discipling 3 year old

Annette - posted on 05/18/2015 ( 3 moms have responded )




My grandson is 3 years old, my daughter/his mother will ask him to put his toys, clean up, get ready for bath, brush teeth etc. He ignores her until she starts yelling at him and even at that he doesn't respond. He loves tv, playing with her iphone, etc. How can I help her to stop yelling so much :(
I'll tell her to stop, it's not right, he doesn't understand. She says I'm wrong, he understands??? Help!!


Michelle - posted on 05/18/2015




She needs to be giving him consequences and following through when he doesn't do what she has asked. Take away the phone or turn off the TV until he has put his toys away or cleaned up.
At 3 he does understand but sometimes needs guidance. Yelling doesn't help so I agree with you there.


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Jodi - posted on 05/18/2015




Yelling is not a consequence and this is how she seems to be using it, as the consequence. It certainly doesn't help.

She needs to be giving a single simple instruction to him, and if he refuses to listen, have a consequence (eg, if we can't pick up toys, then the toys will be given away, or thrown out; if we can't do things in a timely manner before bed, we will have to start packing up earlier). Consequences need to be consistent, but delivered calmly and without the yelling. But one instruction at a time, and VERY simple. For example, "It's time for a bath so we need to pack up your toys" is one instruction. Saying "we need to pack up your toys, clean up and get ready for your bath" is too many instructions in one go. Hope that makes sense!

Rebekah - posted on 05/18/2015




Maybe point out to her that some other techniques will help to reduce her own stress level (as I'm sure yelling all the time is very draining and stressful for both of them). There are a lot of good resources out there, but one to check on is called 123 Magic by Thomas Phelan. The idea is that you give the child specific expectations that they need to follow the parent's direction, and if they don't, consequences will follow--as Michelle pointed out. If you use the technique properly and consistently, there should be no yelling at all, but clear limits and follow through. There are books and videos that you can find on this technique... I found it at the library.
Your daughter may not appreciate being told how to parent her child, so there may be some resistance there if she feels you are being critical of her. Be supportive however you can, and see if you can appeal to her need to feel more in control of her parenting situation. Age 3 was a hard stage for most of us parents, so any help (rather than criticism) should be welcome! Maybe she's at her wits' end and is frustrated. I hope for her and her son's sakes she is open to some suggestions... a child doesn't need that kind of negativity. Its setting a poor precedent for the years to follow. Good luck.

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