22 answers

How Do I Make My Three Year Old Mind Me

I have a three year old who doesn't like to mind. I have tried everything and he just doesn't want to mind. I have tried disciplining him and it doesn't seem to work. It works for a little bit and that is it. When I ask him to do something and he says that he can't. I count to three and then he does it for me. Help please what can I do?

What can I do next?

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I tried punishing, now I reward. I made a good girl chart and everyday she was good before bed she got to put a sticker on the day it was and if she went 1st 3 days she got a prize them I moved it up to a week. now the chart is forgoten about and she is always GOOD! a few days here and there, but don't we all? watch super nanny too good tips on there as well. punishing did not work for my child, rewarding and POSITIVE reineforcment did.

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Maybe instead of discipline use a reward system. Give him a reward but only when he does what he supposed to.Working mother of twin 7yr old boys.

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I tried punishing, now I reward. I made a good girl chart and everyday she was good before bed she got to put a sticker on the day it was and if she went 1st 3 days she got a prize them I moved it up to a week. now the chart is forgoten about and she is always GOOD! a few days here and there, but don't we all? watch super nanny too good tips on there as well. punishing did not work for my child, rewarding and POSITIVE reineforcment did.

2 moms found this helpful

Hi M.-

This might sound obvious, but have you had his hearing tested? I am an early childhood diagnostic teacher, which means that I test 2-5 year olds for special ed. It sounds silly, but I've met several mothers who say their children just don't listen, and later find out that the child has a hearing problem, fluid in the ears, etc.

Aside from that, just try to be patient and calm. Always have an immediate consequence for his not minding. If he gets used to you asking him to do something three times before you finally make him do it, he's conditioned to that and figures why listen the first time. I know it's so hard to always be consistent, but it works!

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I am 58 years old and raised 2 children and now have 4 grand children. Not that I know a lot about raising kids, but it seems like some kids just "can't" listen or mind. I wish I knew about this when my son was little as he was very unmindful and I made a lot of mistakes - yelled a lot at him. It did no good and probably as I understand it today did him more harm than good. I wish I knew about ISOTONIC B COMPLEX. This product when taken allows a child/adult to fucus, keep calm and also gives you focused energy. I have seen kids very unruly (including my grandchildren) and hiperactive. When given a small amount of this ISOTONIC product they are reading a book and behaving within minutes. I could send you many testamonials as well. But go to my website and read about the "ISOTONIC B COMPLEX." Got to www.marketamerica.com/salemi. If you log in to the site you will build credits for every order you place and eventually get free products. Please be sure to read about the B complex - it is under the catagory of "general health."

If you have more questions email me at: ____@____.com. I hope this helps.

J.

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M. , i agree , counting to three, will only make it worse, i did that and too found it did not work well, they will do it at 3 cause they know you mean business, if you mean business right away you will get qicker action , this takes a while, cause in a sense you are not training him you are training you, i had to train me to not to count, and the bibles advice on making your yes, mean yes, and your no mean no, also helped in child rearing, if you say no to a child, and thenchange it to a yes, you are creating issues that will be hard to correct later, also visa versa, if you say this will happen if you dont do this, then follow through, so choose your words wisely, very hard to do sometimes, but think is that what i really want to uphold, if it is go for it, make a stand and stick to it, they will know exactly where you stand, and with counting to 3 they know you will only get ticked off when you reach 2, or maybe 2 1/2 .... 2 3/4.... hahahah quit counting, and let him know what is to be expected, if he does not do it , apply the expected, soon both of you will be happier, till hes 13, hahahahaha even then keep your word true, have a good day, and i know how hard it is, D. s

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STAND YOUR GROUND. The most important rule is to set firm rules/boundaries, make sure he knows what they are and what the consequences of breaking them will be, and then stick to them. Wishy-washy rule making is one of the leading causes of trouble-making in kids. Part of your son's problem is his age, he's exploring his world and he's testing his boundaries. But NOW is the time to teach him to respect you. Let him know that you mean what you say. Don't give in, even if he throws a temper-tantrum in the store or in front of the President of the United States. Discipline him if necessary (don't use anger or hate, but firm consequences). And always remind him of the rules and why he's being punished when you do discipline, that way he'll begin to grasp the Actions=Consequences equation. Most importantly, be patient with yourself and your son. If a consequence isn't working, try something more drastic. Always direct his actions in love and he will learn to respect you... this will prove VERY beneficial when he's in his teenage years!
Best wishes.

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It may just be a phase that he is going through or he may be like my daughter (who is now almost 4) and who I would consider a "strong willed child". You need to be consistent in your discipline but I have noticed that discipline doesn't always work for my daughter. Mostly the easist thing for me has been to give her options and let her know what I expect of her and then give her time to do those things. If I give a command and expect her to do it right away then she gets defensive. Try to make what you want him to do fun (make it into a game)or try offering him two options, "you can either pick up your toys or help me dust the table". It gives them the feeling of helping but also gives them the feeling like they have a say in the matter. Let him know that if he doesn't do what you have asked him you will take away something. That way again you are giving him the choice to either listen to you or the choice to loss a privelage or a toy for awhile.

Good luck!
M. N.

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Here is what seems to work for us...

When we find ourselves in a 'battle of authority' with our son, we kneel to his level look him straight in the eye and gently remind him what the roles of our family are. He is our son, and we are mommy and daddy. We love him very much and that we make the decisions. I don't know if it is just our son, but he really understands this approach and is happy to follow through on the instructions he has received. It helps to have back-up, so when dad is home, and he's not listening to mommy, dad will step in with the same approach and reinforces it. We don't yell and it's not scary - but he does understand that we mean what we say. Hope this helps! Good luck.

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I also have a 3&1/2 and a 1& 1/2 year old boys, and you got to nip it in the bud right now or they will run you instead of you running the rules. I had trouble with the 3 yr. old minding and staying put in timeouts, but both mom & dad have to enforce a "yes mom" reply to requests, sometimes in the beginning I had to ask him to do something and then say to him "Say yes Mom" and he would usually do it, now he says all by himself. Dad was really a big help to, reminding him to say it when he was around. For timeouts, they dont start until he's done with his "fit", and I started with 2 min. and increased the time as he got used to staying put. Now he knows when he's in trouble and he'll say "set the timer Mom!" He's getting much better now, and more pleasant with siblings.
Good Luck.

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I think that disciplining works great. You just need to be committed past a couple of days or weeks. Read "Sheparding a Child's Heart," by Tedd Tripp. He offers great insight. If you continue to count to three, you are setting it up so your child doesn't have to obey right away. You have made it so he knows just to wait until you count. When you want your child to do something, don't ask. Tell him to do it. When you ask, you are giving him the option of telling you no. Work hard to do the same discipline all the time.

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Mostly it is a phase, but you need to be consistent in whatever dicipline you use. If you are asking him to do something you know he can do, then stick to your guns. I use alot of manipulation with my 4 year old and it works well. An example is if he doesn't want to put his shoes on, or says he can't, I will say I guess you don't want to go to the store with me, too bad because the store is super fun. Anyways, remember at this age you can always outsmart them!

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Maybe instead of discipline use a reward system. Give him a reward but only when he does what he supposed to.Working mother of twin 7yr old boys.

1 mom found this helpful

I also use the 1,2,3 method. But my girls know that if I get to three then they have consistent consequences. Ex. Please put your shoes by the front door. Three year old asks "Why or I don't want to." I let them ask why as long as they are not whining. I answer "The shoes belong by the door so when we have to leave then we know where they are." Usually an explanation works good but sometimes she has to do something just because I said so! If she doesn't put the shoes away then I start to count "1, 2." Because I have been consistent with this they usually listen. It took my three year old most of her second year of life not listening to me and getting the consequences. Now I rarely have to discipline. Be extra positive if he listens without you having to count to three. He'll like the positive reinforcement. I think we need to be sensitive to their needs too. If they are busy playing blocks and we come into their room and say "Come pick up your toys in the family room." They are not going to want to do that. I don't like being interupted from my "play" time.
Hope this helps.

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you have to keep up with the disciplining .
every time he doesnt listen then discipline him.
eventually he will listen but it takes alot of repeat discipline.
if you stop whenever he says he cant then he knows he'll get his way but if you keep after him then he knows your the boss.
you have to be consistant.

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I agree with DeAnn B. All three years old's go through this. They try to push things at home and out in public as they are testing the rules. (This is also when you need to start watching what you say about others around your child or you will hear it repeated at inoportune moments.) Stick to your rules, be consistant and it will pass.

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I know it's frustrating when you feel like everything is a power struggle....but I agree with most of the other posts that say that this is a normal phase and so long as he is doing it (even if you do have to count to three) then he IS sort of listening. I also like the idea of giving them options and a illsion of control over the situation (notice the word ILLUSION) One thing I started with my child was, "if you listen to me the first time I ask you to do something, you get a star" (I literally handed them a yellow plastic star that they got to walk around and show everyone). "At the end of the day if you got more then 5 stars (or whatever number you decide) then you get to ....have desert....be read a story before bed....stay up an extra 15 minutes..." whatever you think will work for your child. This way if they choose not to listen to you the consequence is something that they more or less chose and you can keep a cool head and say...."sorry you have to go to bed so early, sure wish you would have listened better so we could read that favorite story...". It might be a bit advanced for a three year old, but it's a system that grows with them. My child is now 5 and I use TV time or computer time as the reward they earn. Good luck. Take a deep breath and try to keep your cool since getting you riled up might be half the fun for him. :)

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I, too, know how frustrating it can be. We really like the "Love and Logic" approach, which is based on natural consequences. i have been caught in the counting to 3 business, but then i question "if she can do it at the count of 3, then why can't she just do it right away". it is logical and works great for older children as well. i feel like it is so logical and it's actually preparing my 4 and 2 year old for the real world. they have learned that the choices they make can have a positive or negative consequence. right now, it's usually up to me to enforce that negative consequence. and when doing so, i am able to be calm, sympethetic, and in control. "i'm so sorry you are hungry, but you will have to wait until snack time to eat. next time, you will need to sit nice and eat lunch like i asked." or, after throwing a fit about not wanting to put on her winter coat, i say "ok, you might get really cold, but that's your choice". we walked out to the car, she froze, and hasn't thrown a fit since. obviously, when it involves safety, etc., then you just can't give them that choice. it gives them some power, teaches them real life lessons early on, and the bottom line is that MOM/DAD is in charge. hopes this helps. hang in there. :)

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M.,

Sounds like he is minding. If you count to 3 and he does it, then he is minding. He sound high-spirited and you will have to spend more energy with him. Keep doing what you are doing and stay firm. You need to be consistent.

Good Luck!

L. :)

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I've tried counting too. It doesn't work unless I back it up with a spanking if there is no obedience after #3. I'm not talking about the spankings we may have gotten when we were younger, but spanking based on the book "Shepherding your Child's Heart" by Ted Tripp. This book has revolutionized the way do discipline in our home. It is based on the Bible. Even if you don't believe the Bible, I'm sure you will be able to glean some of what the author says about child rearing. It is a daunting task that we, as parents (esp. stay at home moms) have.

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I am with you there. I have an almost 4 y/o daughter who all of a sudden decided she doesn't have to listen to her father or I. She absolutely will not do things like brush her teeth, go to the bathroom, get dressed or go to bed, let alone eat, when she's told without it being a huge arguement. It's so frustrating. The other night while I was trying to get her to eat her supper, she told me she hated me and wished I wasn't her mommy. That was a heartbreaker. I don't know what else to do. I feel like we're always arguing/yelling at each other and I hate it. I try the counting to three technique and it usually works but not always. Sometimes she'll just throw herself on the floor and have a screaming meltdown if I ask her to do something or get on her for misbehaving. She really is a happy kid but I don't know what else to do to keep these explosions from happening.

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They always say it's the terrible two's, when in reality it is the treacherous three's!!! My son was the same way at three and we tried everything! All I can tell you is once he turned four (within the first few weeks), he did a complete turn-around. I had always heard this from friends, but didn't believe it until it happened to us. Hang in there...it does get better!

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That's actually very good that you have him complying by the time you've counted to three. Not a lot of children have learned to do that. Counting to three is actually a form of discipline, but don't use it for everything. Pick your battles wisely. I think you've done both of you (as well as his younger sibling, who will learn from modeling this) a great favor by practicing the 1-2-3 counting with your three year old. Just remember not to sweat the small stuff. I think you can survive the rest of your child's phase, because he is just a little 'limit setter' and I do believe this is an age appropriate phase for him to be experiencing right now. Things will improve if you don't count to three for everything...just the big stuff that he definitely can't get out of doing. All the smaller stuff will eventually be stuff he'll want to do when he's a bit older. He's a year younger than he'll be next year and next year he will be completely different!

Time out chair with a egg timer... worked for me. You have to be firm and every time she sasses you add a min. she gets to 10 mins she goes in her room for 15 mins. and explain this to her before she gets to out of control. it works...

mom to 4 angel forever 18, 16.11,9

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