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My 3 1/2 year old daughter is a sweet child when she wants to be. During the day when it's just her and I, I have such a hard time getting her to be good and just do what I say. My husband does not have this problem with her niether does anyone else who will watch her from time to time. I'm glad she is good from everyone else but why not me too? I know alot of it is my fault for not following threw with some things I tell her such as "no you can't have any candy right now". But sometimes if she screams and cries long enough to drive me insane, I give in. I know that is the worst thing I can do but if I didn't give in she won't stop! What do I do to get my child to listen and be good for me?!

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Asked by jessicajw1041 at 3:25 PM on Feb. 5, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (6)
  • I think you've already identified part of it, that you need to be more consistent. However I think that even with consistency, kids this age have a tendency to really push their limits and try out new and obnoxious behaviors with mom. Believe it or not it is a sign of trust. Set limits and be consistent about them. You won't see this stop overnight, but over time it will teach her appropriate behavior.

    Answer by riotgrrl at 3:27 PM on Feb. 5, 2009

  • Two reasons.
    Because she trusts you more than them. She knows that no matter how awful she is, no matter how angry you are, you won't hurt her. So she will test the limits with you, where she is safe.
    Never, ever give in. Make your first response be "Let me think about it." Set a timer for a minute and think. She'll soon learn that bothering you for an answer before the timer goes off means "no". But leaving you alone during that time may get her a "yes". That minute of breathing room will let you decide if this is a battle you care about (brushing teeth, snack right before dinner) or one that isn't so important. Picking your battles is truly half the battle. Getting time to decide if the battle is worth it really helps.

    Answer by kaycee14 at 4:28 PM on Feb. 5, 2009

  • Kaycee said just what I was thinking!

    Answer by Junecleo at 4:37 PM on Feb. 5, 2009

  • Well said, kaycee14! I couldn't agree more!

    Answer by cypris420 at 6:23 PM on Feb. 5, 2009

  • She trusts you more and she's around you all the time. She's going to test the boundaries, whereas with everyone else who she doesn't see as often she's more apt to listen. I remember when my brother watched my daughter (also 3 1/2) one time and she was supposed to take a nap. Well she got out of bed and wasn't even interested in napping. My brother told her 1 time, firmly, to lay down and go to sleep... and SHE DID! Just like that. But it was because she doesn't see him that often so she didn't know his limits yet and whether she could push him or not. As frusterating as it can be, just know that she loves and trusts you above everyone else. Of course, you do need her to listen and know when you mean business so you need to get down to her eye level and then stick with whatever you tell her. Don't flip-flop, it just lets her see she can 'change your mind' by continuing to bother you/act up. Good luck...

    Answer by princesspalace at 12:06 AM on Feb. 6, 2009

  • Because with you is where her comfort zone is. She feels safest and most loved with you so she is free to show her rear when she is with you. We see this a lot at preschool. Our class angels become satan as soon as mom walks in the door. Good news...she knows she is loved, bad news you have some work to do. You have to be on her at all times...all times. She steps out of line boon into time out she goes. Stick with it because now it has become a battle of wills and you will need to outlast her...but you will if you stick with it and she will learn you are not to be crossed.

    Answer by salexander at 5:00 PM on Feb. 9, 2009

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