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Need tools for 3yo not listening

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

What I'm doing is not working.  I am repeating myself all.day.long and I need tools.  I was going to check out How to talk book, but then I heard it was mostly for 5yo age.  I'm tired of asking 20 times for DD to get dressed, eat breakfast, put shoes on, etc.  Obviously its not working.  I have resorted to time out for not listening but that just turns into scream-fest for her.  I need help and ideas please.

post #2 of 12

Change it to a positive.......

 

Start a chart.  At xx time you get up and then xx then xx.  Note times these things need to be done.  7 am wake, 715 breakfast....745 brush teeth and get dressed...etc.   When she completes these things give her a sticker on a chart you make for her.   You can have her earn stars (extra chores/help, being nice, sharing...etc) too.  Once she reaches xx amount of stars she gets a special something.   A trip for ice cream or a trip to the $$ store to pick a toy, a picnic lunch.  Whatever works for you/your family.

 

 

My 4 year old DD has always been strong willed and if she is in the middle of something, man if you tell her it's time to stop...  I learned to make it more her idea, like hey, we have to leave for the store soon.   What do we need to do to go?  

 

Hope that helps!

post #3 of 12
With my 3yo I find I need to be very hands on. Saying, 'get dressed' leads to me yelling. Saying, 'let me help you get dressed' while guiding him towards the dresser to pick out clothes is much more successful. He just isn't able to self direct stuff like that yet.
post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post

With my 3yo I find I need to be very hands on. Saying, 'get dressed' leads to me yelling. Saying, 'let me help you get dressed' while guiding him towards the dresser to pick out clothes is much more successful. He just isn't able to self direct stuff like that yet.


I very much agree with this.  I was just writing on another thread, actually, that having a "no repeating myself" policy has totally saved my sanity.  You can generally assume with a toddler that if they haven't responded the first time, they probably won't the 3rd or 4th or 5th time either.  So, say it once.  Give her a second to respond.  If she doesn't, gently lead her along in doing the thing you need to do.  She may have a fit about it (although I find that's not usually the case), but YOU will feel more effective.  That, to me, is worth everything.

post #5 of 12

I could have posted the same thread.  I like the no repeat policy.  I'll have to institute this at home.  I repeat myself so much and am never "heard".  It isn't until I'm screaming and acting like a maniac that my DS responds, and then it's only to say "You're making me so sad."  I feel like I just can't win.  I'm hoping it's just the age, and he'll outgrow this some.

post #6 of 12

Ditto above posters.  My 3 y/o DD1 never listens to me either.  I say it once (ok maybe twice depending), then I say "Would you like to do it yourself or should I help you?   You have till a count of 3 to decide."  If she doesn't get on it by 3 I physically 'help' her do the job.  Sometimes this leads to screaming (I just power through and brush teeth/put clothes on screaming child) but over time there has been less of the screaming and more of the doing-it-on-her-own-before-I-hit-3.

post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by mambera View Post

Ditto above posters.  My 3 y/o DD1 never listens to me either.  I say it once (ok maybe twice depending), then I say "Would you like to do it yourself or should I help you?   You have till a count of 3 to decide."  If she doesn't get on it by 3 I physically 'help' her do the job.  Sometimes this leads to screaming (I just power through and brush teeth/put clothes on screaming child) but over time there has been less of the screaming and more of the doing-it-on-her-own-before-I-hit-3.

 

I am relieved to read this from so many other parents of 3s.  I also expect that I have to help her listen to me most of the time too. 

post #8 of 12
I'm going to guess that it's probably a small minority of 3-year-olds who will do something after being told to do it. Most toddlers aren't that self-directed. I would tell her, and if she doesn't, just do it with her. Also, try to keep to routines for stuff she has to do regularly, because toddlers like routines and if she gets used to "I do this first, then this, then this" she might very well continue a routine once you start her on it. My 3-year-old does some stuff when I tell her to do it, but much of the time I'm just doing stuff with her. My older child was the same at that age.
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks mamas.  I'm going to give these suggestions a try.  I think its pretty accurate to say the 4th, 5th, etc time is not going to yield results--only make me more frustrated. 

 

Are there any good books for/about this age (discipline-wise)?  As I mentioned, we had resorted to time out for lack of other tools but that does not work.

post #10 of 12

I would let go of the need to have your DD do these things independently.  Most young children respond much better to, "Let's go brush our teeth together," or "Let's go pick out some clothes for the day," than they do to commands to do these things by themselves.  Of course it would be more efficient if she would do these things alone, but as a friend once stated so eloquently, "Efficiency is the opposite of love."

 

I would recommend How to Talk even though your children are younger.  If the philosophy clicks with you, it will help to start moving in that direction now. 

 

Also, and I say this nicely, you may be talking too much.  If I repeat myself over and over--especially in a critical or complaining voice--my children (and my spouse) tend to ignore me.

post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luckiestgirl View Post

I would let go of the need to have your DD do these things independently.  Most young children respond much better to, "Let's go brush our teeth together," or "Let's go pick out some clothes for the day," than they do to commands to do these things by themselves.  Of course it would be more efficient if she would do these things alone, but as a friend once stated so eloquently, "Efficiency is the opposite of love."

 

I would recommend How to Talk even though your children are younger.  If the philosophy clicks with you, it will help to start moving in that direction now. 

 

Also, and I say this nicely, you may be talking too much.  If I repeat myself over and over--especially in a critical or complaining voice--my children (and my spouse) tend to ignore me.

 

Very much yes to this.

 

I'd also add that breaking down tasks into very small, very specific details helps here, too, even at my kids' ages, (nearly 6 and 8). "Clean your room" leads to complete overwhelm to them whether there's one thing or 20 things on the floor.  But:  "Please get those clothes in the hamper" (wait for them to do that while I putter nearby)...."Great, now grab those Legos and get them in the bin.".....(wait).....works so much better.

 

So even, getting dressed:  Get those Pjs off and in the hamper! (said cheerily/happily, not shouting - lol) - OK, great - now get your bottoms on....now the top......rgab your socks and let's head downstairs!

 

I know even as an adult, if I feel overwhelmed at a task or set of tasks, I don't know where to start and shut down.  But if I make a list of little things to do, it's so much more managable....so scale that back for a 3-yo and it's no wonder how even "eat your breakfast" can seem daunting.

post #12 of 12

I recommend the book Becoming the Parent You Want to Be (just a few chapters are discipline related, so it's a quick read and FULL of ideas and tips and reasons why they do the aggravating things they do. lol). It was basically my parenting bible when ds1 was younger. lol. Seriously not sure I could have gd'ed without it!!

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