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How do I get him to listen?

My son is about to be 3 years old and he just won't listen. He hits people, he beats on his 20 year old aunt, yes BEATS on her, throws his tonka trucks at her, and seriously hurts her. One time I found myself saying no 10 times, before he finally put a toy down. I can spank him and he laughs at me...he won't take his nap, I'm scared to death to leave him in the same room with his sister who is 2 months he's already gouged out her face once. His father is in Iraq right now, and I got the 2 kids by myself, I don't want to even go out in public with him, because he throws tantrums, and screams, and bites. He'll take off and go in the kitchen, and dump all my brothers coffee, and just destroys things when he knows its a bad thing to do. I just don't know what to do anymore. How can I get my son to act right? Oh and don't even get my started on potty training!!


Asked by TuckyGirl at 4:16 PM on Feb. 21, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 6 (111 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (9)
  • First of all, like a PP said, saying NO 10 times is useless. It sounds like your son needs instant response. Say it once and if he does not listen, remove the object from your son or you son from the location. As soon as he is ready to throw a toy, or as soon as he does, remove it and tell him we do not throw toys. Do not give it back until he has shown that he can make good choices. If he is not listening, gently take his face and look him in the eye - make sure you have eye contact - if he cannot maintain eye contact, mention this to your pediatrician as there may be underlying issues involved. Tell him something and have him repeat back what you said. When you tell him something, give him the consequences of what will happen (good and bad) and then FOLLOW THROUGH. Also, lean gentle physical direction. If you ask him to pick something up and he doesn't, then tell him he can do it or you can help him do it...

    Answer by JPsMommy605 at 6:21 PM on Feb. 21, 2009

  • My advice is to start time outs (like supernanny does) and be really super consistent. You should never say no 10 times, you should say no once, then warning, then time out. It is really hard to do but a great investment. You may spend all day giving time outs, but it WILL pay off. I had the same prob with my 3yo and I had a new baby too. There were times I cried because I literrally would go crazy with her bad behavior. I just buckled down and stuck to my guns, and she is a different kid now. She improved after the first week, and now she is so much easier. She still has her moments, but my life is different now. Good luck

    Answer by stacymomof2 at 4:41 PM on Feb. 21, 2009

  • YOU need to take control. Obviously you're not, he KNOWS that HE is the one in control. The first thing you need to do when he's starts hitting with the toy (or without) is to take it away from him, get down on his level, and explain that we do NOT hit. If he tries to hit you, hold his hands still. You can do this as a time out, take him to a different room (specific "time out" spot) and sit there holding him for 2 minutes so that he cannot move. Then explain again what he did wrong, and let him go.
    As for the spanking, I'm really not sure. That is frusterating as all get out, but again, that is the result from the lack of discipline. He knows if he laughs it's going to tick you off. >_<
    Don't forget, you MUST be consistant in your punishments. If you waiver at ALL, he'll know he's still in control!

    Answer by mrseum at 5:18 PM on Feb. 21, 2009

  • cont...If he chooses not to, then gently put your hands over his and move his hands to accomplish the task - picking something up, throwing it away, whatever. Also, make sure that he is getting plenty (and I mean lots) of physical activity play time - give him balls to throw, places to run and jump, sounds like he may need outlets for his energy. Also, when he is angry, have him learn how to hit a pillow or stomp a mat - get one specifically for being his "angry" pillow or mat and direct him to hit or stomp it when he gets upset, frustrated, or otherwise can't control his energy. Teach him what he CAN hit and always direct him to it when he hits someone - time out with an angry pillow can work wonders. In time, he may just go for the angry pillow. Next, make sure he's being heard too - give him choices when you can (only choices you can live with) and make sure you follow through on everything you say. Good luck!

    Answer by JPsMommy605 at 6:25 PM on Feb. 21, 2009

  • you say no three times. first time, no. second time, i said no, third time, this is your final warning. then spank, time out whatever. if you have to hold him down in that chair do it. i have to get my son in a straight jacket hold sometimes. make him stay there until he calms down. then explain to him again i am the mommy and you are the kid. you will do what i say. blah blah blah and tell him he can not get up until he agrees to it.
    get him on a set schedule and make him stick to it as closely as he can. and if he hits someone, hit him back and say "that hurts right? why do you want to hurt this person?" now i'm not saying wallop the hell out of him but its gotta be more than a tap. if you never hit him before he may not realize it hurts. if that doesnt' stop him, find the one thing he loves most adn take it away.
    i know it sounds mean but this behavior will only escalate and you are already afraid for your

    Answer by princezzmommie at 6:41 PM on Feb. 21, 2009

  • daughter and these are kinda desperate times. be sure to reassure him that you love him and his dad loves him too.
    good luck.

    Answer by princezzmommie at 6:42 PM on Feb. 21, 2009

  • Food allergies? Have you had him tested?

    Answer by mamalinzie at 6:49 PM on Feb. 21, 2009

  • First stop hitting him. Obviously all it's teaching him is to hit. Spend time with alone with him. Like when the baby is napping. And lay with him when it's time for his nap. Try to ignore when he's doing something very bad. I mean stop him but don't make a big deal out of it. Stay calm. And when he does something good, and I mean the simplest thing, praise him for it. You have to get out of the bad stuff being the cause for you to pay attention to him.


    Answer by Chrissy629 at 7:22 PM on Feb. 21, 2009

  • Its funny because its like he knows exactly when to act bad, and that's when I'm breastfeeding my DD, I'm just so stressed with the husband being gone, and having the 2 kids alone, and were in the middle of moving, and I'm just at my wits end with him....thanks for the answers though I'm going to try it

    Answer by TuckyGirl at 9:11 PM on Feb. 21, 2009