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how do u get a 3 yr old to listen?

ok, first, let me say that she has no hearing issues. she can understand and repeat back to me what i say. she is just stubborn. i have to ask/ tell her to do things repeatedly. and she will just do whatever she wants. i am at my wits end. yes, i kno she is just wanting to express her free will and do things on her own, but there is a limit. she needs to kno that since i am the mother i am in charge. how would u suggest i get her to listen to me?
on several occasions, she has gotten hurt bc she wont listen. (ex: stop running. and she doesnt. so she trips and falls).


Asked by Phippsandrea at 6:02 PM on Oct. 4, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 17 (4,493 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (11)
  • Decide to spend devoted time to just working with this. Give her one very simple instruction and do not move on until that is completed. Reward - praise - do a dance. We sing a song a whole lot--You did it, You did it, You really really did it! Move on to the next instruction. Repeat.
    Incorporate this song - method into your everyday life.
    As for potty training, I swear that you just need to have the right time. She will learn when she is ready.
    Mine last one was encouraged by wanting to go to preschool like her older cousin.
    That is a thought too. When she is in a group situation, she will see others following instructions and she will realize that is the way of the world.
    It takes patience, work, dedication and a mother's love.

    Answer by tootoobusy at 6:27 PM on Oct. 4, 2010

  • Have you heard of love and logic? sometimes kids just need to learn things on their own. She sounds normal from what you have typedd. She is 3, 3yr olds don't listen well. Love and Logic has been the best best help for my kids and I.

    Answer by KaraMia15 at 6:05 PM on Oct. 4, 2010

  • I also suggest trying Love & Logic. You tell her things once, and there is a consequence when she doesn't listen.

    Answer by TweenAndTwinMom at 6:11 PM on Oct. 4, 2010

  • Rewarding good behavior helps even more to get a three year olds attention. They seem to listen a whole lot better when they get a cookie or some small reward for doing what's right.

    Answer by CafeMochaMom1 at 6:16 PM on Oct. 4, 2010

  • well if you are punishing her for potty training then you won't win that battle. Make it fun. Be excited. Potty training is the one area you can't get frustrated in or it takes longer. You have to find her buttons, what she really likes and what she really doesn't like. For consequences you have to find something that speaks to her that she doesn't like. For rewards you have to find things she really likes. We can't tell you these things, every kid is different. It takes time to figure it out. There are no quick fixes. The more frustrated you get with her the more frustrating she is going to be. I know this because I have a very strong willed child. Sounds like you may have one too.

    Answer by KaraMia15 at 6:23 PM on Oct. 4, 2010

  • ok, so what kind of consequences? nothing phases her. we are having the same issues bc of potty training

    Comment by Phippsandrea (original poster) at 6:15 PM on Oct. 4, 2010

  • The consequence depends on the situation. With my 3 year old twins, if I ask them to pick up their toys and they don't, then I might pick them up myself and say, "How sad! You didn't pick up your toys. Mommy picked them up, and now they are mine." They may not be bothered about it immediately, but at some point they will miss the toys. If they don't listen at the store I might go through a drive through to get ice cream and not get them any...when they say they want ice cream too, I say, "I know you love ice cream, and it is so sad that I can only buy ice cream for children who listen/behave at the store."


    Answer by TweenAndTwinMom at 6:24 PM on Oct. 4, 2010

  • i dont punish for potty training. i reward her like crzy when she gets it. i tell her how sad i am when she has an accident.... when i reward her, she comes to expect it. and if she is bad, i explain why she doesnt get it then she goes on to throw a fit. i just dont know what else to do

    Comment by Phippsandrea (original poster) at 6:25 PM on Oct. 4, 2010

  • Hi Fellow Mommy
    I am currently taking a 7-week series of classes based on the book "Love & Logic" it has helped me tremendously. I will give a quick example. I am about to go outdoors with my 3 year old & it is very cold out. I give him two choices, bring your coat and either wear it or you may carry it. Don't tell the child to put on the coat or else!! They do not learn that way. The "Love & Logic method provides the follwing instructions for success:

    1) Never tell a child what to do (unless child is in danger)
    2) Always give 2 choices, so the child can become accustomed to making good choices & learning life skills as a result....
    3) There methods help to enable your child to learn consequences at an early age

    When the child gets sick from going out without his/her coat they learn a valuable lesson. Say to the child " I'm sorry you chose not to wear your coat on a cold day! And say nothing else about it.....

    Answer by blessedwork at 6:50 PM on Oct. 4, 2010

  • good question

    Answer by sherribeare at 12:11 AM on Oct. 5, 2010