My son (who's 3) needs to be asked to do things repeatedly and then removed physically. He almost never seems able to respond at the first request, I'm always having to lower my voice or remove him from things. How do I get him to listen?

Ariana - posted on 12/31/2012 ( 1 mom has responded )

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I understand he's not going to listen to everything I say or respond the first time for everything but it's ALL THE TIME. I can't just say, stop doing that, I have to say it twice, lower my voice, and then go over and stop him.

For example yesterday he was in the bathroom and turned the water on and I said, don't touch the tap, he did it agian, Hey don't touch it, get away from there, did it again, I had to physically go over and move him. He'll be messing with the garbadge can in the kitchen and he won't stop, and eventually I have to physically remove him from the room and then he starts going AHHH and pushing at me to get back in the kitchen. I ask him to pick up his toys (which he's usually pretty good with, and it's the only thing he's really asked to do) and sometimes he'll do it fine and other times he'll dawdle, and start doing it and I have to remind him over and over AND OVER to keep doing it and sometimes he just messes around so much.

I'm just tired of always have to repeat myself to the point where I'm telling him off and physically making him either go somewhere or stop with something. How can I get him to listen the first time at least some of the time? I hate having to warn him all the time and for him to ignore me where I have to actually get up and remove him when he's doing something he shouldn't be. It's just really tiresome.

And I always try to be positive when he's doing things he should, like if he's cleaning up his toys I tell him wow what a good job you're doing, keep going etc. and sometimes it works and other times it doesn't. Other times I have to practically sit on top of him making sure he does it, like 20 times I have to say keep cleaning up, are you cleaning up? Keep cleaning up. It's just frustrating.

And he gets into everything, I'll try to go to the basement (where he's not supposed to go mostly because it's freezing cold and he gets sick easily) to do laundry and he'll follow me and I'll tell him go back upstairs, hey go backupstairs. Go back upstairs RIGHT NOW and he won't listen and I have to carry him upstairs, or I'll start walking towards him and he'll go ahhh and start acting like he's giong upstairs and then still won't. But it's like that continuously. Sometimes he even listens but I have to warn him over and over, if you do that this is going to happen, if you do that this is going to happen. Stop doing that, I said stop. I'm getting sick of hearing my own voice. I start off just trying to ask him and end up either asking 3 times, warning him, and if by then he hasn't done it I have to physically remove him from whatever it is he's doing. It's just really annoying.

Like I said, I understand that he's not always going to jump when I say but I would like for when I ask him to do something I don't have to sit on top of him asking him over and over, it's really irritating.

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Ev - posted on 12/31/2012

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Instead of repeating it over and over, say it one time. If he does not follow through then move him. He is just doing what any 3 yr old will do. Ignore. He is at that age they know how to do this rather well. Also, praise him for the times he is doing things well. Focus on those. In most cases, after the first warning not to do something and then removing or redirecting him, ignore it even when he starts to go Ahhhh. Once he notes you are not paying attention to those actions then he will start to do more of what you want.

As for the water tap, garbage can, and things of the nature he could get hurt on, by all means move him and tell him no. Also start a time out spot for him and make him sit there when he does not listen 1 minute for each year he is...3 minutes for now.

As for going down to do the laundry, its not safe to leave him upstairs unattended like that. Just wrap him up in heavier clothing like a jacket and have him help you load the dryer and basket. It would make the laundry go quicker and if he likes picking up toys he should like this new thing too.

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