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How do I get my 4 year old to follow instructions?

My daughter is 4 and a half years old and I feel like I'm yelling at her all the time. I ask her to pick up her toys. She sits and plays. I ask her to put her books away and she will go play with her toys. I give her choices of what she wants to do, explain the necessity of taking pride in our home, and so much more. I finally took her toys out of her bedroom and she has a small amount to play with downstairs, but now she won't pick those up either. I am seriously ready to scream. I know my daughter has an opinion and a mind of her own but this blatant defiance is very new. All of the things I am asking her to do she has done before so I have no clue what is going on.

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jackiemichele

Asked by jackiemichele at 9:53 PM on Oct. 2, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 1 (2 Credits)
Answers (8)
  • Here's what I do; it seems to work.

    You give her a choice. You say, "I need you to pick up your toys and put them away. If you don't, you don't get any tv (or whatever she likes to do) for the rest of the day (or tomorrow, if she's doing this before bed). If you do what I ask you, you can have an extra 30 minutes of tv (or something she really likes, maybe an extra piece of dessert she likes, or fruit, or juice, etc.).

    I give my daughter choices when I tell her what I want her to do and she usually (nine times out of ten) does it.
    _Tam_

    Answer by _Tam_ at 9:56 PM on Oct. 2, 2010

  • Oh man.... I thought it was just MY kid! My oldest will be 4 in November, and i feel the same way about him. That i'm constantly yelling at him or getting on him about something. He doesn't listen to A THING i say. I've tried time out, taking favorite toys away, spanking, you name it, and he still blatantly defies me. I just dont have the patience for this! Hopefully it's just a phase that they grow out of! SOON, God willing! Lol!
    MommaTurbo

    Answer by MommaTurbo at 9:57 PM on Oct. 2, 2010

  • 123 Magic is AWESOME> Give her 3 chances then there is a punishment. When she gets done with punishment, 123 again. She will do it. It works, if you can remember to do it everytime.
    dancinintherain

    Answer by dancinintherain at 9:58 PM on Oct. 2, 2010

  • I had/have the same problem with my son, and because of speech problems he really wasn't responding well to my punishment threats, so I made up a GOOD BOY REWARDS CHART. He earns stickers for behaviors like picking up his messes, doing what we tell him the 1t time, and behaving in church or other places. Then when he gets 6 stickers he gets a toys (usually dollar store finds) that we keep on a high shelf where he can see them, but not reach them.

    This worked so well that he started begging for ways to get more stickers to get the toys. So we gave him a few small chores that when he does them he can get a sticker. Things like helping empty the dishwasher, fold laundry, and cleaning his room and playroom (not just tossing toys in the toy box @ night).

    I won't say I still never want to pull my hair out, but life is much much improved.
    Marianne T.

    Answer by Marianne T. at 12:01 AM on Oct. 3, 2010

  • What dancinintherain said. :)
    WomanWitty

    Answer by WomanWitty at 4:42 AM on Oct. 3, 2010

  • Marianne, i tried that when he was younger, and it worked for about a week til he lost interest in it. Maybe i'll try that again now that he's older!
    MommaTurbo

    Answer by MommaTurbo at 11:01 AM on Oct. 3, 2010

  • Be Consistent Follow on punishment like time outs.
    mommy_of_two388

    Answer by mommy_of_two388 at 3:06 PM on Oct. 3, 2010

  • i agree be consistent
    mekarevell

    Answer by mekarevell at 7:08 PM on Oct. 11, 2010

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