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They won't listen unless I scream

So this is a new problem. I don't think I ask much of my 3 & 5 y/o's, but maybe I'm wrong. All I ask is they put their shoes away and clean up toys after they are done and before dinner & bedtime. But lately when I ask them to do it they ignore me after 3-4 times unless I scream "guys clean up!" Tonight I lost it and they lost all their toys, tv, and movies. I feel it's a little extreme, but they need to earn those back. Any other ideas on how to get them to listen?


Asked by 3earthangels at 8:53 PM on Dec. 17, 2008 in General Parenting

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Answers (11)
  • I have this same problem but we're working on it, which takesn time!

    Stop yelling. You shouldn't have to raise your voice to get them to listen. Explain to them ahead of time that things are changing. If they don't do what they're told the firs titme, you'll ask them once more. If they don't do what they're asked, you take something away the rest of the day. If it continues, time-out. When they're done with time-out, they get to do what you asked them to do the first time.

    I'm so used to screaming at my kids to get them to listen that it became a now I'm working on breaking the habit. Bad habits are hard to break, and good habits are hard to form.

    Answer by ReneeK3 at 9:48 PM on Dec. 17, 2008

  • I also have a three year old who ignores me quite frequently. We have been trying something new lately which seems to be working. Instead of telling her to pick up her toys or eat her dinner we have been giving her options so that she feels as if she is making the decision versus being told to do something. For example, when she does not want to pick up her toys I tell her she can either pick up her toys or I can give them to a little girl who will. We have been doing with with nearly every difficult situation for the last several weeks. Of course you have to be willing to follow through but so far just giving her the option I think makes her feel that she is choosing to pick up the toys or deciding to eat her vegetables and not always being told what to do. This really seems to work.

    Answer by maddiemygirl at 9:07 PM on Dec. 17, 2008

  • First of all you have taught them not to listen until you reach the screaming stage. The first time they should listen, if not take them physically (not with anger!!!!!!!!) and take them to do what you tell them to do. Kids are not stupid--they can read you like a book. They know just when you are about to lose control. I would highly recommend some good books on discipline--Dr. James Dobson's website--Focus on the Family--has some excellent resources. You have to establish that you are the boss. And you do all of this without the anger--because anger is NOT an option in teaching your children to respect you, do what they are told, and follow the house rules.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:13 PM on Dec. 17, 2008

  • I give my daughter options on certain things. However, when it comes to something like cleaning up or sit down in the bath tub, she only gets told once. If I tell her to help me pick up her toys (she is only 16 months old) and she doesn't listen, I will physically (gently) take her to the toys and even take her hands and pick them up using her hands if I have to. I never have to use her hands to pick up more than one toy, after that she knows I'm serious and she continues herself. Take away the 3 or 4 times of telling them. Tell them once. Then make them do it, and don't give in. But again as said above, be patient, and don't let them see you get angry or frustrated. That will only let them see that they can get away with it. GL!

    Answer by lilbit837 at 9:27 PM on Dec. 17, 2008

  • If they don't pay attention to me when I ask them to do something, I whisper what I want. Then they have to stop and listen.

    Answer by Crazy-Steph at 9:46 PM on Dec. 17, 2008

  • No...I have no advice to offer! My daughter does the SAME thing. If I ask her to pick up, she's not going to do it til I'm mad...and even then I have to stay right on top of her and say "pick up the book, put it on the shelf...put your bear back on your bed...put your barbies in their case and put it in your closet". The second I turn my back or stop giving orders, she's done...she will literally wait to see if I'm going to turn around or sit there and make her do it! It makes me want to skip the talk and go straight to punishment! lol

    Answer by kabbot01 at 11:02 PM on Dec. 17, 2008

  • I know I'm horrible at this sometimes, but screaming is not good for anyone. what I do is make sure that they are first looking into my eyes before I talk with them, so I know that they are paying attention. you can even have them repeat what you said.

    Answer by Precious333 at 12:03 AM on Dec. 18, 2008

  • TG I am not alone! lol.
    We use to do the countdown from 10 -0 to clean and it was fun for all of us to see if we could beat the tape (I taped myself counting down.). But now that daddy is gone most of the days (use to work 2pm-12am now working 8am-8pm) they really don't care to listen. I know it may be an adjustment period. I literally have to stand in the middle of the room and say, "Juan, pick up the books and put them on the shelf. Maria pick up the blocks and put them in the wagon....ect."
    And we even have the chore chart that gets them stickers & rewards if they do their chores. The rewards are immediate too! But neither of them have had a sticker or reward in about 2 weeks b/c I have had to raise my voice and ask them more than twice to do something.
    Thank you for your ideas, I will have to try them out for a while!

    Answer by 3earthangels at 12:43 AM on Dec. 18, 2008

  • I have this problem with my 3 yr old. But I'm trying to stop yelling at him because that doesn't seem to work anyway! Lately I've been telling him when it's time to pick up before bed he can either pick up the toys, then he can maybe play with one toy for a bit (depending on the time) then have a story and bed, OR he can just go straight to bed, no story, and I can bag up all the toys that are still out and give them away. So far that's worked pretty well! Or I'll tell him I'll take something else away, a toy, tv time, something like that. But I'll admit I do still lose my temper at times. I think it takes time to make a change! Good luck to you!

    Answer by mom2XandZ at 12:49 AM on Dec. 18, 2008

  • boy i have found that i am also yelling at my kids to get things done or to come to me when asked!!

    Answer by mrssundin at 1:15 AM on Dec. 18, 2008