of a 3 year old. Some of which are just a lot more independent than others.



We only use time outs in our house for negative reactions to anger/frustration. A way to cool down.



For other behaviours we use natural or logical consequences. These are consequences that try to replicate the natural consequences in the "real world". An example of a consequence would be, he doesn't eat his dinner, he doesn't get to eat dessert with the rest of the family. You can usually invent one for most behaviours with a little brainstorming.



If he's throwing fits and not listening on a walk home, bring a stroller. Get down to his level, make eye contact and say firmly but quietly. "We walk nice on our way home. We follow mommy. We stay close to mommy. If we don't listen we ride in the stroller (consequence)."-- warning.



If he repeats the unwanted behaviour. Get down to his level again and tell him "Mommy told you to walk nice or you would ride in the stroller." -follow up consistently



Make sure you're allowing him choices to satisfy his independence. And use them to your advantage. I find you'll get a much more cooperative toddler if you say: "Which would you like to wear today? The robot shirt or your dinosaur shirt?" (in an excited voice). Instead of "Ok. Let's get dressed...." (boring to a toddler).



Always try to phrase things as what "he can do, should do" instead of what "he can't do, shouldn't do." I think children respond much better to being taught appropriate behaviour rather than being punished for negative behaviour.

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