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My 3.5 year old goes thru moments during the day when she won't answer me, she does this a lot. One minute everything is fine and the next she looks mad and she won't answer a simple yes or no question, she won't answer anyone else in the house either. I've tried putting her in time out for example having her sit somewhere away from her toys until she's ready to answer...I check back periodically and she still gives me mean looks and refuses to answer me when I ask her the question again...I know she understands me. I've even told her that she won't get dessert if she keeps doing this but that doesn't seem to phase her. Is she being a stubborn 3 year old or is it something else. What should I do? Am I supposed to ignore it? I can see that my method isn't working. We go thru this at least once a day.

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Asked by Anonymous at 11:12 PM on Dec. 29, 2008 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Answers (6)
  • maybe when she does this imidiatly write down what happened in the last few minutes the environment (living room bed room etc) and whom she was interacting with what she/they were talking about in those few minutes. Do this each time it happens and try to see if there is some pattern or trigger that does this. Maybe its something as simple as somebody said the word "cat" or something. I hope it's an idea you can use and have it help you. I can only imagine how frustrating it is

    Answer by ReneeLRS at 11:16 PM on Dec. 29, 2008

  • I tell my children it is impolite when they don't respond when someone is speaking to them. If they want me to respond to them when they speak to me, then they better respond to me. I also encourage my children to tell me when they are mad, they have to do it respectfully, but they know that they can talk to me even when they are upset with me.

    Answer by Jazak at 11:17 PM on Dec. 29, 2008

  • well, my nephew used to do this and i would put him in time out and tell him to tell me when he's done pouting. just leave her in time out and don't try to talk to her......let her come to u when she is ready. see if that helps

    Answer by princessbeth79 at 11:31 PM on Dec. 29, 2008

  • Thank you, I'll try that.

    Answer by mllenicole77 at 11:57 PM on Dec. 29, 2008

  • I would ignore it. She probably gets more attention by doing it. And pick you battles... is it important that she answer you or not? If you feel it's very important then punish her for it, otherwise ignore it when it happens until she is ready to talk to you.

    Answer by AmiJanell at 12:17 AM on Dec. 30, 2008

  • My four and a half year old does the ignoring bit it as well. Its usually her way of telling me she doesn't want to get dressed, put her shoes on, hair brushed, etc. I just calmly tell her that it has to be done, we need to leave, etc. I've tried the, "I can see you're upset. I'll leave you alone until you're ready to be obedient." It works occasionally, but I usually have to pick her up and set her in the time out seat. She sits there until she is ready to listen. Sometimes, she'll slouch down and fall off the chair. (Hiding my laughter/anger/amusement) I send her to her room. After a few minutes, (anywhere between 3 and 20!) she'll come out and do what needs done. I've found that letting her pick her own pace of getting ready helps out immensely. Now, we start getting ready about an hour before we need to leave, but at least we're on time!

    Answer by MommaLehr at 3:51 PM on Jan. 1, 2009

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