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Amanda_Jo1209
Maybe you ladies can help me
March 19, 2013 at 8:31 PM

My children are 3 and 4 and I am having some MAJOR behavioral issues with them. They will NOT listen to me at ALL!!! They will listen to daddy but rarely. They completely disrespect me and I am at my wits end with them. There are SO MANY fun things I want to do with them but when they can't listen it makes me not want to do ANYTHING with them. Any suggestions??? IDK what to do.

Replies

  • WantedNameTaken
    March 19, 2013 at 9:15 PM

    Do you follow through with threats to put them on time out, go to bed, take away toys, etc.?  If not, that would be a great start.  They'll learn that mommy means business.  Also, when you interact with them, be sure to have no trace of whining and begging in your voice.  Be firm and resolved.  If something is unsafe, unhealthy, or undeserved, make use of the word "no" and stick with it allowing yourself to be guilt-free.

    Maybe this article can help.

    End child nagging & negotiating with just three simple words

    When it comes to persistence, few things compare to a child that reallywants something and tries to get it through nagging & negotiating. And few people know that better than a parent who has given that child an answer they don’t want to hear.

    From the famed “Are we there yet?” to this morning’s “Can I have ice cream for breakfast?” to this afternoon’s “Can I have ice cream for dinner?” kids are notorious for their one-track minds, and they will ask…and ask…and ask…just in case you’ve changed your mind in the last minute.

    This is a learned behavior that children of any age can pick up. They might continue to use it because once, in a moment of weakness, you caved and let them stay up an extra half hour after they asked for the eighth time.

    But like any learned behavior, it can be unlearned. The solution comes from Lynn Lott, co-author of the Positive Discipline series of books, and it works on kids as young as two or three, all the way through their teens.

    It only takes three simple words: “Asked and Answered.”

    The concept is simple. When seven-year-old Daniel begs to dig a giant hole in the front yard and gets “no” for an answer, chances are he’ll be back in five minutes asking again – this time with a “pleeeeeeaase” just so you know he really, really wants to dig the hole.

    Instead of repeating yourself or jumping in to a lecture, get eye to eye and follow the process below:

    Step One: Ask, “Have you ever heard of ‘Asked and Answered’?” (He’ll probably say no.)

    Step Two: Ask, “Did you ask me a question about digging a hole?” (He’ll say yes.)

    Step Three: Ask, “Did I answer it?” (He’ll probably say, “Yes, but, I really ….”)

    Step Four: Ask, “Do I look like the kind of mom/dad/teacher who will change her/his mind if you ask me the same thing over and over?” (Chances are Daniel will walk away, maybe with a frustrated grunt, and engage in something else.)

    Step Five: If Daniel asks again, simply say, “Asked and Answered.” (No other words are necessary!) Once this technique has been established, these are the only words you should need to say to address nagging questions.

    Consistency is key! Once you decide to use “Asked and Answered” with your questioning child, be sure to stick to it. If 14-year-old Emma is particularly determined to keep asking to get her eyebrow pierced, stay strong. Answering her question again – or worse yet, changing your answer – will reinforce to her that her nagging works. Although it’ll take some patience, your child will eventually connect the dots and you’ll see results!

    Make “Asked and Answered” a joint effort with your spouse, and consider including any family or friends who may be getting the third degree from your child. When Daniel and Emma realize that they won’t get a “yes,” even after they’ve asked twelve times, they’ll get the hint and retire this tactic.

    Speech and Language Pathologist, Stacy Pulley reports this technique works well for children with communication challenges, particularly those with Autism. She suggests bringing a notebook or a chalk/dry erase board into the mix and writing down a question once they’ve asked it more than once, keeping in mind their reading level. Or, draw a picture. Then, when your child asks again, point to the board or notebook to remind them that they’ve asked, and you’ve answered. Be sure to use as few words as possible and stay consistent in your language to help them understand the connection as they learn to listen to and respect your answers.

    Adding this tool to your parenting toolbox is a positive step toward ending the nagging questions that can wear on even the most resolute of parents. Then, be sure to follow through and stay consistent – and before you know it, 20 questions will be a fun game once again, and no longer a negotiation tactic!

  • usmom3
    by usmom3
    BJ
    March 19, 2013 at 9:18 PM

     This is totally going to come off the wrong way, I don't mean it that way but I know that it will so here goes. Children are amplifiers of what they see from us, so if they are being disrespectful & not listening it is because you are being disrespectful & not listen in front of them where they can see & learn it or you are doing it to them! Ether way they are getting it from the adults around them, children at that age don't just know how to be that way it is learned by examplefrom others & then when the child dose it it is amplified & more noticeable then when the adults do it.

    I get a lot of great help & guidance from this site

    http://www.ahaparenting.com/

  • ballerina.2006
    March 19, 2013 at 9:28 PM

    My son (4) is very stubborn. Punishments like time out and spankings don't work. He will literally laugh hysterically in my face if I spank him.

    I started doing choice and consequences with him. I tell him "If you choose to continue yelling, then you choose to sit on time." Or I'll say, "You will need to sit on time out if you choose to continue *inapproriate behavior*." I'll often follow up one of the above statements asking him what his choice is, making him choose his behavior on the spot. Sometimes he loses something like going to grandma's or watching TV so timeout isn't always the consequence (mainly only when we are out and about). Ds is quickly learning that in order to continue getting nice things (toys or "adventures") then he has to make the choice and effort to be good, listen, and obey our rules.

    This doesn't work all the time but it works a lot for us. A big issue for me is following through and this helps me to follow through and it helps ds to take a minute to think about what he is doing, what I say, and what he should start doing (or stop).


    I also use other children in public as examples of behavior I want my kids to emulate. So I will draw my child's attention to another child who is obeying, staying with their parents or I'll do it the opposite way. Either way I'm showing my kids either how I want or don't want them behaving. I'm also not opposed to taking my kids somewhere then leaving within a few minutes because they are disrespectful or rude.

    Another thing you can try  is a reward chart. At this age positive reinforcement is much more encouraging than negative. So everytime they do something you ask without complaint or minimal complaint then they get a sticker and after 10 they get a small date or reward. If you focus on the negative (not listening, being rude, talking back etc) then that is what they will focus on and it will further your frustration (yes I know this from experience!!)

    Don't be afraid to call your kids out on being rude "Is that the proper way to talk to mommy?" Or "Mommy's ears only work if you don't whine/yell/cry at her. Try using your big kid words instead." If either of my kids push me or accidentally bump into me and just keep going I'll tell them "That was very rude to push me without saying sorry." Or "It was rude of your to bump into me and not apologize and excuse yourself for not paying attention."

    I hope some of that helps! I could go on since I'm just now finding the "perfect" solution for my 4yo.

  • Amanda_Jo1209
    March 19, 2013 at 9:56 PM
    Thank you so much ladies. I DO stick with punishments. At this present time they have no tv, no toys, nothing. The other day when they woke up, I was sleeping on the couch but was still extremely tired, I told them they could watch cartoons until I was ready to get up. My daughter, the 3 year old, did great!!!! My son on the other hand was throwing the ball in the house and all kinds of stuff.

    They enjoy schoolwork but at this point I don't WANT to do anything that they enjoy bc they can't respect me. My son even told my daughter tonight that he wanted to sell me. Ik he's only 4 but that really really hurt me. :'(
  • WantedNameTaken
    March 19, 2013 at 10:06 PM

    Stay strong, mommy!  :)

    BTW, do they get rewarded for good behavior?  I don't believe in giving kids gifts for every little thing they do, because it's hard to erase the sense of entitlement.  However, a "great job being quiet while mommy slept" or "thank you for cleaning up your toys" does a lot for their egos (and ours).  A few extra minutes at the playground works well for little ones that age, too.

  • Amanda_Jo1209
    March 19, 2013 at 10:09 PM
    I DO praise them while they are good. Actually I make a big deal about it!!! Idk what I'm doing wrong.

    Quoting WantedNameTaken:

    Stay strong, mommy!  :)

    BTW, do they get rewarded for good behavior?  I don't believe in giving kids gifts for every little thing they do, because it's hard to erase the sense of entitlement.  However, a "great job being quiet while mommy slept" or "thank you for cleaning up your toys" does a lot for their egos (and ours).  A few extra minutes at the playground works well for little ones that age, too.

  • WantedNameTaken
    March 19, 2013 at 10:20 PM

    You mentioned that they do listen to their dad on rare occasions.  What is it about his words or demeanor that makes them listen sometimes?  Maybe you can watch their interactions and pick up some tips.  Do they have interactions with family members or friends who may be unintentionally sabotaging your attempt to instill order?  Could they be modeling bad behavior from cousins, neighbors, playgroups, etc.?

    Here's something else - one thing I know about us moms is that we like to use a lot of words explaining who, what, when, where, why, and how.  Kids can take this as willingness to converse and negotiate when, in fact, we're attempting to lay down the law.  Kids need to learn about the world around them, so answers to those questions are helpful, but not when the questions asked while trying to get out of being respectful, responsible, and obedient.

    Keep doing the good things that are working for you and enjoy the small victories - like your 3-year-old behaving while you rested.  Try not to reward both if only one behaved.  The same for discipline.

    Please let us know about your victories and share what worked.

  • Simply_Janeen
    March 19, 2013 at 11:04 PM

    Three and four are rough ages, goodness knows I had a lot of issues with my older daughter at those ages and I'm sure it didn't help that we moved overseas during that time. It slowly got better but it was a rough time for sure and I'm SO not looking forward to my younger daughter reaching those ages. *sigh*

    So remember too that part of it is the age and there's not much that can be done about it other than to get through it. My daughter at 3 got so bad when all three of us went out that I reached a point where I rarely went out with both her and her dad. She was pretty good when it was just the two of us and pretty good when it was just her and her dad but all three of us? Forget it.

  • Amanda_Jo1209
    March 20, 2013 at 6:07 AM
    I've watched them numerous times. He is very stern, never yells, etc. whenever he watches the kids while I go do something they listen so well. Not 100% of the time but still more than they listen to me. I start every day off with a new slate too. Whatever they did the day before gets washed away, unless it was something HUGE like calling 911.

    I stay home, obviously lol, so they are with me ALL the time. My family doesn't live near us so they don't see them a lot. And when we do visit my parents they are on my side and are also very stern with them. They're not the type of grandparents that will let them get away with anything and everything.


    Quoting WantedNameTaken:

    You mentioned that they do listen to their dad on rare occasions.  What is it about his words or demeanor that makes them listen sometimes?  Maybe you can watch their interactions and pick up some tips.  Do they have interactions with family members or friends who may be unintentionally sabotaging your attempt to instill order?  Could they be modeling bad behavior from cousins, neighbors, playgroups, etc.?

    Here's something else - one thing I know about us moms is that we like to use a lot of words explaining who, what, when, where, why, and how.  Kids can take this as willingness to converse and negotiate when, in fact, we're attempting to lay down the law.  Kids need to learn about the world around them, so answers to those questions are helpful, but not when the questions asked while trying to get out of being respectful, responsible, and obedient.

    Keep doing the good things that are working for you and enjoy the small victories - like your 3-year-old behaving while you rested.  Try not to reward both if only one behaved.  The same for discipline.

    Please let us know about your victories and share what worked.

  • WantedNameTaken
    March 20, 2013 at 8:07 AM

    It seems like you're doing everything right.  I'm scratching my head, because all of my teens were pretty good listeners when they were younger - they still are for the most part.

    As another poster stated, this may just be a phase.  Hang in there and don't let them tie you up to a chair while daddy is at work.  LOL!

    Here's to having a great day!!! :)

    Oh, I just thought of something.  Could the television shows they're watching be contributing to the testy behavior?  Even cartoons can expose them to bad behavior.  Do you have any children's books that teach good manners?

    Quoting Amanda_Jo1209:

    I've watched them numerous times. He is very stern, never yells, etc. whenever he watches the kids while I go do something they listen so well. Not 100% of the time but still more than they listen to me. I start every day off with a new slate too. Whatever they did the day before gets washed away, unless it was something HUGE like calling 911.

    I stay home, obviously lol, so they are with me ALL the time. My family doesn't live near us so they don't see them a lot. And when we do visit my parents they are on my side and are also very stern with them. They're not the type of grandparents that will let them get away with anything and everything.


    Quoting WantedNameTaken:

    You mentioned that they do listen to their dad on rare occasions.  What is it about his words or demeanor that makes them listen sometimes?  Maybe you can watch their interactions and pick up some tips.  Do they have interactions with family members or friends who may be unintentionally sabotaging your attempt to instill order?  Could they be modeling bad behavior from cousins, neighbors, playgroups, etc.?

    Here's something else - one thing I know about us moms is that we like to use a lot of words explaining who, what, when, where, why, and how.  Kids can take this as willingness to converse and negotiate when, in fact, we're attempting to lay down the law.  Kids need to learn about the world around them, so answers to those questions are helpful, but not when the questions asked while trying to get out of being respectful, responsible, and obedient.

    Keep doing the good things that are working for you and enjoy the small victories - like your 3-year-old behaving while you rested.  Try not to reward both if only one behaved.  The same for discipline.

    Please let us know about your victories and share what worked.


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