15 answers

3 Year Old Does Not Listen

I am not sure how to handle my 3 year old lately and I would really love some suggestions from experienced mommas. He is into everything, is not listening to me, is becoming quite rude - I ask him to pick up his toys and he tells me no so I put him into his bedroom for a time out where he proceeds to pull his pants down and pee on the carpet in his room - I mean what am I supposed to do with that? It is not that he can not hold the peepee. I asked him to clean up his books and he tells me no so I told him I would take 5 away each time I came in the room until he started picking them up and it did not bother him one bit, each time I asked if he was going to pick them up he said no. He is a very sweet, smart boy, very loving and generally very good with his brother. It is just lately he is so hard to deal with. I know he is showing his independence and testing his limits but how am I supposed to get him to understand the rules and that certain things are expected of him like picking up his toys and doing as he is told. Please no one beat me up on this, some kind support and encouragement would really be appreciated thx

2 moms found this helpful

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Featured Answers

Hi V.,

Thanks so much for posting this request. It was like you were talking about my little 3 year old boy! He can really be a handful lately and I'm going to try some of the suggestions below.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

I have two suggestions for you. I hope they work like they worked for me in the past. First off, I know that sometimes people confuse being firm with being mean and that's simply not the case. My first suggestion is to get to his eye level, speak in a firm but calm voice, and tell him he needs to pick up his books or whatever you want him to do. Give him time to respond or act. If he doesn't listen, then gently guide him to what you want him to do (sometimes you have to pick him up if he starts acting out). Now if that doesn't work, just let it go and tell him that you are not happy with him and leave him to himself (he's trying to get attention but not reacting to the negative behavior confuses them and they don't like it). Don't give up, it may take 20 times for him to respond like you want and believe me, he eventually will. Also, he will want you to play with him or do something for him. This is what I do. I simply remind them as to what I had asked (told) them to do earlier (like pick up the books and how he refused). Then I'll say, i can't do what you want because you couldn't be obedient (whatever words you want to use) and suggest that he does it now. If he gives in, go with him to do whatever BUT still don'e do what he wanted. Reward him another way. Then, maybe later you can do what he wants. But just keep at these too and he will eventually do mostly what he is supposed too. You can't give up and they won't hate you. they will just be upset for a while. Stay calm and firm (you're not being mean) and you will eventually be less stressed and frustrated. Also try this when your 17 month old is sleep and engaged in something else so that he won't distract you. Hope this helps.

2 moms found this helpful

Hi V.,

Thanks so much for posting this request. It was like you were talking about my little 3 year old boy! He can really be a handful lately and I'm going to try some of the suggestions below.

1 mom found this helpful

First - be consistent. No matter where you are or what you are doing, the rules need to be the same.
Second - Time out needs to be in a chair or on a step or a mat. NEVER in the bedroom.
Third - Tell him what you want him to do before he is upset. I always said something like "at 1:15 we need to clean up". Then at 1:15 I'd say, "the clock says it is 1:15 and we need to clean up."
I recommend Karate classes. They teach discipline and structure and all in a positive manner. AND, when they are done, they are tired!!!
YMMV
LBC

1 mom found this helpful

Hi V.,

In my house, I give the kids a certain time frame in which they have to clean up their room and I put a white trash bag hanging on the door. I tell them that whatever hasn't been put in it's place will go to salvation army. a few times, they didn't finish (because they were goofing around) and I went in, without a word said, and started picking everything up to put in "the bag". It only took a few times! As for the peeing on the carpet, I would have my son cleaning up the mess!! In my opinion, you should not give attention to your son when he is acting out. Lavish him with praise and attention when he does things well. Also, does he have big bins in which to toss his toys? That helps alot with the cleaning up process with little ones. You could not only have consequences for undesired behavior but a "treat" chart for when he finishes his chores. For example, "when you finish picking up your toys in your room, we can go to the park". Or go for ice cream or go to the library, the possibilities are endless! Just make sure that you follow through on both consequences and rewards. Consistency is the key to good behavior! Good luck. This too shall pass!! :o)

1 mom found this helpful

I have a 3 year old and a newborn and have notice some attention getting behavior. So I had to take a real good look at myself and husband did the same thing are we giving him enough attention that is positive. It was a rude awaking for me to notice that I focus on negitive more than positive so if thats how we give pur attention to him he is more going to latch out in that way. I know being a sahm can have it's moments but it can also have it rewards. I to choose to be home with our boys. My 3 dosent like to clean up either. So what I do is sit in his room with him give him a pile of toys to clean up while sitting in there with him. When he sees that I do chores he is very interested ion them so I try to get him to help me and then move it to do something in his space as well. Like making our bed he likes to help so I let him and then we go to his room and make his bed I do one cover and dose the next It's not done the way I wanted it but at lease he shows an intrest in doing it so I praise him for doing it his way nd leave the cover the way he has done. it. Hey it's better than nothing. Hope this helps.

1 mom found this helpful

Well, I'm happy to hear that I am not alone. I don't have advice for you as I am in the same boat! My boy is 3 and he is doing much of the same things. He has also told me that he doesn't love me and wants a new mommy. Little sister is only a month old, so I know a lot of this is jealousy, but it doesn't make it any easier. Most days I want to pull my hair out but I have been told to take it one day at a time and I have been promised that it WILL get better. But just know that you are not alone, and if anyone does have advice for you, I would love to hear it too~!

1 mom found this helpful

hi V.,
congratulations! you are at a crucial stage of your son's autonomous development, and you have the opportunity to guide how he reacts to 'stuff he doesn't want to do' for the rest of his life! many parents at this point get incredibly creative in coming up with new ways to punish. that's one response. a better one is to work with him on knowing just where the boundaries are, and how life can be simultaneously harmonious and within his ability to direct, to some degree. i very much agree with the advice not to have time-outs in his room. get a chair or find a spot somewhere you can keep an eye on him, leave his room as his own private place of solace. the peeing seems to be the stumper for you, so quit worrying about it. he is quite aware that this is your tipping point, so disarm it. if he pees, calmly have him help you clean it up and say no more about it. excellent on taking the books away. he's got you faked out into thinking it has no impact, but it does. take away all the ones he refuses to pick up next time, staying calm and quiet, and allow them back one at a time in return for cooperative behavior. when he runs out of toys and books, it will matter, i promise. it may involve actually giving some to goodwill. have him go with you if that's the case. obviously you're doing a great job, demonstrated by his attitude toward his brother. continue to nurture that independence while you calmly and quietly dissuade the defiance. you really can have the best of both worlds.
khairete
S.

1 mom found this helpful

The joys of age 3!!!.....sorry but it is worse than 2. Anyway as you clearly cannot put him in time out in his room because of the peeing incidents you should maybe try a naughty mat (piece of rectangular foam from Michaels available in many colours). Choose an area where you want him to stand on it (within eye shot) and make him stand on it for 3 mins (1 minute for each year of age). Before putting him on the mat though you can warn him to stop the unwanted behaviour or else he will be on the naughty mat. For trying to get him to help tidy up , you could make a game out of it , for example say were going to tidy these toys away now , shall we see who get's the most in the box (make it like a race). Or you could try a reward chart (printable on supernanny.com) for his age he would need to get to 10 , once at 10 he get's a reward (can be something small like some candy , or a new pack of crayons) , if he misbehaves don't move him to the next number , or if he repeatedly misbehaves then move him back a number (trust me they hate that more than not moving at all).

Hope this helps

K.

1 mom found this helpful

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