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How can I get my toddler to LISTEN to me??

Please no bashing, I have tried everything I can. I've spanked, time-outs, taken toys away, etc. My son is VERY strong-willed and very hyper. I really think he has ADD but he's too young to be diagnosed. He's gotten very mouthy now at 2 1/2 years old and I'm very tired of it. He yells all kinds of stuff at me when he gets mad. He especially doesn't listen when I tell him not to do something BEFORE he does I'll see him going to do it and I'll say, 'No, dont' do that" and he'll just go do it anyway and laugh at me. Most of the time when I tell him no, he either laughs it off or does it anyway. Then he gets punished. But it never gets any better, it's like he never learns and never behaves any better than before. What can I do?? I'm exhausted and I'm so sick of yelling at him :(


Asked by luvr4ula at 1:45 PM on Jan. 30, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

Level 7 (176 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (7)
  • First, I know it's hard but try not to yell at him. It's ok to use a firm tone but yelling is not very effective (trust me, I was a middle school teacher for 15 yrs before the twins were born).

    Second, when you can see he's about to do something he shouldn't, instead of saying "no, don't do that" try to redirect his attention "hey, let's play with this truck" that type of thing.

    Third, when he is behaving himself, praise, praise, praise him (and be specific)!

    Fourth, if you ask him to do something and he doesn't do it right away, count to three and if by two he's not responding, go to him and help him do whatever it is you're asking him to do.

    Fifth, two is still a little young to completely understand time out. You should use it for serious offenses (otherwise it loses the meaning) and you'll most likely have to sit with him. Say to him "no ___" then take him to another room. Tell him he's in time out for ___.

    Answer by twinclubmom at 2:14 PM on Jan. 30, 2009

  • my kids do that too but i really think they just want more attention

    Answer by josalin at 1:47 PM on Jan. 30, 2009

  • Have him sit for as close to two minutes as you can then repeat "No ___" give him a kiss and move on.

    Finally, be consistent. Your son is looking for rules, boundaries, and consistency. Give that to him along with plenty of positive reinforcement and you'll hopefully see improvement.

    Answer by twinclubmom at 2:15 PM on Jan. 30, 2009

  • Have you tried getting down to his eye level and stating very clearly what you want him to do?

    Answer by kidlovesbatman at 5:35 PM on Jan. 30, 2009

  • Hmm, are our kids comparing notes? They sound like two peas in a pod! Seriously, Sophia does the same things. And it's only since the baby has been born. She definitely wants more mommy time and I understand that. It's just not possible with the way things are right now. If you find the answer let me know, otherwise, I'm really no help. Oh and I just love how she laughs like Chris does when she purposefully does something wrong. She even laughs in my face when I punish her. It really gets under my skin, but nothing works as of yet. Hopefully things will get better, for both of us!


    Answer by mom2sophia711 at 1:37 AM on Jan. 31, 2009

  • My daughter just turned 3 and does the same thing! Do they respond better when daddy spanks them? Mine does. Usually I give warning after warning and several time outs before I just can't take anymore. If it gets to that point I put her over my knee and spank her bare bottom. IT WORKS! I only use it in extreme cases but give it a try...I bet you'll see results. Good luck!

    Answer by blessedwife08 at 11:45 PM on Feb. 3, 2009

  • I've tried spanking and he just doesn't seem to respond to it...I dunno. Daddy isn't around much right now, we're separated. I'm living with my mom and she spanks him more than I'd like and he isn't changing so I'm thinking of telling her to stop, I'm sick of seeing it.

    Answer by luvr4ula at 9:16 AM on Feb. 4, 2009