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how do you get a three year old to listen?

My daughtre is three years old and when we tell her no or try to disipline her she tells us no or sassys back. She is always ruff housing with our cocer spanial and we are afraid that some day she is going to do that to another dog and she will get bit. We tell her to be nice and she sassy us back and keeps it up so then we put her in a corner. What are some affecitive ways of disiplilne or getting her to listen to us?

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Asked by littlered29 at 9:38 AM on Mar. 30, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (11)
  • LOL! Sorry! 3 yr olds usually don't listen and it doesn't get much better as they get older! I know some may disagree with me, but she just may need a little nip from a dog to realize she has to be more gentle with him. Also, I would remove the dog from her when she gets that way and tell her that until she agrees to be gentle, she's not allowed to play with him.
    As for sassing, I would calmly tell her that she is not to behave that way/speak that way and firmly spank her bottom. She needs to know there are limits and when she crosses them that there is a consequence to that. Be firm and she will learn. GL

    Answer by Babylove76 at 9:48 AM on Mar. 30, 2009

  • Well, kids don't do as they say. They do as they see. Does she have any "sassy" role models in her life? I would just stick with your guns. Don't get mad or irritated with her because that will teach her that her "sassy-ness" has an effect on you. Don't let her see you react to her behavior, all she is doing really is testing her will power on you. Stick to your guns, stay calm, & when she chooses to do the right thing, THEN praise her. She will learn that she gets attention when she chose to do the right thing. Children, especially around that age, try everything they can to test their will power. If you react to it, regardless if it's a positive or negative reaction, it will teach her that she has SOME kind of leverage over you. This is what you want to avoid. If you make NO reaction, just act nice but w/ correcting words, this will teach her that her behavior gets NO reaction, until she does what she is supposed to

    Answer by samurai_chica at 9:48 AM on Mar. 30, 2009

  • Don't spank her, that is confusing to a 3 year old. And it is well known, and a lot of studies have been done on it, that is doesn't not actually CORRECT bad behavior, If anything, it makes it worse. It teaches kids how to me more aggressive.


    Answer by samurai_chica at 9:51 AM on Mar. 30, 2009

  • I only know from personal experience, and when I was three, I was a pain in the a**. lol My mom couldn't get babysitters to come more than once. EVERYTHING was "mine". You know, normal little kid stuff. She curbed my behavior in an abusive manner, and no, I don't mean a simple spanking. It's really up to you how to deal with it. You are her parent and the choices you make decide how she will grow up. There are too many different kinds of people on here to really get a good idea of how to raise kids, and with how kids are turning out these days, I wouldn't rely on the popular vote. Good luck!

    Answer by twocutetwins09 at 10:24 AM on Mar. 30, 2009

  • when she gets sassy put her butt in time out.
    When she rough houses with the dog put her butt in time out.
    When she tells you 'no' you tell her thats not okay and put her butt in time out
    It might help to get down to her level face to face (you may have to hold her face in your hands to make her look at you) and tell her in a firm voice .."NOT OKAY !" then put her butt in time out
    You may also want to check out the book 1-2-3 magic (it can be googled) great book

    Answer by justgrape723 at 11:12 AM on Mar. 30, 2009

  • I guess I must just have an authorative voice, when I speak everyone listens, all the kids and dogs. I have a 3 year old, they are going to test their limits, but sassing is never acceptable. During the couple of minutes my son was testing his limits I told him that would not be tollerated, and told him that if felt the need to say something after I speak, the only things he is allowed to say is yes ma'am. I am not mean, I do not yell, I do not spank. My dad was a wonderful parent. He told me years ago, lower your voice when you speak, but always use an authorative voice, they will be quiet to hear you. Never be too hard on them, you don't want to break their spirit. If you are going to tell them something, make sure you are going to get up and make them do it, don't say anything more than once. If they don't do it, go to them, take their hand and say let's do what mommy told you to do. No need for yelling. It works.

    Answer by LoriW at 11:31 AM on Mar. 30, 2009

  • When my 3 year old was 1 1/2, I introduced 123 magic. I explained to him that when I say 1 he'd better stop what he is doing, when I say 2 he'd better be well on his way to me, and then said, don't you ever let me say 3. A couple of minutes later I had to try it out. I said 1, he stopped, I said 2 and while he was on his way to me he said 3. He did just what I told him, he didn't let me say 3. lol. They learn this very quickly, and then you start using the techniques above.

    Answer by LoriW at 11:40 AM on Mar. 30, 2009

  • You have to find that ONE thing that she values. The one thing that you can take from her when she gets ugly like that. Once you discover what it is, you can work out her behavior issues. Three year olds act out, but there is acceptable and unacceptable behavior. Bad behavior, gets the "thing" taken away for a couple of hours. No matter what. No matter what kind of fit she throws. Stick to your guns.

    Answer by fawn321 at 11:49 AM on Mar. 30, 2009

  • well some will say that's just a 3 year old old. I say bull poo. You can teach them discipline, yes some will listen more theno thers but still. Following through is the biggest thing so many parents don't do, and the child learns your not serious or they learn to block you out. Give choices and follow through that's what I say. Would you like to clean up those toys or should be pack them away? if she does not answer or listen then assume she has made the choice. Put them away and do not take them out until you feel she is ready to try again.

    Answer by Willywonka06 at 12:05 PM on Mar. 30, 2009

  • Amen to the authoritative voice! Continue being consistent on her behavior... it's a marathon, not a sprint.... but also work on cultivating your authoritative voice and look... alot of people in my generation knew 'the look' that a parent would give that would set your butt straight. My son actually knew this look & tone before he was 2. He still has fits occassionally - they all do... but like others have said, ignore the behavior and correcting is all you can do at that point!

    Answer by AggieMamacita at 12:18 PM on Mar. 30, 2009

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