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My 3.5 yr old has consistently been ignoring me. Is this normal for this age range?

My daughter who is three and a half has been driving me crazy lately with her consistent behavior of ignoring me. If you all tell me it's normal for this age group, I probably will be much more accepting of it and won't get so worked up. Lately, if I tell her to stop something, or to come to me, or whatever it is, I have to say it several times before she listens, and then she only listens because at that point I am angry and threatening time out or some other form of punishment. I want her to listen to me without it getting to the point of anger. Any creative suggestions?

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Asked by Tracee-815 at 11:00 AM on Apr. 20, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (7)
  • nothing is normal cause children aren't robots. they are individuals with different feelings...i can say that she may be going through an Oedipus stage where she becomes jealous of the same sex parent

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:03 AM on Apr. 20, 2010

  • My daughter is also the same age. She was born in October. She is the exact same way. I have to tell her things several times before she does what I want. It takes forever to get ready to go somewhere because I have to tell her a bunch of times to get ready. A lot of the time she only listens when I get really angry and threaten or yell. She is only like that with me if daddy tells her to do something she almost always does it right away.

    Answer by amymartinez0214 at 11:05 AM on Apr. 20, 2010

  • ask her things that would make her want to listen.. like we're going to the park now or something .. and if she ignores you and then asks to do it later you tell her you offered and she wasn't listening..

    its normal.. especially if she is focused on a task

    Answer by Jan0609momma at 11:06 AM on Apr. 20, 2010

  • This is normal behavior for a child who has not been taught that she is told once what she is to do or stop doing. You have allowed her to establish a pattern of ignoring you, and it will only get worse as she gets older, or at least the stakes get higher. I highly recommend that you get the book SHEPHERDING A CHILD'S HEART by Tedd Tripp and that you read it and implement his parenting techniques. Children must be taught to respect their parents and their authority. It is the very basis for all of life, and it is ideally started at about 8 months of age or when a child begins to crawl and get into things she isn't supposed to bother. Please get the book!!!

    Answer by NannyB. at 11:07 AM on Apr. 20, 2010

  • It is normal and even the best behaved kids who have been taught to respect their parents will go through it. It's also not a phase that's limited to the preschooler set. It's one that comes and goes from the time your child realizes she's her own person with the ability to impact the world around her.

    My kids are 7 and 5. I ask once. If I do not get the response I desire, I go over to them, touch them gently on the shoulder and repeat what I said. They can get wrapped up in things easily - the touch makes them break that focus. I set expectations of "do this or..." before hand. They know, for example, that if I have to repeat myself, there's a consequence. I also give time countdowns - "in 5 minutes you have to go get dressed." I give 10 min, 5, min, 1 min warnings. We turn things into a game too "I bet I can get dressed before you!" or "First one to the car wins!" Wins what? nothing, but they've yet to connect that. LOL!

    Answer by ldmrmom at 2:02 PM on Apr. 20, 2010

  • I tend to agree with ldmrmom. You can also make sure to praise her when she does what you want the first time.

    Answer by momofryan07 at 2:05 PM on Apr. 20, 2010

  • My DD has been doing this to me since she was 2 1/2 and she is now 3 1/2. So it is normal in our house. You are not alone and I know how frustrating it is. Just stay consistent and stand your ground.

    Answer by FranksHoney at 10:22 PM on Apr. 20, 2010

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