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How can I get my daughter to listen and stop talking back to me?

My daughter is 4 and she does not listen to me. She tells me no or argues with me and quite frankly I feel like a push-over sometimes. Scenario: She had her "good behavior stickers" and I didn't want her to get them out so I said, " Baby hand me your stickers so that we can have them when you earn your star." I said it in a loving voice, not accusing but she looked at me and basically ignored me. I then said," Boo come on you don't need to get your stickers out or else you won't have them. Bring them here." This is when she told me no and after asking another time, she threw them at me. I tried to keep my voice calm and told her that wasn't the right thing to do and she needed to pick the stickers up and hand them to me. To shorten the story, she crawled like a baby to give the stickers to me and when asked to stand up she said she couldn't so I made her sit on the floor as time out until she felt like she could stand up. Even then she still didn't take her time out seriously and I eventually let her up after she was crying non stop. What are other ways I can discipline her to get her to listen and not tell me "NO"? I mean I felt like I asked her nicely enough and she turned it into something negative. I don't want to continue to be the push-over mom. Help please!

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Asked by briasmom07 at 4:21 PM on Jan. 21, 2011 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 4 (28 Credits)
Answers (6)
  • I would have spanked her butt. She is behaving with great disrespect toward you, and that's only going to get worse as she gets older. Children have to be taught that they must obey immediately without delay, disgust or disrespect. I know of no better way to do that than a swat on bare skin so that she feels the sting of her disrespect and disobedience. It has been practiced in my family for generations and there have been absolutely no ill effects from it.

    Answer by NannyB. at 4:28 PM on Jan. 21, 2011

  • Well first of all stop engaging. You asked one time for them to be handed over. She ignored you so then it becomes a demand. 'Give me the stickers now please- I want you to put them in my hand. That's a 1. Give about 4 seconds. 'That's a 2' If she throws them or says no it's a 3 and a time out. The time out doesn't start until the screaming/crying stops. At my house the creaming/ crying happens in the bed room but the time out is serve don the stairs. I like the book 1-2-3 Magic.

    Answer by But_Mommie at 4:29 PM on Jan. 21, 2011

  • You can't reason with a 4 year old. LOL,LOL,LOL,LOL
    I would have said to her. " give me those stickes" If she would not give them to me I would have went to her and TOOK THEM. Simple and easy. If she had a fit about it. I would just let her have a fit in her room.

    Answer by louise2 at 4:33 PM on Jan. 21, 2011

  • Stick to your guns and be consistent. In the example you gave you allowed her to get up too soon. Yes, I know it is easy for me to say but she has learned you have a limit and will eventually give in.

    Each child has a "currency" which is THE most important thing to them. We used to take that away for an appropriate length of time with our boys. It won't necessarily be a toy. My youngest used to LOVE watching the trash truck. So, occasionally we would say he would not be allowed to watch it. Zero in on what makes her tick. Be Consistent!! Don't threaten something unless you really will do it. Like saying "you will never watch TV again". That is unrealistic and not something you can follow through on. Also, make sure she get enough one on one time with you and your SO. Plus praise when she do things right. GL!

    Answer by elizabr at 4:34 PM on Jan. 21, 2011

  • I don't know... are you modelling 'good listening skills' to her, when she talks to you?

    You know, it is not actually possible to argue against what someone has told you to do if you haven't heard it.

    Yeah, yeah... I know what you mean: you want to know how to make a 4yo independent, individual human being act according to your wishes, whims and demands, instead of what she wants to do, thinks is important or prefers. You say 'listen to' and mean 'obey.'

    This form of psychological torture (behaviour stickers) can be seen in its affect on the child: her resistance, her resistance to her own compliance, her frustration, the violence used to comply, her verbal rejections... everything this child's behaviour is telling you is 'this is NOT working' and yet you persist.

    Behaviouralist theory was discredited within 5 years of Skinner creating it. Punishment and rewards DO NOT WORK. How this stupid idea persists is unexplainable.

    Answer by LindaClement at 4:51 PM on Jan. 21, 2011

  • Positive and negative reinforcement (commonly referred to as rewards and punishment) when implemented correctly, work very well. The problem is people don't know how to implement them correctly or for what period of time before giving up. The good behavior stickers probably aren't the issue here, its the guidelines set forth to earn the stickers. Since this no response seems to be of great concern to you I would sit with your daughter at a relaxing time, and explain your changing the sticker rules. Let her earn a sticker every time she answers a command from you appropriately, and not earn a sticker when she says no. Start out small, reward a sticker every single time she answers correctly. Eventually work up to going a day without screaming no, and finally move on to including other "good behaviors." Make sure she understands what a good behavior is, you'd be surprised the lack of understanding that can contribute to problems

    Answer by ba13ygrl1987 at 7:35 PM on Jan. 21, 2011

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