My toddler won't take me seriously

Heather - posted on 08/27/2009 ( 11 moms have responded )

8

83

0

I stay at home with my 15 month old son, and when I try to tell him No or not to touch something etc. he laughs at me and either walks away while laughing, or goes and does it again while laughing. I'm sure it is just a toddler stage thing, but any suggestions or thoughts I would appreciate them! Thank you soo much :)

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Velvet Dean - posted on 08/27/2009

8

9

1

I don't see this problem as a problem with the child. More of a problem the dad needs to take care of. By simply backing off. Most of the time when a child listens to daddy the best it is because daddy comes in from work and takes over. Dad will make the child listen and sometimes over rule mom in the process. Which in turn- makes the child think Daddy is boss and Mommy is just for looks lol. Of course Daddy doesn't mean to do that, he thinks he is helping Mommy and maybe giving Mommy a break. But really when you are saying something to your children such as "Stop hitting your brother" or "Stop squealing inside" and daddy cuts you off and takes over, that is not sending a good message to the child. Another thing to avoid is asking Dad to step in on a situation. If you start the discipline process you have to finish it yourself. I don't know if this is the case in your situation or not. If it is then maybe my advice here will help you.

Candice - posted on 08/27/2009

1,721

18

305

my daughter is 16 months...she does that laughing thing occasionally too. but not often...here's how i cope (i'll give you an example to illustrate):

i'm trying to get her to not leave her bottle or food on the floor when she's done with it, but to put it on the table. normally, i just have to ask...but now and then she tests me. one day, she refused. i went over to her and asked her rto put the apple and the bottle on the table. she refused...and laughed, and tried to play. i turned off the tv, i sat in front of her looking her in the eye and asked again, and again, and again...each time she tried to play i stood her up again and said it again. if she tried to walk away or turn away, i picked her up, brought her back and said it again. it took about 10 minutes. finally, she realized she wasn't getting out of it. she looked at me with defeat in her eyes and picked up the bottle and the apple and put them on the table.

I MADE HUGE APPLAUSE and thanked her and patted her on the head and turned her show back on. she clapped for herself and went back to playing.

now, it's never really over. a week or so later she tried to test me again...and i did the exact same thing. it took MUCH less time to convince her i was serious.

the point is...be firm, get on their level, make eye contact, and never waiver once you've decided that the behaviour is unacceptable. if you waiver...they know you will crack if they just push hard enough. and PRAISE LIKE HECK when they do things you ask them to do. your child, like mine, is at a stage where praise can be a HUGE motivator.

i also agree with the "ignore the tantrum" advice. i totally refuse any eye contact with my daughter when she pitches a fit. but i will add that once it's over and good behaviour reappears...PRAISE LIKE HECK.

oh, and NEVER say no in a joking voice for anything. not in play, not for any reason. (kids can read body language and facial expressions REALLY WELL...make sure your whole body says no...don't say the words and smile..it's confusing). no should be saved for when it's really necessary (something that will hurt them or hurt someone else, or any other unacceptable behaviour). i learned from my mom..."don't say no unless you mean it, and when you do, stick with it". i also learned from her the "evil eye". say no with a low firm voice and NEVER break eye contact until they do .if they still try to do what you said no to...pick them up and remove them from the situation (i usually just have to put my daughter on the floor a few feet from wherever she was), repeating the NO and the eye contact. do it over and over if you have to. they will eventually figure out that you mean business. consistency is the key. good luck!

This conversation has been closed to further comments

11 Comments

View replies by

Linda - posted on 02/22/2013

1

0

0

I have the same issue. My problem is that my child thinks I am playing... I started this, it IS my fault. When he would get into our plants, I'd grab him and tickle him and tell him to get out of that and then chase him around. I took every opportunity to play with him (my house looks like hell, lol) and I really enjoy my son. It seemed like the right thing to do at the time, but re-reading it condensed like this, it makes sense and I feel stupid. I thought it was a good thing, not getting angry about it, diverting his attention from the plant-- but it had its side effects.

Now, I have to get down to his level and take his hands from the object of conflict and be really stern. He still laughs, but its getting better.

Now, he gets a little mad and grabs the thing and sometimes throws it. I've got to address that. Sometimes, ignoring it the first few times is enough to get him to realize that he's not going to get a rise and he quits. Sometimes, its just an attention-grabbing mechanism.

My problem is that I'm really easy going and find it hard to be stern. But I'm better than my husband, the marshmallow!!! LOL :D

Barbra - posted on 08/27/2009

6

12

0

I had the same problems when my daughter was around 18 months, she will be 3 in October. Except I did try the eye contact, she would close her eyes!! I couldn't believe it. She could anticipate when she was in trouble and was expecting to have an adult at her level. So for awhile I helped her by saying no and giving a brief explanation of why and then diverting her attention to something she is allowed to do.

Now she is much better and in the last couple of months I have started to use time outs where I explain to her what she has done and she goes to stand in the hall if she is not listening. The first couple of times that was fun and she went to the hall by herself and then came back when she was ready to not climb or jump off the table. Then she was too busy and didn't want to go but I walked her there, explained to her why she was there and told her she had to stand there for one minute and set the timer. I have only actually had to put her there twice, now just the threat of being put in the hall or counting up to 3 before she goes there (and never getting to 3) actually works.

Pamela - posted on 08/27/2009

3

7

0

He is 15 months...LOL...he found a way to have power over you. You say No, but he can still do it. Two things, tell him why he can't touch it (hot! It will hurt you!) and prevent him from walking away or going back to touch it again. take his hands etc. Kids do what they can get away with, you need to let him know you are in charge and what you say goes. time in a corner or on the sofa works too. The most important thing is to keep your cool and let him know you are protecting him.

Candice - posted on 08/27/2009

1,721

18

305

i agree with velvet about the dad thing. if you start the process, he can back you up, but you need to be the primary in finishing it. one way he can back you up without taking over is with the "evil eye" i mentioned...if he looks from you to him to see if he'll say the same thing..and he's got the same look you have...the child knows everyone's on board and they aren't going to win that battle.



on eother thing i read that i should mention (i use it too) is try to add a qualifier to the word "no". some examples are "no, not for baby" if it's something that they shouldn't touch, or "no, dirty", or "no, dangerous" or "no, HOT"...stuff like that. it's the beginning of giving an explanation for your "no" but in simple terms they can understand at this age. as they get older, the same process applies, but you can be more complex if you need to "no, we aren't going to the park today because..." or whatever. explaining your no promostes understanding of why rules exist and is a respectful way to treat anyone, including children.

Velvet Dean - posted on 08/27/2009

8

9

1

Anyone else having problems with FB today? It keeps giving me errors on this thread when trying to post...

Velvet Dean - posted on 08/27/2009

8

9

1

Candice has the right idea. Getting to their level is a great way to let them know you're serious. Eye contact is important. With my younger children I will get get on my knee and look them in the eyes, with one of my twins I have him put his hands on my shoulder so I know he is listening to me. Then I will not only lower my tone but the volume of my voice also. It forces him to really concentrate on hearing me.

I agree totally on the "don't say no unless you mean it" thing too. A lot of mistakes made by mothers, especially first time mothers, is playfully using the word "no". The word "no" is a serious word and should be treated as such. Mother's use the word "no" to prevent our children from hurting themselves or others. It is a stop word. If the word is used playfully then it becomes a play word and the child will not stop when he/she really NEEDS to.

You had great advice there Candice. Thumbs up to you!

Samantha - posted on 08/27/2009

48

3

6

I have a few suggestions for you and the mom with the 3 almost 4 year old. Since your a stay at home mom, maybe your child is a bit too used to you. It could help to place him in a Daycare even if its just part time, maybe 2 days a week for a few hours. They learn discipline and how to share and cooperate well with others. Plus he will appreciate you much more... Don't underestimate a 15 month old, they are smarter than you think. Also try taking things you know he absolutely loves away from him when he doesn't listen to you, and stick to your guns, don't be soft because he's a baby, you have to show him that you are the boss... That means that even if he cries and screams, let him know that until he does what you have told him to do he will not get it back and all the crying and screaming won't work, because you WILL ignore it. For the mom with the kid that only listens to dad, that might help. I have a 4 year old, and he is usually good about doing as I say, but at times if he is watching one of his movies, he will zone out, so I go and pause it. And if that doesn't get his attention, I turn it off completely and tell him that until he does as he is told, there will be no movie at all. Do that with something your son loves. Dad can't always be the bad guy. He needs to learn to respect women too and that begins with respecting mom.

Good Luck to you guys, Hope this helps.

Shaleigh - posted on 08/27/2009

2

7

1

Well I have the same problem. I have a 3 almost 4 year old though. I have tried everything! I do the corner when he doesn't listen and it works for a little while but not too long. He listens well to my husband but it's like I don't exist in the dicepline world,

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms