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How can I get my son to listen to me?

He's almost 3 and every method of discipline I've tried has not worked. Time out does nothing to get through to him, a slap on the hand when he tried to grab for something he's not supposed to have doesn't work, and a swat on the butt when he doesn't listen is used as a last resort and also doesn't work. He just continues to do what he's not supposed to do and I feel like I can't even step away to use the bathroom without him getting into things. I'm at my wit's end. What can I do? Talking to him in a calm voice doesn't help either, and neither does explaining things to him in a rational tone. Please help! He just tries to hit me and tell me to shut up and leave him alone.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 11:34 PM on Mar. 17, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

Answers (5)
  • threaten to put him to bed; no matter what time it is. tell him if he's acting like that evedentally he needs to sleep (even if that's no the underlying problem). I can't think of anything else. oh maybe threaten to take something he loves away ex. toy movie show blanky whatever he has in his hand or is about to play with or just got done playing with.

    Answer by heartfrommyson at 11:38 PM on Mar. 17, 2009

  • That's been done and it has no effect. I turn of his tv show if he's watching it, I take away toys, I put him to bed, and I refuse to take him outside, and all he does is scream and throw more tantrums. Then I get sick of hearing the incessant whining, so I give in. I feel like I'm doing something wrong.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:40 PM on Mar. 17, 2009

  • I think you answered your own question. You get sick of hearing the incessant whining, so you give in. That is exactly what he is waiting for. Time outs and consequences DO work, but they will only work if they are followed through with consistency. If he gets a consequence for a behavior like a time out for telling you to shut up you must stick with it. It is very tough at first, but if you remain consistent it will get easier. Your child is just testing you and waiting for you to give him what he wants. Don't do it and he will learn that what you say is what you mean and when he gets a consequence for a behavior you are not going to back down or change your mind. You have to be consistent and if you expecet certain behaviors don't settle for anything less.

    Answer by mazonmom at 11:51 PM on Mar. 17, 2009

  • Maybe you're being inconsistent with doing to many things that he knows he really WON"T be without any thing for long? For years I was not consistent with one of my kids for different reasons and that kid mouthed off the most. It's taken ALOT, years later, of hard HARD long work to get structure and consistency back. He's got you wrapped up I think. Per punishment choose one in fact explain what he will choose to punish himself if he misbehaves. You are not making him misbehave. At his age he chooses to do so to a big degree. He knows what no means and he also knows you keep doing different things. Make a statement stick to it don't negotiate. That's what I've done and it's made a world of a difference.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:54 PM on Mar. 17, 2009

  • Good luck mine isnt 3 yet but she will test me i dont give in to her but after awhile she will give up and either leave it alone are take her nap , she is 13 months old . but dont give in to him and after awhile he will know you mean no and stop . i have been with mine for 4 months and she still fights it . but one day she will get it ,,,

    Answer by IJM2508 at 12:02 AM on Mar. 18, 2009

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