3 year old daughter wont listen

Michael R - posted on 04/13/2016 ( 4 moms have responded )




My wife and I have to continually tell our 3 year old daughter to go to bed, clean her room, don't go outside without us, to buckle her car seat, etc.... But she never listens and thinks its a game. We've tried being nice, rewarding her, yelling, taking away her TV, spanking her bottom.... But nothing seems to work.... It's getting to the point where we're losing sleep over it because she continually gets out of bed with another excuse as to why she isn't in bed yet or listening. Any and all help is needed and greatly appreciated!!


♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 04/14/2016




Really? You REALLY expect a 3 YO to do all that you've outlined BY HERSELF???

At 3, she should NOT be able to unbuckle the car seat. NOR should she be expected to buckle herself in! Good grief, I still need directions for some of those buckle systems, and I'm pushing 50!

At 3, she has no concept of "clean your room". She WILL help you pick up, and you make it a game so that, when she is ready and does understand, she will be able to do so.

At 3, she is MORE than old enough to stop the spanking. USE YOUR WORDS. Calm explanations and consistency work much better than yelling, bribing, or beating.


View replies by

Dove - posted on 04/14/2016




At 3 you should be buckling her car seat for her and it's quite unusual for a 3 year old to be capable of undoing a properly buckled car seat... If she IS undoing it you need to find a way to keep her from undoing and pull over instantly when she undoes it and do it back up for her reminding her how dangerous it is.

Most 3 year old kids can not and will not clean their rooms by themselves. It's a joint effort. Try to make it a game (can you pick up all the blocks before I pick up all the books... or something like that).

As for getting out of bed... calmly and silently walk her straight back to bed (unless she has to pee... that's a good thing to let her do first if necessary) each and every time she gets up... as soon as she gets up. No conversation, no punishments... calm and consistent and eventually she will realize that there is no point to getting up.

Sarah - posted on 04/14/2016




You need to be consistent. For bed.....do the bathroom and water before she goes to bed. Once lights are out then you just take her back to bed WITHOUT saying anything. The first night you might be doing this all night, but once she figures out that she does not get what she wants and she is getting no interaction with you she will stop getting up. Right now she is getting the payoff that she wants either getting the request she has or getting the reaction from you. For not listening during the day make sure when you are talking to her you are down at her level by her with her eyes on you. Yelling across the room does nothing but get you tuned out. Kids and adults tune out yelling after awhile. After you give her an instruction then she gets ONE warning (not 5 or 10) before there is a consequence.....you MUST be CONSISTENT with that. If one time you give a warning and next time you don't for the same action then you are sending a mixed message same goes with the amount of warnings if one time you give one warning and next time you give three then that is a mixed message too. Taking away privileges can be a good consequence, but it needs to fit the situation. If you are out at a store and you tell them you will get no tv tonight that does not really fit. Now if you instead said we will not stop at the park after we are done at the store then that fits. It needs to be something you are doing soon. Sometimes a time out is better. Time outs tend to work better then spankings, BUT YOU NEED TO DO THE TIME OUT IN THE RIGHT WAY AND BE CONSISTENT! Time outs she be done in a place where there are no toys, or things that could become a toy at that moment, no tv, and NO INTERACTION with you. You briefly (one to two sentences) start why they are in time out. You set the timer for 3 mins. If she gets up before then then you put her back in the time out spot WITHOUT saying a word and timer starts over. Again just like bedtime at first you may be doing this for hours, but if you stick with it she will realize that she needs to sit for 3 mins and she will. When she is in time out you do NOT communicate with her at all NO MATTER WHAT SHE SAYS. She may say, "I love you." or ask you a question.....you say NOTHING. Time outs mean no interaction. BIG THING IS YOU NEED TO BE CONSISTENT AND FOLLOW THROUGH.

Jennifer - posted on 04/14/2016




Quite a lot of different problems, maybe you should take it one at a time. If this is a sleeping problem, then perhaps she has too much energy left, try wearing her out somehow, I don't know, lots of active playing. And then restrict her sleeping hours at first. Not very intuitive, but it is supposed to work both for kids and grown ups. your daughter has to remember what does it mean to be actually sleepy.

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