Toddlers and discipline

Caitlin - posted on 04/19/2011 ( 6 moms have responded )

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My 3 1/2 year old daughter will NOT listen to me at all. A lot of the times I feel like the world's worst mom because 1) I can't control my own daughter and she never listens 2) when she doesn't listen I get mad/angry and most of the time yell. I HATE yelling at her, and I know that it just makes the situation worse and is absolutely no good for her, myself, or our relationship. I need help! How do I get her to listen? And how I can I stop yelling at her? I know that last question sounds simple..."just stop" but it's harder than it sounds. I get so frustrated. I just wish I knew other ways to get her to listen. And actually, even when I yell, she still doesn't listen...which really isn't a big surprise. I just don't know what to do and desperately need some help/advice.

Thanks.

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Sarah - posted on 04/20/2011

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Instead of getting mad and angry at the choice she has choosen let her suffer the consequence for that choice. I know this is easier said then done, but it does make life a lot easier and they do learn from it. Right now her only consequence for not listening is getting yelled at, which she can tune out....so there is no reason for her to listen. Make sure when you are wanting her to listen to you you get down to her level and make her have eye contact with you. This helps to focus their attention on what you are saying. If she does not listen then you give 1 warning. The warning is given in the same way listed above (at her level with eye contact). In the warning you also explain what will happen if she continues to not listen.....make this short and simple and be ready to follow through with what you say. So no empty threats. This is where you have to be ready to be consistant and follow through. If you let something go with 5 warnings one time then she will push it the next 20 times to see how many warnings she will get. And if you don't follow through on the consequence EACH time then she will push that too because she was able to get away with it one time. Also realize that the consequence is going to hurt her more then you...so don't get upset with the choice she made because she is the one that is going to have to deal with the consequence. For example....she gets a warning and then a time out for not listening. She has to sit there for 3 mins. not being able to play, watch TV, or interact with anyone.....pretty boring and devastating for a 3 yr old. You on the other hand get to relax, continue what you are doing without having to yell at her, or flip the tv to something you enjoy watching for a few minutes. She suffers the consequence and you get a treat.....so enjoy those 3 mins. I babysit a little boy that when he gets mad he will do things for a reaction out of me. If you get pulled in it can make you angry, but if you look at it for what it is there have been times I have to hold back my laughter. His actions are not funny, but how he is going about trying to get attention can be. When he does not get the reaction he wants then he stops.
It is going to take some time....well maybe a lot of time and being consistant before it gets better. There are going to be times when you feel like nothing is working, but if you stay consistant and follow through EACH time amazingly one day it starts to make a difference.

Heather - posted on 04/21/2011

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I did have that problem...you are going to have to make the biggest change. Its really hard, but worth having a child that is just as calm as you will be. Children feed off your reaction...the worse it is the worse they are going to behave. When they do something thats against the rules you first kneel down to their lever and give them a warning that "if they don't stop they will go in time out " if they do it again make them sit in time out for 1 minute for each year. so if they are 2 they stay for 2 minutes. To get them there you kneel down to their level and say calmly "you did _____ now you have to sit in time out for 2 minutes." Now within that 2 minutes if they get up you take them back...kneel down to their level and say "Whenever you leave time out before 2 minutes your time starts over" start your timer over and wait. When the timer is done you have to walk over to your child kneel down to their level and ask them to say they are sorry. If they don't say they are sorry they stay 2 more minutes. you can say calmly "until you can tell mommy sorry for _____ you will sit here" It took my 2 year old a week to get the picture. But now she knows what the rules are. She doesn't hit as much as she use to...or talk back as much either. Your children are a reflection of you and if you yell and spank (either their butt or hands) they will do the same. Thats how they are learning to cope. I believe you can have as mush success as i have. Just take it one day at a time and pick whats really worth getting mad over.

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Rodger - posted on 05/10/2013

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The easiest command in the world to issue is the simple 4 letter word S T O P..... However it is the hardest command to understand or obey.

Santa - posted on 10/10/2012

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They say in school he doesn't listen do you think he needs a behavior therapist?. At 3 I don't want him to be labeled in school

Bridgett - posted on 04/20/2011

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WOW I have the same problem with my 2 1/2 yo. I'm trying to nip it now by punishing him depending on the severity. For example if he's throwing toys I put them up where he can see them but not touch and remind him why he can't have them. Or if its something more dangerous like opening doors or using plug ins he gets time out. In public or at someones house I don't want a fit so I ask someone else to tell him "no" but hopefully I can stop that before he catches on. Hope this helps and good luck!

Adrianne - posted on 04/19/2011

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oh I so know where your coming from my almost 5 y/o is exactly the same.Hubby and I just did the 1,2,3 magic and emotion coaching course and so far so good. If you google it you'll find books and dvd's on the program, the guy who started the program is Dr Thomas Phelan. Well worth a look. It takes perserverance but the end result (a better behaved child and a less stressed mum) is well worth the time and effort.
Good luck with it :-)

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