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My three year old! Why won't he listen?

Posted by on Jun. 14, 2007 at 11:47 AM
  • 10 Replies
 I ok my son is three obviously and I know it might be part of the growing phase but I think that he's testing the limits a little too often! As many times I repeat myself "don't do this don't  do that, stop it sit down"  etc. What is one to do to get the point a cross? It's really difficult to keep my cool and having to deal with this on a daily basis it's really stressful.  Along with the fact tht my oldest is autistic. It would help a great deal if I could get som suggetsions on how to get a better handle on things with my little one. Thanks in adavance. Aida C.
by on Jun. 14, 2007 at 11:47 AM
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by on Jun. 14, 2007 at 11:51 AM
Why won't he listen?  Because he's 3.  Sorry I don't have any suggestions, I'm dealing with it myself.  I have tried EVERYTHING and even posted a questions similar to this and tried some of the advice I received, but he still doesn't listen.  I have to say, I think he is getting a little better, but it is still like pulling teeth to get him to listen sometimes.  So, I feel you're pain.  I hope you get some useful tips.  Hang in there, it will get better (so I'm told).
by on Jun. 14, 2007 at 11:52 AM
I know exactly what you mean. My three year old does the same thing. You find yourself repeating over and over. And when he gets in trouble, sent to time out, I always explain to him why he got into trouble and why he shouldn't do what he did but he doesn't even listen to that. I wish I had some advice I could give you but unfortunately i don't. I am anxious to see any replies that might be helpful though.
by on Jun. 14, 2007 at 11:59 AM
My daughter has gotten sooo much better with listening, she is also 3. She loves going through my jewelry box and she picked out a necklace that she loves.. I was saving it for her its just a big smile face. I told her that it was the "good girl necklace" and only good girls get to wear it. I explained to her that by being good I should only ask her to do something one time and she gets to wear it but when she's bad the necklace comes off and at bed time it comes off. It worked wonders for me! She cleaned her room by herself and I didnt even have to ask!!!!! She offered to help she cleaned up her toys she said please and thank was like a whole other kid! Maybe you can do something similar for a boy...I'm not sure I have 3 girls. (2 are grown and out of the house)
by on Jun. 14, 2007 at 12:02 PM
Let me tell ya, they are discovering their independence. Yes its frustrating and darn right ridiculous sometimes, but it happens. The solution, be consistent. Never ever soften during on of their tantrums. If you get angry, to angry, walk away and give yourself some time to calm down. Then go back and continue the punishment. My daughter is 2 and a half and she is very defiant. I will spend up to 2 HOURS trying to get her to spend 2 minutes in the "naughty spot". It is exhausting. But when they learn they HAVE to listen, they won't test as much. He/ she isn't respecting you as a parent. You are their play toy and they don't understand anything else. And all of this come from SUPERNANNY, she's my hero. Hope this helps but it's still going to be rough.
by on Jun. 14, 2007 at 12:08 PM
It is a phase! I have a 8 yr old daughter, and my son will be 3 the end of the month, I went through this with my daughter, and am already going through it with my son... stick to your guns... time out spots, and keep repeating the rules. It will work! I get my nerves tested everyday, sometime have to just sit with him and talk to him to get him to understand... The time of day we have the hardest time is at night and naptime. He get very grumpy at those times, and now we are also dealing with potty training. It will get better, but feel free to email me if you would like to talk. Good luck!

by on Jun. 14, 2007 at 12:16 PM
Sorry you are having trouble getting your son to listen and follow directions. I think it's wise that you came here and asked for supprt and advice. :)
My opinin is that as a mom of a 2 1/2 yr. old this behavior is normal and he will grow out of it with time. I would suggest that until then you do keep your cool with him, as I personally frown upon mothers and fathers, care takers losing their maturity and restraint and "hauling off on children, especially toddlers...who honestly do not have fully devloped brains to even fully understand all your adult frustrations, rules, etc. So please keep that in mind. I would like to offer up showing attention and praise to his positive behaviors instead. Therapist who work in Child Play therapy will tell you that If you don't give attention to the behavior YOU WANT, then you will usually get the reactions and behavior YOU DON'T WANT. ;) So praise him...constantly when ya see him palying quietly, cleaning up after himself, being calm at the store, getting along with his siblings, etc. Always look for the upside to his behavior and the positive intent.

Ex: I love how you stayed right by mommy's side at the store, good job! :)
Ex: You are playing so well, look at how well you listened and stayed on the blanket with your toys, mommy loves that honey! :)

I'm not perfect and I don't have all the "right" answers either...but I do know this works with my little one and that most of the time I personally have no issues getting her to listen to me, so there may be some truth behind this type of response to them. ;)

*** Also studies show that boys need to more time than not, exert more physical energy than girls make sure he is getting out doors often and letting of energy and his own steam this way as well. If he's cooped up or bored or feels restless and ignored (even if you don't ignore him, kids tend to feel that way easily anyhow.) So thus he'll go looking for negative outlets to release his frustration and's like "instinct" basically for kiddos. And with you personally having a special needs child in the home that I can imagine is a full time job in and of it's self...your other son may naturally feel left out and not understand that his sibling has special needs, demands and that this can drain be patient as best you can at understanding his emotions in this matter of the family dynamics...he's only three and still at this point can not relate to you and your stresses or how to explain his own to you so that you both can feel better about this, so give him some space to be less than perfect 24-7. ;) That's all any of us can do, is love them and try to protect and understand our children better emotionally. :)
by on Jun. 14, 2007 at 12:19 PM
Try getting down to his level. I mean like face to face. Talk right into his face so he has to see you and your face. Be firm . I has worked on most of the kids I have taken care of, oh roughly 200-300.  "You need to sit down now. Or you will have to have a time out."
by on Jun. 14, 2007 at 12:23 PM
All of these women that have given advice are very wise. I will tell you as a mother of 3 I hated the terrible 3's worse then 2's anyday.  I agree with sticking to your guns and lots of praise when they do do something right. Also with getting them outside to blow off some steam. I run my son down by letting him play in the water out front I turn the sprinkler on low and he loves it.  I hope you don't loose you cool and that it gets better for you.  Sorry to hear you are having a rough time with and autistic child too it must be difficult. Take care.
by on Jun. 14, 2007 at 12:30 PM

He is 3.. what does he know about listening???? Nothing!  You have to stop repeating yourself.  When you want him to stop doing something. Get up, walk calmly over to your three year old and either take the item away or move him to another place.  If he goes back, do the same thing over again. Don't give in. If you do, he will learn to get Over on you.  He will learn that you dont' mean anything you say. Don't ever say i will put you in a corner and not do it.  It's all about being consistent. He will not listen, he is 3.... You have to teach him. 

Do not yell... do not scream.. do not curse.. be calm, be soft and be kind.  it will be tough for you but if you get over the humps now you won't have to deal with a spoiled bratty yelling throwing the doors and stomping thier feet teenager later. 

believe it or not,.. yelling, and hitting don't work!  It's softness and consistency that work.

I pray that the Creator of the heavens and the Earth makes it easy on you. 

I pray that the Creator gives you the patience and tolerance you need to deal with ailing children and difficult situations. Ameen
by on Jun. 14, 2007 at 6:45 PM
The best way I can deal with my 3 year old when he doesn't want to listen is to not give him any attention at all (unless of course he is doing something dangerous)  But I have learned that he behaves and listen a lot better when I don't try to control him so much.  If he wants to get all his toys out of the toy box, fine, but he knows when he is done with that he has to put them all away.  By giving him a little freedom he is listening and behaving much better.
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