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3 1/2 yo will not listen.ever.

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I understand that she is only 3 1/2 but up until recently she listened well. All of a sudden she won't do anything i ask AT ALL and i'm so frustrated that i don't know what to do. i don't know how to speak to her or what i can say. I'm out of patience. How do you mom's gently convince your kids to listen? Thanks.

post #2 of 13

Hi ezrapie!  I just wanted to say that I'm in the same boat with our 3 year old.  She listened better at 2 1/2 than she does now.  Lately, she runs away from me all the time when we go places.  One thing that works for me, is giving her choices.  For example, I will tell her ahead of time that if she wants to look at things, she can choose to walk and stay near me.  But if she runs away in the store, she needs to ride in the cart.  Otherwise if this isn't working, we just go home.  I try to stay as calm as possible when this is going on.  You can even say, in a calm voice, "You chose to run, so you need to ride in the cart."    Of course, this is just an example and you can change it to fit your needs.

 

I really think it's developmental and often is about experimenting to see how we respond.  They also are becoming more independent and wanting to make more choices for themselves.

 

I know you said that your 3 1/2 year old won't listen at all.  What are some times when it's most frustrating for you?  Maybe we can help you brainstorm some ideas.
 

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much for answering. The worst is when we have to go to the store. I feel more pressure because all of these people are watching and if she breaks down (from not getting what she wants) everyone's just standing there looking at me like 'well?' When i tell her 'ok,it's time to go home', is she sees things she wants it's not happening(like at walmart or the grocery). I try reasoning with her,i will even bribe her,i tell her that 'queenie can't wait to see you at home!' (that's her granny).

The other day,she didn't want to leave preschool and her teacher and i couldn't get her in the car! No matter what i say at any time now, i get a  'i don't want to' or flat out 'no'.

I'm 25, she's my only child and I just feel like a bad mom because i have no idea what I'm doing.
 

post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much for answering. The worst is when we have to go to the store. I feel more pressure because all of these people are watching and if she breaks down (from not getting what she wants) everyone's just standing there looking at me like 'well?' When i tell her 'ok,it's time to go home', is she sees things she wants it's not happening(like at walmart or the grocery). I try reasoning with her,i will even bribe her,i tell her that 'queenie can't wait to see you at home!' (that's her granny).

The other day,she didn't want to leave preschool and her teacher and i couldn't get her in the car! No matter what i say at any time now, i get a  'i don't want to' or flat out 'no'.

I'm 25, she's my only child and I just feel like a bad mom because i have no idea what I'm doing.
 

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much for answering. The worst is when we have to go to the store. I feel more pressure because all of these people are watching and if she breaks down (from not getting what she wants) everyone's just standing there looking at me like 'well?' When i tell her 'ok,it's time to go home', is she sees things she wants it's not happening(like at walmart or the grocery). I try reasoning with her,i will even bribe her,i tell her that 'queenie can't wait to see you at home!' (that's her granny).

The other day,she didn't want to leave preschool and her teacher and i couldn't get her in the car! No matter what i say at any time now, i get a  'i don't want to' or flat out 'no'.

I'm 25, she's my only child and I just feel like a bad mom because i have no idea what I'm doing.
 

post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much for answering. The worst is when we have to go to the store. I feel more pressure because all of these people are watching and if she breaks down (from not getting what she wants) everyone's just standing there looking at me like 'well?' When i tell her 'ok,it's time to go home', is she sees things she wants it's not happening(like at walmart or the grocery). I try reasoning with her,i will even bribe her,i tell her that 'queenie can't wait to see you at home!' (that's her granny).

The other day,she didn't want to leave preschool and her teacher and i couldn't get her in the car! No matter what i say at any time now, i get a  'i don't want to' or flat out 'no'.

I'm 25, she's my only child and I just feel like a bad mom because i have no idea what I'm doing.
 

post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much for answering. The worst is when we have to go to the store. I feel more pressure because all of these people are watching and if she breaks down (from not getting what she wants) everyone's just standing there looking at me like 'well?' When i tell her 'ok,it's time to go home', is she sees things she wants it's not happening(like at walmart or the grocery). I try reasoning with her,i will even bribe her,i tell her that 'queenie can't wait to see you at home!' (that's her granny).

The other day,she didn't want to leave preschool and her teacher and i couldn't get her in the car! No matter what i say at any time now, i get a  'i don't want to' or flat out 'no'.

I'm 25, she's my only child and I just feel like a bad mom because i have no idea what I'm doing.
 

post #8 of 13

I think you seem to have re-posted several times. anyways, just wanted to say. we had this issue at your dd's age and are still dealing with it at a few months away from 6. sometimes hugs work and another thing is that she can't be let to get hungry. that's setting us up for screaming tantrums. she has to be fed every 2 hrs because she still won't ask for food.

post #9 of 13
You have to kind of screen out all the strangers looking at you. Don't pay them any attention, who cares what they think? Ignoring will help calm YOU and probably her too, because she won't be picking up on your stress/tension.

Do you set up an expectation before you go in the store? Something like, "OK, we're going grocery shopping now, you need to stay next to the cart, no running or yelling. You may pick out one snack to bring home." Clear & concise (don't say anything unnecessary)... hopefully if she knows what to expect she'll be less likely to freak out if she doesn't get what she wants?

When are you shopping? I know I often want to shop around 4pm. My kiddo doesn't nap, so this is the absolute worst time of day for him... he has an hour or so where he is sometimes cranky, easily over-stimulated, less than reasonable, etc. If I shop with him earlier in the day, or later in the day, it goes much more smoothly. If he's fed & content, it's a good time, but if it's the end of a long day, he's hungry & just wants to go home, not such a good time! We also skip shopping altogether if he seems to be in a tough space. I can try again the next day, or go alone at night after DH gets home if I'm willing to shop somewhere that's open late.

Do you give her something to do when you're shopping? DS helps me choose groceries and we tend to get the same things week to week so he always knows what/how much/what brand to get, how to check for bruises on apples, etc. If that's not something that would work for your DD, you can try other ways of entertaining her. Give her a picture-based shopping list to cross items off of, or save a special snack to eat in the cart, or bring a special toy that's only for shopping. I have a friend who gives her DD an ipad to play with while she shops.

Basically, set her up for success... I tend to think the problem in a situation like this isn't that our kids WON'T listen, but that they actually CAN'T listen at these times. They are too tired, too excited, too over-stimulated, or too bored, etc. So we need to find a way to better meet their needs & help them with self-regulation and THEN they will be more capable of listening.

My DS hates going home so often I think of something fun we'll do at home and say that instead. So not, "Time to go home!" but, "Time to go read the new books from the library!" or "Let's go make our special snack!" But sometimes you do have to just scoop them up and put them in the car & wrestle them into their car seat. greensad.gif
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thank you both for your advice! You have good suggestions,crunchy. We often go shopping after i pick her up from preschool,and she hasn't had a nap yet. i'll try keeping things for her to do in my purse. i just hate when i lose my temper,i feel terrible. i'm sure you're right about her just not being able to pay attention at the time.( and im sorry about posting that so many times -im not sure how it happened or why!)

post #11 of 13

I agree about ignoring people. When I was single and never been a mother myself I'd look at other people's children and think how spoilt they are. Until I had my own.

post #12 of 13

I agree with ignoring people.

What we do for our 3.5 yr old.

 

In the instance of having to leave a place:

We give her notice. And then give her notice again. But instead of saying "We are leaving in 5 minutes" we will say "We have to leave soon. We need to go home. How many minutes should we stay? What 2 things do you want to do before we go?"

This works for us right now because if we ask her how long we should stay she always says 3 minutes lol.

 

When leaving the park. We just ask her how many more times she wants to go down the slide before we leave. She will always say 2 or 3. Dont know what we will do when she starts answering 20.

 

To do other things, like wash her hands, brush teeth, use the washroom, get dressed, pick up toys, etc.

Well, when asking doesn't work we sing. I can get her to do almost anything if I make it into a song.

post #13 of 13

I totally feel your pain! I have a hard time getting my three year old in the car. He is very very sensitive to pressure, and if he can tell I really want something, he will dig in his heels automatically. So I try to relax, and if I am in a place where I can walk around the parking lot for a few minutes, I do that, and try to meet his need for exploration or play or whatever. If I need to be in the car because it's cold or I have to get somewhere, I'll tell him we don't have to go right away, but we need to go very soon because of (whatever the reason). Usually he is ready on his own accord when I do that. Or I ask him how much more time he needs, and says he can have one minute, two minutes or three minutes (or something like that if I am really in a rush). He picks, and then when time's up, I am kind but firm, and he responds really well. Basically I try to make sure he knows that I am respecting him and letting him make choices too, and when he genuinely feels like he is choosing to do whatever it is, he is much more apt to just DO it and stop resisting. I know this wouldn't work for everyone, and it doesn't always work for me--I get pretty exasperated sometimes, but the more I let go, the more creative I get with solutions...

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