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How to get my 3 year old to listen to me

Living with family until we get back on our feet. I have two and others have two as well. I am having trouble getting my 3 year old to listen to me any suggestions before I lose my mind? Greatly appreciated.

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Asked by Anonymous at 3:19 PM on Jul. 1, 2011 in General Parenting

Answers (7)
  • Never repeat yourself. You are only training him to ignore you until you get loud and angry. Say it once. If he doesn't immediately obey, then "stop the world". He can do nothing else until he does as you told him. You may have to go take him by the hand and guide him to do as you said, but you are teaching him that you mean business. Ex: You tell him to pick up toys, he ignores you. You take his chin and guide him to look at you. Ask if he heard you. Give him your "I mean it!" mommy look. Then, if he doesn't obey, take his hand, pick up the toy with his hand, move his hand to the toy shelf or box, drop it and repeat. Many kids hate to have you do this. Some will play "rag doll" and let you finish the task. The idea is that no matter what you told him, he is not allowed to ignore you, watch tv, talk, or play until he does as he was told. Over a few weeks, this makes an impression.

    Answer by LoreleiSieja at 3:30 PM on Jul. 1, 2011

  • I have the same problem. I have a 3 and 4 yr old that wont listen.

    Answer by country_mom_07 at 3:31 PM on Jul. 1, 2011

  • when you find the answer let me know

    Answer by mommy_of_two388 at 3:34 PM on Jul. 1, 2011

  • I say it once, if dd ignores me I grab her chin and look into her eyes (not hard or anything, just so I know I have her attention) and tell her if she doesn't do as asked she will get in time out. Then I ask her to repeat what I've said and let her have one more chance to do as I've asked. If she doesn't, she stands with her nose in the corner until she either stops whining or 3 minutes is up. Then she is to do as she was told and I don't have to do this nearly as often anymore! She knows right away. We had issues with dd when we moved from AK to WA and moved in with family. Family became soft and let her do whatever she wanted so she stopped listening but this put a stop to that.

    Answer by 07lilmama1108 at 3:36 PM on Jul. 1, 2011

  • Mine turned three a month ago and just started this as well. If she doesn't listen to me she goes to time out (where she likes to scream and throw herself on the ground and such, but as long as she is in time out I don't care). Once she is done throwing a fit and time out is over, I try again. If she doesn't listen, she goes back to time out. Repeat until she listens. I've had a few times where she literally just doesn't ever give up, and that means bed time. She'll clean her room or whatever the next day.

    Now, if its something dangerous (ie. she stands up on a chair - like she did last night) I tell her, "Sit down." And if she doesn't, I pick her up and sit her down. Basically, I phyiscally stop the dangerous behavior.

    Both situations I explain afterward why either she was in trouble, or why she needed to listen. I always ask her if she understands me, and I ask her for an apology. Seems to be working.

    Answer by FatGirl239 at 4:17 PM on Jul. 1, 2011

  • Say it one time and say one. Say it a 2nd time and say two. Say it a 3rd time and say 3. If he doesn't listen at 3, put him in time out for 3 minutes. Keep up with this sort of discipline. It will be h**l as he tests you and this new system. It will get worse, but don't give in. In less than a week, your 3 year-old will be listening.


    Answer by JSD24 at 4:46 PM on Jul. 1, 2011

  • I tell my son once and firmly, if I have to say it again I count to 3 but I only get to 2 cause he starts listening... If I have to tell him more then once he goes to time out or directly to his room.

    Answer by Claudiomom at 11:34 AM on Jul. 2, 2011

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