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So frustrated...... ugh.....

My almost 3 year old is driving me up a wall with his not listening.... I try all the tricks about not saying no too often and rephrasing it so I am still setting boundries but arg... He refuses to listen to me and no amount of time outs or taking things away is working... I swear I used to have patience... I really did... now I feel like the minute he wakes up I end up getting frustrated.... even this morning I asked him to come to me ( for a hug and kiss ) and he said NO, I am pushing my cars around.. If I ask him to please help mommy and get something for me, He won't.. I tell him we are a family and we need to help each other but he flat out refuses... I don't know what to do - Man, I hope this is an age thing.,.. He is strong willed and showing signs of adhd like his father and I both have but I am still the mom... how do I get him to listen???


Asked by Anonymous at 8:42 AM on Aug. 13, 2010 in General Parenting

This question is closed.
Answers (19)
  • I always found it helpful to tell children to look at me when I talked to them. I told them to look at my eyes and that helps them focus and listen. Maybe that will help. Pick your battles. Some of this will pass. Make sure he is getting enough one on one time with you and DH, getting positive reinforcement when he does things right, and gets plenty of hugs and kisses too. Best wishes.

    Answer by elizabr at 8:45 AM on Aug. 13, 2010

  • getting on your child's level and eye contact does help a lot!
    just hang in there mama! it will get better!

    Answer by happy2bmom25 at 8:51 AM on Aug. 13, 2010

  • It's not a phase, so you are going to have to use some more effective methods of training. Children are born wanting to have their own way and to tell others what they will and will not do. Some are more strong-willed than others, and that can be a good thing, but it has to be developed and harnassed in order for to be an asset to the child. We spanked our children for disobedience and disrespect for our authority. I highly recommend it. You tell the child that the rule is he will be told once. If he doesn't immediately obey, he will be spanked. There will be no other warning, no counting, no threats of any kind. And then you follow through. Done consistently, he will learn to obey and show respect. You make that the theme of your correction, and you tell him each time that you love him too much to allow him to grow up being rebellious and disrespectful. Our children turned out extremely well using this method.

    Answer by NannyB. at 8:53 AM on Aug. 13, 2010

  • I have to make my 3 year old look me in the eye, point to my eyes and then to hers and make an imaginary track between the two of them and say, "Focus Jada, mommy is talking to you." I ask her nicely and honestly (lol - I'm a mean mommy I guess) if she doesn't do it I tell her "You ARE going to do it and you are going to do it NOW." That usually gets the job done.

    Answer by Memigen at 8:59 AM on Aug. 13, 2010

  • Adding to what NannyB said, be consistent with the discipline (whatever form you use). That means only telling your son ONE TIME to do something. If he doesn't obey then you discipline (timeout - whatever you use. Don't tell him a second time. He will soon learn to listen and respond the first time and you will find yourself getting frustrated less often.

    Whenever life seems to get really overwhelming at my house (I have 4 kids 4 years and younger) I realize I have quit disciplining on the FIRST instance! Once I crack down the kids start responding better. It's really mostly about discipline of yourself. It is SO much easier to keep hollering at the kids rather than get up and deal with the problem immediately. Funny though - it might be easier but I end up getting more upset!

    Answer by micheledo at 8:59 AM on Aug. 13, 2010

  • Here is the famous article about saying no. Pay attention to what the suggestions about what to say instead. It doesn't recommend punishment.

    When you ask him to come to you for a hug and a kiss he should have the free will to choose not to. Affection should be freely given. A 3 year old doesn't understand things like "we need to help each other out". You need to shift your thinking. No mini lectures, keep it simple. No asking him to 'help' mommy. Focus on the task or issue. It's not his job to be your helper.


    Answer by Gailll at 9:10 AM on Aug. 13, 2010

  • Yes! To put it simply. The first day or so you will feel like it is constant. But he will most likely learn quickly that when you tell him to do something he needs to respond. After the first few days you will find him listening better. (along with that though, I have to be sure that they are listening to me and not distracted when I am telling them what to do. They could be busy playing so I ask them to look at me).

    A fun way to work on listening and obedience - I will call out to one of my kids - "Nathaniel, LOOK at me!" If he doesn't obey, I say, "Nathaniel, you need to obey mommy. Please look at me." Then when they look I give them a HUGE smile and shout, I LOVE YOU!!! Sometimes I even run over and tickle them. It is fun to see them start looking at me so quickly after I have 'played' the game a few times.

    I don't want all my teaching and training to be in the form of discipline!

    Answer by micheledo at 9:13 AM on Aug. 13, 2010

  • You don't train up a child to be cooperative by using punishment. You are not doing the "tricks" right if you are using time outs and taking things away. When you are dealing with problems with children don't think 'he won't listen and he has problems' (attribution error), think 'what am I doing wrong'. I think you are expressing that to.

    It's not just about not saying no, you have to know what to do when you don't say no. Always remember punishment almost never stops bad behavior and never teaches good behavior. Psychologists know (and have known for over 30 years) that it is an ineffective form of parenting. Kids behave worse, lie, sneak, hurt others, and resent parents. You can be smart enough you don't need to punish.


    Answer by Gailll at 8:57 AM on Aug. 13, 2010

  • I really am at a loss of what forms or Methods to use to help teach him to listen - I very much agree this is MY issue and not his- he's a child and its my job to teach him to listen behave and teach him good values, I just have no idea how to with his temperment and personality... I am about as opposite a personality as can be - he's like his father and I am very passive, forgiving and obedient ( although I hate using that word ) My Mom only always needed to ask me once to do something.... no fear from her of any kind,,. I just wanted to make her happy - my son however, wants to see how far he can push every step of the way - he's JUST like his father... I want to learn how but having untreated adhd , reading is very hard for me and treating my ADHD with meds isn't an option because the meds make me very angry and its not fair to my family.. I need lots of help... I don't want to always yell or threaten my son...

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 9:02 AM on Aug. 13, 2010

  • So using the "Ask one time method" then discipline, is this for everything?? I know I need to learn to pick my battles but that's where I feel run over - a simple "You need to go pick up your toys or we need to get dressed now" sends him running or he continues what he's doing, would I spank or time out then? for each instance like that?

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 9:04 AM on Aug. 13, 2010