My 15mo Old will not obey/listen

Jill - posted on 01/11/2011 ( 16 moms have responded )




We are trying to get our 15mo old little boy to listen to us and do what we ask. He will look us in the eyes and laugh and smile and do it anyway. This is over EVERTHING we ask him not to do. It's not like we walk around telling him no all the time over everything he does but he has GOT to start listening. We are VERY consistant with what we tell him and with the things we tell him not to mess with or not to do. Everyone says to do time out but I'm not sure how time out works with a 15mo old that wont even sit still longer than 10-15 seconds at a time. How do you get them to set in the chair for 1-2 minutes without them getting up. What else can we do to get him to start listening to us. It very frustrating.

NOTE: First time partents.


Karen - posted on 01/11/2011




I find it really helps to explain why you don't want your child to do something and then give them an example of something they CAN do. (For example, That could get broken if you touch it, here, you can hold this toy instead.)

Also, it's important to remember that toddlers and young children have pretty much no impulse control at all. It may appear that they do (since he laughs and smiles) but the research shows they really can't stop themselves most of the time. So, you need to help him over and over and over.

Redirection and repetition is what worked for me when my daughter was this age.

Christine - posted on 01/14/2011




It sounds like you're being a little harsh for a 15 month old. He is still a baby and learning what is appropriate and innapropriate. This is something that can not be rushed, and I think it would be ridiculous to try and punish him at such a young age. The best strategy would be to distract him with something more interesting when he is getting into things you dont want him to get into. He will learn to listen as he gets older. This is normal behavior for any baby under the age of 2. Let him be a baby....

Laura - posted on 01/12/2011




My daughter is 17 months and is in the "to bad mum, i will anyway" stage. Time outs did work for us but instead of making her sit on a chair or stand in a corner she gets placed facing a blank wall. I sit behind her, with her between my legs and do not allow her to move. Is she turns around i gently but firmly tell her "no, you *** and that is naughty/burny" and turn her around to face the wall again. She gets one minute there and then we return to playing. If she does whatever she did again she gets put against the wall again and when she is finished there we move to another activity and she doesnt get to do what she was initially doing. Good luck with it all!!


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Meagan - posted on 02/06/2011




my son is 24mos old and still doesnt listen and time outs dont work he'll just go right back to doing what he wasnt supposed to be doing SO instead of stressing and spending countless hours of disiplining i super-baby-proofed i have multiple babygates that section off all areas of the house the main area we stay in is the livingroom and there is nothing in that room that he isnt aloud to touch, yes its not the most visually appealing room but it makes me happy to have him play and explore without having to give a bunch of timeouts all the time cause kids obviously want to touch and do things theyre not suposed to so just remove those idems and all will be well

Ellie - posted on 02/02/2011




to do an effective time out with a child that won't sit still, you block them into being still. stand him in a corner and stand right behind him so he can't drop or run. this isn't force, and you're not supposed to pin him down, just obstruct. if he starts to drop, catch his armpit with your knee and stand him back up. effective time out IS NOT telling a child that young to, "go be alone and do something we can't get you to do even when you're in the mood to listen to us." time out IS punishment, by taking away whatever he likes at that moment, which just so happens to be doing something you don't want him to do. i don't know who told you 1-2 minutes, but they must have a 15 mo.old confused with a 4 yr.old. don't be shy about physically prompting him to pay attention to you. when you tell him no, put your palms on his arms at the elbow and then hold him. not squeezing, not shaking. just eliminating his chances of ignoring you, and making him look you in the face. it's ironic, because a lot of parents will tell you to ignore things because it's a canned answer. you can't ignore someone who is ignoring you first. i'm going to assume you're already doing a time-out sorta thing after the earlier posts, so i'm going to add a "time-in" clause. CATCH HIM BEING GOOD. when he is being good, shower him with praise and affection. if he is good in a situation that he normally acts up for, your words will be your strongest tool. don't focus completely on the bad stuff. it's frustrating, but i guarantee that putting yourself on watch for the good things will not only help his behavior but your mood as well.

Meryem - posted on 01/14/2011




My little boy is 21 months and i am going through this as well. He is with my mum for 4 days of the week while i am at work and he is as good as gold with her. He listens to her when he isnt supposed to do sumthing or touch sumthing but with me he is a different child. He wont listen to me, plays up, has tantrums and wont sleep without a tantrum. I am at my wits end. I am hoping he will grow outof it. I do disipline him and sumtimes it does work. but i am putting down to him being a boy and wanting his own way all the time :)

Aneta - posted on 01/14/2011




My daughter is 13 mo and has the same sometimes. I read and i tired that the best way is to say once and if he doesnt obey to approach and take him away from that place or to take the object from him, saying its not allowed. If you do that several times you will notice the change. Also remember to say everything once and never to yell. He is a kid and will copy everything you do. :)

Kisha - posted on 01/12/2011




Hello Jill, my name is Kisha and I'm having the same problem with my 17 mo old son! I think boys are just plain ol hard headed. What I do with my son like for instant he has this thing with the oven. SN: He dont touch it when it's warm or hot. So to keep him safe and from hurting himself. What I do so that he understands NO means No. I tell him what he has done wrong and I tell him not to ever touch it and if he does it again he gets a min and half for time out. Sometimes in his high chair or his play pen.And yes it is very much frustrating!

September - posted on 01/12/2011




Invest in some parenting books. Love and Logic is a great place to start! I’ve found that the suggested techniques of Love and Logic are very helpful when it comes to our 2 year old. I never expect our son to "obey" me instead I use the challenging times as an opportunity to teach him right from wrong. Good luck!

Brianna - posted on 01/12/2011




my daughter is 14months and well im having the same problem but i think shes just in that "stage". ive been thinking of starting time outs... have u ever seen the show supernanny? she shows u how to disipline ur kids.. how she tells u to do time outs is. first you give ur child a casual warning saying dont do that or whatever, then if they dont listen u go to them get down and there level tell them not to do it, and if they still dont listen its time out time. they must sit for 1 min for every year old they are. also if they get up u put them back in the time out spot without saying anything and restart the timer soon they will give up and stay sitting for there minute. after they are done there time you go to there level and tell them what they did wrong, have them say sorry, and give them a kiss or hug.

[deleted account]

I did not think that you could really do much at that age... I have a 14month old. And I have the same problems. He touches every things and does not listen either.
Explaining slowly may help some. 'Oh no you could break this no no! Here take this." When you want him to sit there for a couple minutes then you sit in a chair not far from him at first.

Amy - posted on 01/11/2011




Time outs never worked for us until about 3 yrs old. I just started with doing things WITH them instead of telling them to do it solo. Diversion is a great tool if he is doing something he's not supposed to do. What kind of things does a 15 month old really need to be told to do? I think my son just picked up toys - with me. And was to sit still at dinner table - if he wanted to wiggle and wriggle, he was taken away from the table for a bit, then we tried again. when he was still and not crazy, he got his plate back. Kids naturally want to be helpers. If you're doing something, they want to also, but they don't understand why they should be doing something all by themselves because they don't always see the reasoning behind it -especially at a young age. Also, make a game out of things. Hand them the ketchup and go "run run, take it to the table fast!!" Chances are if it's something made into a game, they pick up on it fast and think it's fun.

Jill - posted on 01/11/2011




thanks. I hear from family and friends that a baby needs to learn to listen and do what mama and daddy say. I want to take him away from things i've asked him not to do but then people act like..."well she's letting him do that anyway. he needs to learn that when mama or daddy says no that mean no, not to do it at all". Really he's a baby and has to be taught...I guess by me asking him not to do something and then just removing him from it if he keeps doing it. I will try the time out thing.

Deb - posted on 01/11/2011




I'm going through almost the same thing with our 18 month old. I'm about to give up on trying to make dinner because he will not stay out of the kitchen (very small condo kitchen). He will sometimes bite and hit my husband and I too. He is in daycare, and his teachers say what a happy child he is, and doesn't ever act out while there. I brought our son for his 18 month check up visit last week, and told her about the biting and hitting and she said to start putting (or attempting to) him in time outs, just for one minute. She said that he will likely get up from the time out, but to keep trying it. Also, I'm not sure this helps, but rather than saying "no", I say "please stop", since I don't want him to start saying "no" constantly. I continually try to divert his attention away from what I don't want him to do and encourage him to do something else, such as ask him where my nose is, etc.

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