What to do when they won't listen? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 24 Old 04-16-2011, 01:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My DD is 4 and we've struggled for a long time with feeling like she often doesn't listen. I know this is pretty common because a lot of our friends complain about it too, and I'm wondering how parents here handle it?

The not listening thing is my main trigger as a parent. I start raising my voice and before I realize it I'm yelling. greensad.gif I'm trying to come up with other ways of handling it so I can stop falling back on the yelling.

Let me give some examples of this. I'll be cooking dinner and DD asks for a drink of water. I say "OK" and put down what I'm doing, rinse my hands, get out the cup--and the entire time she's asking over and over, getting whinier and whinier, "Can I have some water? Moooooom, can I please have some water? Mooooom, I want some water!" And I'm answering back, "Yes, I'm getting you some. Yes, I'm getting a cup out. See, I'm filling it up." It's like she's checked out and isn't paying attention.

Or she's playing with her brother & sister and tries to force them to do exactly what she wants, and they don't want to do that. They start crying, I tell her to stop it (she's taking their toy, dress up outfit, etc) and I have to say it like 7 times and physically intervene to get her to even acknowledge that I'm talking to her.

Sometimes I can get her to stop her body and look at me to let me know she's listening, but most of the time that is just not practical. And other times that doesn't work, like when I tell her to go put on her pyjamas, "can you tell me what I want you to do?" and she says "I have to go put on my pyjamas"...and then she goes off to continue playing like she was before. She knows what I'm saying and just doesn't chose to do it.

So...what do you do?
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#2 of 24 Old 04-16-2011, 01:38 PM
 
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I will share what works for us.  No flames!!!  

 

In this case, I use 1-2-3.  I don't hesitate to hand out a '2' if there's a single whine after the '1'.  By '3', it's straight up to their room for a time-out. One minute for every year of their age.  No yelling; no emotional pleas.  All business.  I treat them with respect, and the same is expected of them.  I answer their questions and requests cheerfully.  They can be unhappy with my response, and that's okay.  They can tell me they feel frustrated or angry or naughty, and that is okay.  But whining is not tolerated.  I want them to learn assertive communication skills.  Whining is passive aggressive.  This approach works really well for us.  The children are generally (and genuinely) happy.  They always know what to expect, and I never yell when disciplining.  (In physical emergencies, I of course yell to get their attention.)  Strangely enough, I have seen a book called 1-2-3 Magic... I think it suggests something similar... though, I haven't read it.

 

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#3 of 24 Old 04-16-2011, 03:47 PM
 
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We also use 1-2-3, though some suggestions to generally make it more likely for your DD to respond (which I would use prior to the counting) are:

  • drink of water - if you don't already, can you get down on her level, lock eyes, and say "yes I'll get you water.  Let me wash my hands, you get the cup."  or something like that?  Maybe she'll hear it better?
  • playing w/ brother/sister - can you give your DD something else to do, like say "your brother is playing with that toy.  Here, use this one instead."  And then come up with some sort of a consequence (that's the same one each time).  So if she takes the toy again you say "your brother is playing that, if I have to talk to you again about this I'm going to have you come sit on the stool in the kitchen" (or whatever makes sense for your family).  Sometimes actions do speak louder than words, and as long as my kids really hear me, I do think it's ok to enforce a consequence like that.  I do let them go back to playing once they can tell me that they're ready to play nicely (or whatever the issue was) with their siblings again.
  • for pajamas, is it possible that that job is too big for her?  Not that she can't do all the pieces, but that "go put on your pajamas" she just doesn't know where to start?  For my DS, I need to tell him "you go upstairs and get your pajamas out, I'll be right there."  He still ends up doing the whole job, but I just need to break it down smaller for him.

 

One thing about 1-2-3 magic is that it says to never talk about the incident again.  I personally disagree with this.  When it's something we've gone over a million times, yes, they know.  But when we haven't, we do later on end up chatting about what happened and what I expect to see next time.  Good luck!

 

ETA I just realized this post makes it sound like we have it all under control beautifully, which is not the case.  I do totally relate to the not listening thing and it's a HUGE trigger for me as well.  My five year old is king of the ignore, and it drives me batty.  The strategies above help, but don't eliminate it completely and I will be following this thread to learn other ideas!


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#4 of 24 Old 04-16-2011, 05:01 PM
 
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Oh, so we are supposed to do a time out after 3?  I wasn't sure what came after the 3. ha ha!!!

 

Well, what we have been doing is physically "helping" our daughter do whatever it was we were asking that she wasn't listening to.  Like, "DD, come here please...... DD, I need you to come here now so I can wipe your face... 1...... 2......." She usually comes right over, but if I get to 3, then I go get her and take her hand and walk her over.  Or whatever.  But why can't she listen the first or even second time?  Why does it have to come to 123????  So frustrating.  Sorry you're in the same pickle, OP. 


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#5 of 24 Old 04-16-2011, 07:37 PM
 
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She's learned that she doesn't 'have' to listen until you yell. So, the first thing you need to do is to train yourself to say things no more than 1-2 times. I think it helps to remember that 4 year olds are still rather physical learners. You may have to physically touch her, or physically guide her for her to really understand. The mantra of every preschool teacher is "use your words" precisely because kids this age tend to fall back on the physical.

 

In the situations you've described, this is what I would do: When she asks for a drink of water, I'd say "Yes, can you get out a cup please?" If she keeps going "mooooooom..." it means she doesn't think she's got your attention. I would probably say loudly "STOP!" to get her attention, wash my hands, touch her on the shoulder and say "did you hear me? I asked you to get a cup so I can get you some water. I'm washing my hands and I'll help as soon as I can" We keep our kid cups down low where they can access them. This gives them something to do while I wash my hands. It might help to keep your sentences shorter too. "Yes, you can have some water." Stop.
 

I've also been known to say "Enough! I will get you some water when you can ask me in a polite voice, once." and then wait.

 

For the toy snatching or forcing them to play, I would again intervene physically while you're talking to her. My line here would be: "If you can't play nicely with your brother and sister, you can play by yourself in your room." I would then march her to her room if it happened a second time. I wouldn't enforce a time, but let her know that she can come out when she's ready to be kind to everyone. (And the same rule should apply to her siblings.)

 

PJs: It helps us to have a set time. We actually used the timer when they were littler. When the timer beeped, it was time to get pajamas on. Again, at 4, she might need to be physically escorted up to get the pjs on. At 4, they have trouble shifting focus and so helping her do this will improve things. Eventually she'll get to the stage where you can just say it, but that may be a year or more away.


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#6 of 24 Old 04-17-2011, 06:52 AM
 
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I agree with PP's often you need to get on their eye level and sometimes physically touching them to make sure they are listening.

 

One thing that won't work in my house is giving a command from the couch or a passive position. If I want DD to listen I have to get involved and make sure she is listening--I can't just issue orders and then sit back passively while she does whatever I said. Get off your butt parenting, I call it :). I also have a "can you do it on your own or do you need my help?" approach. So I might say "DD your shoes are in the middle of the floor, they need to be put away." If she does it on her own, great. If not I say "DD your shoes need to be put away can you do it on your own or do you need help?" If she doesn't then put them away, I'd say "Ok I can see you need help." Then I would take her hand walk her over to the shoes, help her pick them up, walk them to where they need to be put away, etc. DD would much prefer to do it herself than have me walk her around like that, so generally she will have done it before I start the "helping".

 

I also do a counting thing, like other people have mentioned, but I count to 10 (not 3) and it does not end in a time out. It's the same as above: do it yourself by 10 or I'll help you do it. I do counting to 10 because I found that sometimes DD needs a bit of time to work up to doing something, but she also needs a deadline so 10 seemed like a fair number.

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#7 of 24 Old 04-17-2011, 01:10 PM
 
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Azzeps, I wouldn't say you're "supposed" to do a time-out.  In fact, I'd say that gentle discipline is about not using forced time-outs, right?  I like the idea of other posters to physically help the child, like it sounds you also do.  I think the key is to have a set response for when you get to "3" (or whatever number you choose!), that the child also knows exactly what's coming. 

 

One other thought that I had is that if there's a recurring situation - for us it was my DS not doing anything independently in the morning, even things he had shown himself to be more than capable of - that we had "self" days and "help" days.  We talked about it and decided having them every other day would work out ok.  He really took pride on his "self" days.  Of course it only lasted for a couple of weeks, but during that time, he did solidify some of his self-care skills such as buttoning his pants and buckling his seatbelt.  Just a thought of a way to work on a compromise with the child that allows them to do more independently while also having the safety and security of knowing that you'll still help them some of the time, and knowing exactly when those times are. 
 

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Originally Posted by azzeps View Post

Oh, so we are supposed to do a time out after 3?  I wasn't sure what came after the 3. ha ha!!!

 

 



 


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#8 of 24 Old 04-18-2011, 07:16 AM
 
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I think the first thing is to label this problem correctly. Usually when we say our kids aren't listening, in reality they are hearing us but disregarding us. I'm not sure in the case of the water, she might just be in a mood to whine there and I'd deal with the whining. But in the other two cases, I think you're being disregarded more than not listened to.

I think the key to this is to be very consistent. And it will take your time to follow through every single time, and it might take a while, but I think it's the only way to break this habit. If I am being disregarded, I stop what I'm doing, move in front of my child where I can't be physically ignored, and I repeat what I said and "wait for the bus" right there until it happens. I don't move, and if my dd tries to move to something else, I gently remind her, "no, you need to brush your teeth now." and stay right there. "Go brush your teeth now." I stay on that issue until it happens. It doesn't take long any given time, but you'll find you have to do it over and over again before she figures out that disregarding you won't "work" as far as leading to her being able to continue doing what she wants instead of what needs to be done.

You could also punish, as suggested in the thread, but I don't see that as being less work, and it will also only change the behavior if you do it very consistently over a period of time. I think the key is consistency, not punishment.
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#9 of 24 Old 04-18-2011, 03:00 PM
 
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There could be a couple of things going on so I will address each one below...but before that.  My friend has afour year old daughter who apparently had grommits in her ear...I don't even know what that means or if I've spelled it correctly, but these were literally blocking her hearing, especially of noises out of the room...she had them removed and now she responds and listens beautifully...so just a possible thought! :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spring Lily View Post

My DD is 4 and we've struggled for a long time with feeling like she often doesn't listen. I know this is pretty common because a lot of our friends complain about it too, and I'm wondering how parents here handle it?

The not listening thing is my main trigger as a parent. I start raising my voice and before I realize it I'm yelling. greensad.gif I'm trying to come up with other ways of handling it so I can stop falling back on the yelling.
 
This is very good!  It's hard to stay calm especially when it feels like you are being ignored.  I yell too, sometimes.  I just feel like it is the only way I can be heard and I hate feeling invisible!

Let me give some examples of this. I'll be cooking dinner and DD asks for a drink of water. I say "OK" and put down what I'm doing, rinse my hands, get out the cup--and the entire time she's asking over and over, getting whinier and whinier, "Can I have some water? Moooooom, can I please have some water? Mooooom, I want some water!" And I'm answering back, "Yes, I'm getting you some. Yes, I'm getting a cup out. See, I'm filling it up." It's like she's checked out and isn't paying attention.
 
She is 4.  If I were you, here, I would simply walk over to her, hand her the cup and tell her to go get a cup of water herself.  Or I might start teasing her gently "oh boy my name is ________ and I feel like whiniiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing...I caaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan't staaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand waiiiiitiiiing.  It's takiiiing soooo looong I'm going to diiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeeeeeee!  Waaaaatttterrrrrrr.  I neeeed it so baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaadly.  Nooooow Mommmmyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy."  Until she stopped to realize how obnoxious it was.


Or she's playing with her brother & sister and tries to force them to do exactly what she wants, and they don't want to do that. They start crying, I tell her to stop it (she's taking their toy, dress up outfit, etc) and I have to say it like 7 times and physically intervene to get her to even acknowledge that I'm talking to her.
 
This is pretty normal stuff for a 4 yo.  I would simply inform her brothers and sisters that they should walk away from her and not play with her anymore.  One of the natural consequences of not playing well with others is they will not play with you. One of the ways of teaching your other kids to protect themselves is to instruct them on ways of not engaging with the 4yo over arguments.  I would walk over immediately and stand in front of her physically making eye contact until she gaveit back or if it was communal property I would put it up and away for the rest of the night.  My rule is, if we can't play with the toys nicely, no one can play with them.  In this case, she literally may not HEAR what you are saying because she is so intent on getting her way.
 
Sometimes I can get her to stop her body and look at me to let me know she's listening, but most of the time that is just not practical. And other times that doesn't work, like when I tell her to go put on her pyjamas, "can you tell me what I want you to do?" and she says "I have to go put on my pyjamas"...and then she goes off to continue playing like she was before. She knows what I'm saying and just doesn't chose to do it.

So...what do you do?
 
Here I would do as mamazee suggests above.  DS gets distracted really easily and between the kitchen and the bathroom (a total of 15 feet maybe?) he just gets lost and forgets what he has to do...or sometimes he gets to the bathroom and he sees his toy sailboat and so he thinks, "I'll fill the sink and float my boat for awhile and then I'll...wait what was I suppsoed to be doing?"

So it's not willful not listening, it's just being 4. I had to escort him through the stages at that age and even last night I had to go with DS to the bathroom to help him stay on task.
 
 

Time out have their place in our family.  But I have not found it helps with attentiveness to others in our family.

 

 


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#10 of 24 Old 04-18-2011, 03:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hakeber View Post



There could be a couple of things going on so I will address each one below...but before that.  My friend has afour year old daughter who apparently had grommits in her ear...I don't even know what that means or if I've spelled it correctly, but these were literally blocking her hearing, especially of noises out of the room...she had them removed and now she responds and listens beautifully...so just a possible thought! :)

 

Along similar lines, I knew a 4 year old who'd stuffed a pussy willow in her ear and also couldn't hear.

 

FYI: Grommets are metal rings you put in fabrics so you can thread things through without ripping the fabric. You know the holes on tarps? They have grommets in them.

 

grommetsweb.jpg

 

Now back to your regularly scheduled discussion. smile.gif


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#11 of 24 Old 04-18-2011, 04:16 PM
 
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http://www.bmj.com/content/306/6880/756.abstract

 

grommets= tubes (in the ear)

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#12 of 24 Old 04-18-2011, 05:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post


 

 

Along similar lines, I knew a 4 year old who'd stuffed a pussy willow in her ear and also couldn't hear.

 

FYI: Grommets are metal rings you put in fabrics so you can thread things through without ripping the fabric. You know the holes on tarps? They have grommets in them.

 

grommetsweb.jpg

 

Now back to your regularly scheduled discussion. smile.gif



I don't think that was it...LOL.  Maybe I misheard.  It was Friday night, which is our couple's night out.  I'm pretty sure he said it was so sort of growth that they removed. 

 


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#13 of 24 Old 04-18-2011, 05:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebackpacks View Post

http://www.bmj.com/content/306/6880/756.abstract

 

grommets= tubes (in the ear)



THAT makes more sense! :)


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#14 of 24 Old 04-18-2011, 07:19 PM
 
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OP, I feel for you!  We are going through many similar issues here.  I find myself having to say things several times and still not being heard.  Here are my observations in my house from my 3 and 5 year old boys.

 

I find that when they are particularly distracted, it's often because I'm really distracted.  I find that if I'm doing a lot of off-the-cuff talking to them, meaning I'm doing other things at the same time, they tend to tune me out.  I get much better results when I go to them and get to their level.  I know it's not practical every time, believe me I do, but I find that is a contributing factor in our house.  I also find that there's less tune-out when they are active participants in their lives.  Like with the water, when she asked for the water, I would have said, "Sure, you know where the cups are."  Both of my boys know how to pull the kitchen chair over to the counter to grab a cup, turn on the faucet, and get their own water.  I find it is very helpful to keep them from getting whiny or distracted.

 

I also just read "How to talk..." and have been working hard to implement the steps indicated.  I am finding it works quite well, actually.  I find, specifically, that if I explain *my* feelings to them, or explain *why* I need them to do something, namely how it will impact them, they actually listen.  I am new at it, and I am not sure that it will always work, lol, but so far it's helping us out.

 

Finally, I've noticed that those times when my oldest specifically (5-years-old) is really off the wall and not paying attention, he really needs a break from the situation, whatever that may be.  Sometimes in those times, I don't send him to "time out," (I personally think he's getting too big for it), but I send him for quiet alone time in his room.  He has a little radio and a desk with items for drawing.  I find that he's a much happier kid when he comes back down.

 

Hope that helps.  I know how hard it is to keep the peace at home!  hug.gif


 

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#15 of 24 Old 04-19-2011, 06:18 PM
 
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Quote:
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  I think the key is to have a set response for when you get to "3" (or whatever number you choose!), that the child also knows exactly what's coming.
 

 


Yeah, this is the problem.  Nobody in our house knows what comes after 3.  I think we just started counting.  And usually, we don't have to get to 3 because she responds at 1.  But I thought it was kind of strange that none of us knew what happened after 3, and that at some point, she was going to wonder or ask, too!  Not really fair to her to get to 3 and then implement some sort of "punishment" or whatever, out of the blue.  Lately, we have started to explain to her that she needs to listen and when I ask her to come over so I can wash her face, or whatever, then she needs to do it right away and not make me count to 3.  Sigh.  I'm just so overwhelmed by this whole discipline thing.  And poor DH is too, and I think if I could just say to him, look this is what we're going to do, then he'd do it.  But we are both floundering around and mostly end up resorting to stuff our parents did.  Not sure where I was going with this, but I will be coming back to this thread because there are a lot of good ideas here, so thanks.

 


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#16 of 24 Old 04-19-2011, 06:25 PM
 
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At 4, they have trouble shifting focus and so helping her do this will improve things. Eventually she'll get to the stage where you can just say it, but that may be a year or more away.>>>>>

 

Worth repeating:)


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#17 of 24 Old 04-25-2011, 11:11 AM
 
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I do not have the answer to this one but am going through the same thing.  My 4 yr. old will just completely ignore us sometimes, especially when she wants to continue annoying her younger brother.  I'm working really, really hard at eliminating yelling and since disciplining gently is a relatively new endeavor for me and my hubby is kinda on board; it's really challenging.


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#18 of 24 Old 04-26-2011, 06:12 PM
 
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I'm glad this thread is going! Great ideas. We've been struggling too and its so tough. I have no idea what I'm supposed to do (and my husband wants to spank, as his parents didangry.gif) and we both yell too much. I want some peace!!

 

I've heard routines are good,but that hasn't helped here. You could try though, op =)


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#19 of 24 Old 04-27-2011, 02:56 AM
 
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What we've been doing with our 4 year old that's been working (again, for ours) is that on the second asking, I say, "Mommy heard you the first time. You only have to say things once. I am doing ________ now, and I will ________ for you as soon as I can, but if you ask again, I won't." Then, if he asks again, I remind him of what I said, then I tell him I won't do _______. He then has two choices - not have _______ or take care of it himself. I bought a big two-step plastic stool at home depot that is big enough he can get into cabinets (and really just about anywhere in the house), and he's becoming more independent and taking care of many things for himself, which I need with a newborn in the house.

And I stick with it - if he asks the same thing repeatedly after I've responded, I always remind him I answered and if he asks again, I'm out. It's definitely about consistancy, even when it's easier to bend the rules, and he's really responded to it and is being much less obnoxious on the repeating himself thing.

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#20 of 24 Old 05-02-2011, 01:32 PM
 
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I haven't finished reading the thread yet -- but I will!  I am happy to be reading this because I have a similar struggle going with my 4yo.

 

Dd has been unable to hear well from one ear for some time because of lingering fluid after an ear infection.  I am hoping that will clear up soon.  So, actually not HEARING me is part of the problem.

 

Then, she also doesn't want to answer/respond when she doesn't want to be interrupted or thinks she won't like the result of an interaction with me (i.e. I might tell her to stop wasting the foaming soap by filling the sink with it if she answers me when I call to her.)

 

She definitely gets distracted on the way to do things, but also, especially toward bedtime, she just can't pull off certain tasks.  I think part of it is wanting to be babied or helped by her parents, and part of it is that she doesn't know where to begin with certain tasks.  It can be hard to gauge, because some nights we might say, get your jammies on, and she comes back in pajamas with her teeth brushed and everything, while other nights she just can't get there and seems to need some hand-holding.  Dh tends to see this as manipulation or laziness or defiance on her part, but I really think she just needs help -- maybe just breaking it down for her ("okay, go look in your drawer and choose some pajamas" once she's gotten that far, then tell her to put them on).

 

I have to resist telling her to do things when I am unable or unwilling to follow through, like when I'm breastfeeding ds.  I don't want to get into a yelling match with her, or have to stop breastfeeding or haul a 23 pound nursling around at the breast in order to make dd do what I said.  She is so independent and capable, that it is sometimes hard to remember that she is still a little kid and is still developing cognitively and emotionally and just can't always act her most grown-up -- and really, I wouldn't want her to, ya know?

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#21 of 24 Old 05-02-2011, 02:26 PM
 
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Ugh!!  I could write this same post.  We have already implemented the 1-2-3 magic system (Phelan... he has a DVD, too) and it was working great to reduce the yelling to almost zero.  And now that she's approaching 4.5 things have gotten totally out of hand again.  I know that some of it has to do with stressors in our lives right now (trying to sell our house, moving to another state, I'm pg with #3), but she is simply defiant.  And it's not just telling us "NO!" when we ask her to do things.  It's become destructive and a safety issue as well. 

 

I will find crayon and pen marks on the walls, floor, and even on her bed sheets.  I have explained over and over again where she can draw and I ask her to tell me where she can draw.  She KNOWS.  But it happens over and over again.  We are trying to keep the house clean and tidy to sell it and this is just so aggravating!  I have taken her art supplies away several times as a logical consequence, but a week later, I find blue crayon drawn all the way up the stair well.  I want to scream!!!  I don't feel like I should have to supervise all her drawing time- it's not really realistic when I'm also chasing after a toddler.  I want her to be independent and be able to find activities for herself on her own and drawing seems pretty innocuous. 

 

Then other day she asked to walk the neighbor's dog with our neighbor (this is something she commonly does), but we had to say no b/c it was dinner time.  We explained why we said no and suggested she could ask to walk the dog at an earlier time the next day.  She went outside to tell the neighbor and disappeared. She went with him anyway!  We were shocked and furious.  She had never done anything so defiant before and it was highly worrisome b/c she left our property entirely- through the fence- without us knowing until I went out a minute later to see why it was taking her so long.   I feel like this type of behavior cannot be resolved with just talking, though we certainly did have a long emotional talk about it.  She seems to understand in the moment, but I am not at all convinced that it stuck.  We decided she could not walk the dog again for a week.  I felt like that was a logical consequence.  But again, I'm worried what will happen next. 

 

What in the world to do????

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#22 of 24 Old 05-03-2011, 06:18 AM
 
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I don't feel like I should have to supervise all her drawing time- it's not really realistic when I'm also chasing after a toddler.>>>>

 

Unfortunately this is what you may have to do for a while until the phase passes.  Let her know that there will be a certain time of day she can color that you can give her full attention and why.

 

 

We explained why we said no and suggested she could ask to walk the dog at an earlier time the next day.  She went outside to tell the neighbor and disappeared. She went with him anyway! >>>>>>

 

Next time go with her, I would not have trusted my 4.5 y/o to go out alone and relay a message:)

 


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#23 of 24 Old 05-03-2011, 06:30 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2grrls View Post

I don't feel like I should have to supervise all her drawing time- it's not really realistic when I'm also chasing after a toddler.>>>>

 

Unfortunately this is what you may have to do for a while until the phase passes.  Let her know that there will be a certain time of day she can color that you can give her full attention and why.

 

 

We explained why we said no and suggested she could ask to walk the dog at an earlier time the next day.  She went outside to tell the neighbor and disappeared. She went with him anyway! >>>>>>

 

Next time go with her, I would not have trusted my 4.5 y/o to go out alone and relay a message:)

 

 

I agree with these two things.  You could also set the toddler in the highchair to color.  My dd was coloring when she was one, she would color on herself, the highchair, and the paper but it was with Crayola washable markers (a wonderful investment) so it all washed off easily.  I used to put her in to color so I could do other things but this would be a great way to have your toddler in a safe place while you make sure your daughter doesn't color the walls. 

 

My child is 8 and she doesn't always relay messages the way I want them relayed to this day.  At four she would get distracted and forget the messages she was relaying.  There is a book series that has a really wonderful description of what to expect from kids at each age it starts with My One Year Old and goes up from there for each age group.  I suggest reading the Four and Five year old books to get a clear picture of how realistic your expectations are right now.  The parenting advice in the books really sucks but the behavior expectations are very accurate.
 

 

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#24 of 24 Old 05-03-2011, 07:15 AM
 
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Thank you for the comments.  :)
 

Quote:

Originally Posted by mom2grrls View Post

 

Unfortunately this is what you may have to do for a while until the phase passes.  Let her know that there will be a certain time of day she can color that you can give her full attention and why.

 

......

Next time go with her, I would not have trusted my 4.5 y/o to go out alone and relay a message:)

Next time I will definitely go with her...

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by One_Girl View Post
I suggest reading the Four and Five year old books to get a clear picture of how realistic your expectations are right now. 

Yes, these are great books.. I've read them through age four.  I understand where both of you are coming from and realize this is the type of parenting I might have to do for a while.  What's frustrating is that this was just not the case a few months ago.  She could be trusted to relay messages like that and often did.  She did not go against our decisions when we were very clear about them.  She plays safely in our backyard unsupervised (with periodic checking in) all the time.  Same with the drawing- she was known to color by herself while I put the baby down for his nap for sometimes half an hour without incident.  These new behaviors feel like they just popped up and I'm really frustrated by the need to police her when I'm exhausted by this pregnancy and the severe sleep deprivation that a teething 16 month old causes.  I have read in books like Raising Your Spirited Child that 4.5 is another peak behavioral age... I guess I shouldn't be so surprised.  Sigh...


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