how to get a 15 month old to listen?

Shara - posted on 09/27/2011 ( 10 moms have responded )

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My daughter is almost 16 months old and I am having a really hard time listening. She knows what NO means but if i tell her to come here or to get out of a room ( like the kitchen) she just looks at me and pretty much ignores me. Sometimes she will just cry and throw a fit if she doesnt get her way. I never really had this problem with my son when he was that age. Any suggestions for getting her to listen?

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[deleted account]

Trying phrasing it in a positive way. When you are cooking and she comes in the kitchen, "Oh honey, look at these blocks in the living room. I bet you can build a tall tower with them!"

Connie - posted on 09/27/2011

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if there are rooms that are off limits then you should gate them off. it is easier to allow them to explore. rearrange things so harmful stuff is out of reach. you do not want to discourage curiosity. if there is a genuine danger than you should probably just physically remove her from the room. when she gets a little older and can understand better then try speaking softly...and dont pay attention to fits it only makes them worse.

Amy - posted on 09/27/2011

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Just keep repeating it, it'll be good practice for when she's a teenager, lol. Your daughter is learning and exploring and discovering, she doesn't realize everything isn't safe. Do you best to set up safe areas in your home where she can play and explore everything without hearing the dreaded no word. One thing I do with my daughter who is now 18 months old is distracting, if she wants something she can't have I try and trade her something she can have. I also give her options so she feels like she has choices like which shirt to wear.

As far as the tantrums go the first time my daughter threw her self on the ground and started screaming her brother pointed and laughed at her, I'm pretty sure that was not the reaction she was going for. I've always ignored the tantrums at home as long as she's safe. They don't happen frequently because she get absolutely nothing from them not even negative attention.

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Sherri - posted on 09/27/2011

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I agree she 100% understands what you are asking of her. She just doesn't want to do what you are asking of her. I would explain what you expect of her on her level. Such as mommy has to cook now and you will get boo boo's so go you can't be in here and either remove her or block off the kitchen.

She may cry but she will learn that when you say she can't do something you mean it and will begin to listen a bit better as long as you are consistent.

Lauren - posted on 09/27/2011

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I believe she knows what you are saying. My 14 month old daughter knows a lot and then just "ignores" me when she doesn't want to listen. I ask her to get a toy, she runs to get it. I ask her to get her water, she goes to get it. I ask her to do just about anything, she does it. As long as she wants to. I ask her not to touch something... she screams. A friend of mine suggested time outs. I thought she was crazy, but after some research and from seeing her do it, it's not a bad idea. I just picked her up and faced her to the wall. She cried and walked away, but then when she walked back to the table to grab things off, she looked at me first. I said no and she walked away. Give it a shot. What could it hurt?

Connie - posted on 09/27/2011

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i have 4 very intelligent, very well behaved children ranging in age from 16 to 6...they find off limit areas and things very attractive...I found with the girls it was easier to allow them their own space in the kitchen with things they could play with...they are all about attention and when it is no longer a big deal they find other things to do. my girls were not allowed in the kitchen while cooking was going on and they were taught early that the stove was an ouch and they were very careful of it. I know they understood as well, but they dont process like adults...I use "no" but also find that often it is even easier to offer something they can do such as setting up a cabinet and a drawer in the kitchen that they can get in....pots pans plastic or wooden spoons....my advice for what it is worth. good luck and God bless

[deleted account]

Juleah i usually agree with you...However a 16 month old is fully capable of knowing fluent English. Our fine motor skills are not fully developed enough to speak, but our ears can hear. I know this for a 100% FACT. I can remember my entire life from birth. I remember understanding what people were saying before i could walk.

I do agree that she is not ignoring you. She understands, but her impulsive little self is not capable of listening to your requests 100% of the time.

I also despise using NO as a way to tell your child not to do something. Its much more effective if you say a more positive response. Like if my daughter goes into the bathroom where she is not allowed without me. I say "Do we need to go in there?" If she doesn't want to try the potty she usually closes the door.

[deleted account]

I do believe she most likely understands a lot of what you are telling her (I've seen it in my own kids), but her impulse control is minimal to nonexistant at the moment. Repitition, distraction, and removal are much more effective than 'expecting' her to listen and behave. That WILL come more and more w/ time and consistency.

Shara - posted on 09/27/2011

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about a gate, our doorway to too wide and the gate does not fit and to Juleah Willson, my daughter DOES understand! She has no problem listening on other things for instance, she KNOWS that she is not allowed in the bathroom alone, so when she tries to open the door and I say NO she shuts it and walks away, but it is the complete opposite when it comes to the kitchen. as far as my meaning of saying no, she understands that when I simply say No, No she is doing something that shes not aloud. I understand that her brain is still developing but I also know that she understands things that I say, she is not too young. If I say no she stops what she is doing, if I say put this in the trash,she does it, if I say find your shoes, she does, If I say clean up the toys, she does. and so on. The only issue I am having is getting her to understand she cant be in the kitchen by herself just like she knows about the bathroom.

JuLeah - posted on 09/27/2011

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No, she doesn't understand you. She is making effort to comply. I am amazed by the number of parents that think their babies understand. They don't. 16 months is not a long time with a new language and add to that she has the developing brain of a baby.



Add to this too the many meanings of 'No' You say 'No' for this occurance and you mean, 'don't touch' You say 'no' for this occurance and you actually mean 'wait I'll be right there' ... 'no' means something different each time you say it



She cries in frusteration I am sure. She knows she is not pleasing you, knows you are unhappy with her. That frightens her and she doesn't know how to fix it.



She is not ignoring you. Their brains are not wired to ignore mom. She is watching she is listening. She pays attention to your body langauge more then your words right now.

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