Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

How can get my 3 yr old to do what she is told?

She argues with everything i say, says "NO" when i tell her to do anything, and screams non stop when being punished. I need another way to get her to listen.

Answer Question

Asked by QueenBeans at 5:51 PM on Sep. 9, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 1 (2 Credits)
Answers (19)
  • Stop auguing with her. Tell her how it is, put her in time out, and don't start the timer until she stops screaming, and by all means do not speak to her until she has stopped screaming, started and completed her 3 minute time out without screaming.

    Answer by karamille at 5:53 PM on Sep. 9, 2010

  • Or "1, 2, 3... I'm gonna take your favorite toy unless you stop screaming" That works too.

    Answer by karamille at 5:55 PM on Sep. 9, 2010

  • when you talk to your child you need to get down to her level and talk to her and explain why she is in trouble or whatever the case may be. Children respond and communicate better when you are down at their level and not being talked "down" to or brought to your level. by level i mean height. It works like a charm for my 2.5 year old. when she starts screaming i get down to her level tell her im not talking to her until she stops and then i explain the situation to her and she just says ok and runs off like nothing. hope this helps. !

    Answer by bradymoma86 at 5:55 PM on Sep. 9, 2010

  • as far as time outs are ooncerned you need to be careful because if you dont start the timer until she starts screaming byt the time you take her out she might have forgotten why she was in timeout so the time out will have been for nothing. just start the time out when you put her there (one minute for every year old they are) and then when her time out is done talk to her ask her if she is ready to behave and talk to you and if she says no put her back in time out. but make sure you are telling her why she was put there.

    Answer by bradymoma86 at 5:58 PM on Sep. 9, 2010

  • No arguing with her - just tell her what you want her to do. If she doesn't do it, put her in timeout and tell her "you are in timeout because _____". No need for conversation. She needs to learn to do what you tell her to do.

    Answer by Gaccck at 5:58 PM on Sep. 9, 2010

  • Kara and Brady are right on. Also be sure never give in to her screaming and tantrum.
    I took my two granddaughters and grandson on a two week vacation. I discovered that the grandson acted out more frequently, but when I corrected him, he would show he was upset but do as I said and it was over. The girls very seldom had to be corrected, but when they were, we would get the crying and sitting on the floor and refusing to cooperate. I found that I just would ignore their bad behavior or put them in time out and ignore the crying, etc. Sometimes this would last 10 to 20 minutes. But eventually they saw that I was not giving in and they would go with the program.
    Too I would remember to choose your battles. Make sure the battle is worth it.

    Answer by tootoobusy at 6:00 PM on Sep. 9, 2010

  • OK, all great ideas, except, timeout is so hard, she screams and leaves timeout, i don't know how to get her to stay there! i have tried all these things, i do talk to her calmly on her level, ive tried ignoring her.... I am just at my wits end.

    Comment by QueenBeans (original poster) at 6:02 PM on Sep. 9, 2010

  • Be the parent, stick to what you are saying you are going to do. Screaming is unacceptable, use time outs.

    Answer by QandA at 6:03 PM on Sep. 9, 2010

  • "NO" does not work. Stopping them from doing things works. Arguing with a 3 year old? I tell a 3 yo what I want her to do. That is it.

    Answer by louise2 at 6:03 PM on Sep. 9, 2010

  • try to tell her what to do without making "no" an easy :"Do you want to brush your teeth in the hall bathroom or in the kitchen sink?"... "Do you want to pick up the Legos first or the hair ribbons?"
    at that age, they need more options and choices and more control over their environment.
    (and honestly, though we didn't spank for much, 'deliberate defiance' got a swat or a consequence.)

    Answer by Kiter at 6:06 PM on Sep. 9, 2010

Join CafeMom now to contribute your answer and become part of our community. It's free and takes just a minute.