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How do I get my 2 (almost 3yr old) to start doing what she's told?

I have a daughter that is almost 3 and is really turning into a little terror. She tells me "no, I don't want to, & I don't like it", all the time lately. Plus it takes forever to get her to go to bed at night. I am a single hard working mother and her father isn't around much at all. What the heck do I need to do to get her to listen to me & start doing what she's told? I'm soooo frustrated!

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Sweetie1978

Asked by Sweetie1978 at 3:38 PM on Mar. 11, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (6)
  • I would say she's trying to assert her independence, it's developmentally normal. But the best thing to do is give them little ways they can be independent. Give her choices whenever possible (limited "either/or" choices are less overwhelming but still give them the sense of control), involve her in things you're doing even if she's not really old enough to help -- ex. let her stir the pasta or pour in the water when you're cooking; Try to redirect her behavior positively rather than saying "no" -- Rather than saying "don't dump your toys" ask her if she can take them out one at a time and line them up. For the bedtime, try to create a routine and stick to it. Really focus on the routine aspect of it -- what do we do after bath? Brush your teeth, right? so that we can get to your bed to read a book. Ok, this is the last book if you want to have a song before lights out, etc... Soon she may start telling you what comes next
    EmilySusan

    Answer by EmilySusan at 3:53 PM on Mar. 11, 2009

  • Try giving her choices. If she choose neither, then time out. So if it's time for bed, she can either walk to bed like a big girl or you carry her to bed like a baby. ONce in bed, she can either sleep with a night light or without. etc. It may help to have a toy she can put to bed before she goes as part of her ritual. Ok, time for dolly to go to bed. let's tuck her in. Ok, now it's your turn. etc.

    like pp said, try to get a routine set. That almost always helps.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:08 PM on Mar. 11, 2009

  • My son is close to the same age and thought he would try talking back. I put a stop to it immediately, now he knows that if he feels the need to say anything after I speak, it's yes ma'am or no ma'am. At that age they are testing their limits and asserting their independance, which if fine but sassing me is never allowed. I had to put him in time out a couple of times before he really got the message. Sometimes he slips and starts to say something unexceptable, he stops and says sorry mommy, yes ma'am. lol He asserts his independance in many ways. When we are shopping for shoes, clothes, etc., I pick out a couple of things for him to choose from, we do the same thing when he dresses in the morning. I give him choices throughout the day. like, which game do you want to play, which book do you want to read, etc. I always give him 2 choices. cont.....
    LoriW

    Answer by LoriW at 4:40 PM on Mar. 11, 2009

  • As far as bedtime, we’ve always had the same routine. We play with toys for 30 minutes, then race to see who can pick up the most toys….he always wins, and feels great about it. : ) Because we’ve always done this, he doesn’t like his toys laying around and will pick them up through the day. Then we have bath time/ teeth brushing. When he’s all sweet and clean in the pj’s he chose, we read 2 books of his choice. Then it’s hugs and kisses for everyone….even the dogs and cats, he’s so cute! He then immediately settles into bed. Since this has always been the schedule, he knows exactly what happens when and never fights bedtime.
    LoriW

    Answer by LoriW at 4:41 PM on Mar. 11, 2009

  • I feel like a mean mom on here, because quite frankly, it doesn't matter if they don't want to or don't like to. I had to explain that to my daycare too. My son is two. He, for the most part, can't make decisions for himself. And I have told my kids that too. I have also explained to them that I don't like washing dishes or changing dirty diapers, but I do it anyway. Because I am supposed to. (I am a single mom as well with no help from dad)
    When it comes to bedtime, routine is the key. Pick a time that you are going to start the process. We start around 7:15 because I want them in bed by 8. Snack, brush teeth, wash up, change into pj's read a book, sing a song or two, into bed, hug, kiss, lights out, door closed. No questions asked. If you come out you better have a fever or be throwing up. They do get yelled at if they come out for no reason. Kids learn pretty quickly when routines are kept. Good luck!
    peppermintmocha

    Answer by peppermintmocha at 5:11 PM on Mar. 11, 2009

  • I'm a mom who spanks...you ever tried it?
    lstrickland

    Answer by lstrickland at 6:30 PM on Mar. 11, 2009

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