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How can I get my son to LISTEN?

My 3 year old DOES NOT LISTEN! He is very defiant when he is told to do something, he will simply say "no" then continue doing what he was told not to do. It has been going on for quite some time now and I am at my wit's end. He has become a very mean little boy, when he gets mad he will hit. He stays home with me 90% of the time and it seems like all I am doing is getting onto him for his behavior. I know I shouldn't yell at him but I get so frustrated I don't know what to do. He only takes naps when he is absolutely exhausted from being so bad. He seems to be a very hyper child but I will not have him medicated if it turns out he has ADD or ADHD. Since he likes to hit I try to stay away from spanking him (it doesn't work anyway, he just laughs), time outs make him FREAK out even worse to the point where he is sweating from throwing such a fit. When ignored he is just as bad. Please help!!!!!

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Asked by fadenaway4 at 12:58 AM on Dec. 1, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (6)
  • time out WILL work. you HAVE to be consistent. it is the KEY. i promise. i know EXACTLY what you are talking about. ive went through it already with my almost 4 year old. you need to try a sticker chart for good behavior along with it. with the time outs- same place EVERY time. [i use a corner] give a warning first. doesnt work? ok, time out. if he gets up, put him back, even if it takes a hundred times. when the 3 mins are up [once he gets that he is NOT going to win this time], go over to him, get down to his level, tell him why he was there, why its not good to do what he did, tell him you need an apology, tell him you love him, hugs and kisses, and let him be on his way. it takes TIME. lots of it. but it WORKS! and the rewards... when he listens [cleans up his toys, goes potty, eats all of his food, etc] he gets a sticker. let him pick it and let him put it on the chart. when he gets 10, he gets a prize....cont......

    Answer by mommykayti at 1:09 AM on Dec. 1, 2009

  • the prize can be anywhere from chuck e cheese, the park, candy, a trip to mcdonalds to play in the playland, rent a movie, get a new toy, ANYTHING your heart desires. for me it depends on how long it takes for him to get ten. if it takes a few hours, then he gets a piece of candy. if it takes a few days, he gets mcdonalds, or the park. it took me almost a month before he completely understood what was going on. and you're on the right track with the trying not to yell. if he sees you arent getting upset anymore, he'll change his behavior. it might get worse at first but after he realizes that MOM is the adult, he will start to listen. the sticker chart is cheap too! get a piece of colored paper (construction paper works best for me) and get it laminated. that way you can re-use stickers and they arent so expensive. keep it up on the freezer part of the fridge. im telling you just try it and KEEP AT IT! it really really works!!

    Answer by mommykayti at 1:14 AM on Dec. 1, 2009

  • I agree with mommykayti but would like to add to make sure he is getting enough exercise. Physically and mentally. My four yr old has been the same way. I am sure he would be diagnosed with ADD if I took him to be tested, but like you I will not medicate for it. So what is the point?
    With DS I notice on boring days he acts out and is more defiant. I try to make it a point to take him somewhere active everyday (it wears me out but it really helps). We go to the park, playplace at the mall or McDonalds, playground, duck pond, have a friend over, etc). I also started taking him our neighborhood park and "exercising". He loves it!! We run, do jumping jacks, squats, pushups. Whatever I can come up with and he will cooperate with. I usually try to go to the park an hour or two before bedtime. That gives him enough time to cool off and he is tired by the time he goes to bed.

    Answer by AnnaMac at 1:29 AM on Dec. 1, 2009

  • We also got a labrador recently. The dog helps get out a lot of my sons energy. But that is only something I would suggest doing if you are 100% dedicated to taking care of a dog.
    Good Luck!

    Answer by AnnaMac at 1:31 AM on Dec. 1, 2009

  • I really appreciate all of the advice so far. I have a few comments I would like to make:

    It has gotten to the point where it is so hard to take him out in public because he misbehaves and plays deaf. I have really bad anxiety and the thought of him acting out in public makes me want to cry. It is a difficult situation. However, he is pretty good when we go to the park so maybe we will have to do that more often. Also, we have a 14 wk old English Bulldog puppy but Wyatt does not play well with her. He pulls her around by her collar, kicks her, jumps on her, is just nasty to her. I have told him several times that she is a baby and he needs to be nice to her but he thinks its funny. I can't even imagine how bad he would be if we were to have another child.

    Answer by fadenaway4 at 1:35 AM on Dec. 1, 2009

  • Pulling on the puppy is ok. Kicking and jumping on her is not lol. The pulling will make her get use to being around kids. She is MUCH less likely to turn on a child when being pulled on. And just to be clear, I made it sound like playing is a privelage, that's not the case =]. We only go out to play every other day, and if he gets ten stickers, he gets an extra half hour outside, OR if he gets a LOT of stickers in one day, we go out on a day we normally wouldnt. I just realized I made it sound like I keep my three year old locked in the house all day long, which isnt whats going on! =] Sorry for not being more specific before =]

    Answer by mommykayti at 1:47 AM on Dec. 1, 2009

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