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My almost three year old will not listen!

did anyone else go through this? My son turns three in september and he ignores everyone when we try to tell him to do something. Especially me and my husband. My parents have a hard time babysitting because he doesn't listen. I will tell him to come here and he looks at me and looks away, until i feel like im screaming his name. Any ideas?

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Asked by Anonymous at 2:02 PM on Jul. 5, 2013 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Answers (7)
  • Sounds like he is busy. It gets worse too :) Screaming will not help. Try saying something more interesting instead of just his name. Re-direct. Ask a question. "Are my shoes on the right feet?" "Do you know what color the grass is?" etc. Then go on to say what you were going to say when you have his attention.

    Answer by staciandababy at 2:10 PM on Jul. 5, 2013

  • He has to be trained to listen and obey. It is his natural instinct to be disrespectful and disobedient and self-willed. Thus he shall remain unless you learn how to train him to be otherwise. A good book to help you in this endeavor is Shepherding The Heart of a Child by Tedd Tripp.

    Answer by NannyB. at 2:21 PM on Jul. 5, 2013

  • Thank you!

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 2:23 PM on Jul. 5, 2013

  • It's his age. They all go throu it. Three-year-olds are merely professional two-year-olds.

    Instead of repeating yourself and screaming, give him one chance to come to you or do what you asked, and then go get him. Not in a punitive way, just go take his hand and bring him to where you want him or make him do what he was told. If you want him to pick up toys, you may have to take his hand, put it on a toy, pick it up with him and drop it in the box. He will start to learn. Right now, he knows he has a lot of chances to ignore you before anything will happen. Much of changing a toddler's behavior involves figuring out how to change your own.

    Also, give him a couple of heads-up when you are about to leave or change activities; it works better than just dropping "it's time to go" out of a clear blue sky. Time-outs will work at this age, too. Two or three minutes sitting out of the fun is a big deal.

    Answer by Ballad at 3:05 PM on Jul. 5, 2013

  • It's his age. They all go throu it. Three-year-olds are merely professional two-year-olds.


    what they said...and hang in there

    Answer by charlotsomtimes at 4:10 PM on Jul. 5, 2013

  • Try to work with the situation, or respond constructively to shift it. I wouldn't adopt a negative view & project those kinds of intentions or purposes onto his behavior (disrespect, disobedience, defiance, willfulness) because that increases the chances that you will work against the situation, creating unnecessary struggle.
    A good practice is to "collect" the child first. Think in terms of connecting with him. Take a moment first to "join" him, noticing what he's doing & recognizing that it's important to him. People who feel connected & close, prioritized, respected & valued are more naturally cooperative. This is what you want to foster in him, rather than reinforcing an adversarial dynamic.
    Collect his attention by connecting, then proceed.
    Also, notice HOW you speak to him. Consider whether it is more likely to engender feelings of being "bossed around" & poorly understood or whether it conveys respect & caring.

    Answer by girlwithC at 4:35 PM on Jul. 5, 2013

  • Three-year-olds are merely professional two-year-olds.
    so true

    did you make this up, or a quote from another source?

    if cafemom had a quote of the day
    this should be one

    Answer by fiatpax at 5:31 PM on Jul. 5, 2013

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