• In the Spotlight:
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

What do I do about their UNRULY behavior???

My children are 3 and 4 and I literally fight with them EVERY SINGLE DAY!!! They have NO respect for what WHAT-SO-EVER. They will listen to their dad for the most part but me, it's not happening. I have tried EVERYTHING I can think of, time-outs, taking toys away, taking TV away, spanking.....NOTHING helps and I am losing my mind. I know deep down they are good kids but why won;t they listen to me?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 4:43 PM on Mar. 17, 2013 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Answers (9)
  • Have you sat them down quietly and just talked to them? Ask them why they're being disrespectful?
    I know they're young but they're old enough to understand.

    Answer by PMSMom10 at 5:23 PM on Mar. 17, 2013

  • First, they're 3 and 4. Are you expecting them to behave at a higher age than what they are?

    Second, you've got too many disciplines going on there. Pick one and stick with it. Quit fighting with them! They are 3 and 4 and do not see you as the authority figure. You don't fight with them....you EXPECT them to behave. Even if you have to put them in time out 50 times a day for a while.....be consistent.

    No fighting.

    Answer by Mrs_Prissy at 5:24 PM on Mar. 17, 2013

  • Also, do you and dad spend enough one on one time with each of them? Kids sometimes go for the negative attention when they do not get enough positive attention. There are all sorts of ways to spend some quality, positive, time with each of them. You might set up some sort of reward system too....stickers, points, whatever......with some sort of reward they work for. Even a kindness chart.

    Answer by silverthreads at 5:28 PM on Mar. 17, 2013

  • Find one form of discipline that works for your children and be consistent that's the most important thing

    Answer by Princess_s21 at 5:49 PM on Mar. 17, 2013

  • Think about how Dad acts differently than you do. What does he do, or not do, that makes the kids listen to him? As a generalization, dads tend to speak more firmly and back of their threats more quickly than moms do. If you are setting Dad up to be the heavy, you won't be respected, and the relationship between the kids and their dad might also be harmed eventually. Find a way you can enforce the rules that you can follow throgh with, and stick to it.

    Answer by Ballad at 6:20 PM on Mar. 17, 2013

  • If they listen to dad, then they don't take you seriously. Pick one technique and use just that, but use it consistently every time. If they think they can get away with things, they will.

    Answer by missanc at 7:28 PM on Mar. 17, 2013

  • Focus on connection.
    Respond to them in ways that support your relationship with them (by being respectful, non-blaming, and not oriented toward trying to leverage or control them.) Your tactics for control (the emphasis on consequences) undermine your relationship, and truly the "power to parent" lies in your relationship with your children, not in the amount of threat you wield.
    They may listen to their dad out of fear or intimidation; you don't necessarily know. If that is the case, their behavior will probably be WORSE with you, because the control through intimidation has its natural behavioral fallout. (And you provide the safety for that.)
    You believe that deep down they ARE good kids, so begin to respond to them in ways that reflect this belief & that build (rather than undermining) your relationship with them.
    In order to DO this, look into some support for developing a way of communicating that builds & connects. For

    Answer by girlwithC at 12:26 PM on Mar. 19, 2013

  • instance, books such as Parent Effectiveness Training (P.E.T.) by psychologist Thomas Gordon, or How To Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk (Faber & Mazlish.)
    The principles these 2 books describe for transforming your habitual ways of communicating are probably the most direct way to change your interactions with your children. They also change your way of "being with" your children.
    From there, the differences are significant, because the types of feelings being generated in your children by your interactions change. Good feelings (of connection, of feeling valued for who you are, of feeling respected) encourage children's spontaneous cooperation.
    It is not about never experiencing conflict (LOL) but rather transforming your routine response TO conflict. Making more space for their feelings & reactions, rather than pushing hard against them as wrong, is what makes space for all the positives & the connection.

    Answer by girlwithC at 12:36 PM on Mar. 19, 2013

  • You are going to have to be the authority figure. Sounds like you've let this go on for a long time. Kids know who they can play and who they have to respect. You need to really show them that you are their mother and you deserve full respect. It may take some time..but you can change their view of you. It will take baby steps to get there, but you can turn their attitudes around and get the respect that you deserve.

    Answer by Ruthmom802 at 7:19 PM on Mar. 19, 2013

Join CafeMom now to contribute your answer and become part of our community. It's free and takes just a minute.