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Does anyone else have a 2/3 year old who answers back like a teenager?!

(40 Posts)
therewasalittlegirl Mon 29-Aug-11 19:55:27

I am at my wit's end!

How am I supposed to tell him the consequences of his behaviour when he refuses to listen/screams back at me/argues/disagrees.....?!

For example, getting him ready for bed tonight (and on many other occasions!), I am chasing him around the lounge to get his pyjamas on, him shouting 'no, I don't want my pyjamas on!!' me saying 'well if you don't put them on...' him (without letting me finish) 'ARRGH NO, I don't want them on!!' me 'Well you are putting them on, come here!' him (over the top of me) 'NO, I won't put them on!' And this goes on and on, me trying to tell him the consequences of him doing/not doing something and him shouting over the top of me that he WILL do it or he WON'T do it! In the end I give up trying to speak to him, and just pick him up and pretty much fight with him to get his pyjamas on with him kicking and screaming!

I then just do whatever the consequence is (e.g. no bed time story if he doesn't get ready for bed) which then causes the biggest paddy ever and him not going to bed! The thing is, had he known that the consequence of him not getting ready when I asked him to, would be that he didn't get a story, he would have got ready for bed straight away! But because he does not listen and shouts over the top of me, he doesn't hear the consequence, and, oh I'm exhausted just typing this, and so it goes on and on and on...

Sorry for the ramble, very tired and frustrated Mummy. Help! What am I to do?!

OldLadyKnowsNothing Mon 29-Aug-11 19:59:22

He's answering back like a toddler, not a teenager! Do you have a fixed bedtime routine? How fixed?

therewasalittlegirl Mon 29-Aug-11 20:18:20

Well yes I suppose you're right smile Thank you OldLady... Routine every night is bath, pyjamas, teeth, jigsaw, upstairs for a story in bed, then sleep time. Bed within the hour of 7 and 8, depending on what time he got up, if he had a nap in the day etc. But this is not just at bed time. It is whenever he wants to or doesn't want to do something! If I tell him the tv screen will break if he bangs it, he says 'no it won't' and carries on, if I tell him he'll hurt himself if he jumps off his table, he says 'no I won't, I know what I'm doing', - that sort of thing is what I meant by being like a teenager! It's driving me loopy! I say, 'yes you will', he says 'no I won't' (in a sort of carefree singing voice!)...

OldLadyKnowsNothing Mon 29-Aug-11 20:25:29

Ah, gotcha. Mine are adults now but my 2yo dgs stays over 3 nights a week so I still see this kind of thing. Sometimes you just have to let them find out through direct experience. I don't mean let them get really hurt (or break the telly!) but if you've warned him eg he'll fall and get hurt, he says no he won't; leave him to it. If he falls, he falls.

Just don't be too ready with the sympathy if he does. It's a hard lesson, but it has to be learnt.

therewasalittlegirl Mon 29-Aug-11 20:38:24

Thank you. I will try, yet I have already learned to pick my battles. I only stop him doing something that could be very dangerous or that could cause serious damage. I've given up on teaching him to stay sitting down til he's finished his dinner, or not to climb all over the sofa, or to tidy up one toy before he gets out another... as if I did all that we'd be battling all day! Yep, we live in a mad house smile I just think he might be in for a shock when he starts nursery/school!

OldLadyKnowsNothing Mon 29-Aug-11 20:46:57

Sounds like you're doing

Part of dgs's bedtime routine (which is much like yours) is to tear round and round the sofa, pursued by his dad, both of them giggling and yelling. I'd appreciate the chance to watch the evening news, but hey ho! It's almost as if he's "running down his batteries" for a mad half hour. Then it's bath, dress and story.

With your DS, could he be too tired, not tired enough (you can't win!), a bit bewitched by screentime? DGS definitely sleeps better when we have the telly off (even though he misses ITNG, which mesmerizes him) before bed.

OldLadyKnowsNothing Mon 29-Aug-11 20:51:21

TBF, there are three adults to one toddler in this household, it definitely makes everything easier then trying to do it all alone. How much support do you have?

tethersend Mon 29-Aug-11 20:53:58


<I do>


OldLadyKnowsNothing Mon 29-Aug-11 20:58:45

Wait till he's a teenager acting like a bloddy toddler... grin

SquongebobSparepants Mon 29-Aug-11 21:02:08

I found the best way to get PJ's on mine was to set the timer on my phone and see how fast we could get the pyjamas on. Then the next night you can try and beat it, or they can have an extra story if they manage in under one minute.
Mine love competing but hate losing, so anything like this works wonders.

SquongebobSparepants Mon 29-Aug-11 21:02:30

And I think there is more attitude with teenagers, and possibly a bit more swearing

therewasalittlegirl Mon 29-Aug-11 21:02:45

Thank you. I think I just feel at a loss when he shouts over me and answers back, and I'm not sure how to respond, especially when he's not listening anyway!

Running down the batteries sounds like a plan! Although, to be honest DS rarely stops all day! smile

He is definitely worse when he's tired, but like you say, you can't win! He's at that growing out of his nap stage, where he still kind of needs it, but it gets to 3 or 4pm before he'd actually fall asleep! And if he sleeps then, he's up til 10pm! And then he still gets up at 6, which means he's tired the next day and so on. I suppose he does watch too much tele. Well it's on in the background a lot (through habit really!) - but even so it has to be his programmes, even if he's not actually watching them! That's the reason for the jigsaw - he can only do that once the tele's off. So it's a calm down, use his brain to tire him out technique smile

therewasalittlegirl Mon 29-Aug-11 21:06:00

Oh I have my DH, who is great, but we work opposite shift patterns, so often it's just him and DS or me and DS! (And grandparents are great too, but they can't be there all the time unfortunately!) Thanks OldLady smile

Just going back to read other posts...

therewasalittlegirl Mon 29-Aug-11 21:09:54

Thank you all, glad to know he's just a typical toddler! And to be fair, when I think about it, it also depends on how tired I am, how I react, how he then reacts, etc etc. I was just having a stress tonight because I hate arguments before bedtime. Just glad we made friends before he fell asleep. Thank you all smile

earlyriser Mon 29-Aug-11 21:14:24

Have you read 'How to Talk to kids so kids will listen and listen so kids will talk'? Is very good for changing the way you communicate with children. No need to use it as a 'bible' but i did get some very useful strategies from it.

earlyriser Mon 29-Aug-11 21:20:25

Or on a lighter note, my dh has great success with pretending to be a Sergeant Major and 'barking' orders at them. eg" Soldier one, pjyama bottoms on, soldier 2 stand up straight, put your pjyama top ON" etc etc. has them doing as they are told and also giggling at the same time. They BEG for him to do it while they get dressed in the mornings.

I on the other hand cba and tell them if they don't get dressed NOW they can go to school in their pants! (guess who has more success grin

OldLadyKnowsNothing Mon 29-Aug-11 21:23:09

Yes, he's a normal toddler. Well done for making friends before bedtime, that's an achievement. smile

Relax in a warm bath and congratulate yourself.

Tomorrow is another day.

(probably full of the same nonsense...)

tethersend Mon 29-Aug-11 21:23:37

I teach teenagers with behavioural difficulties; none of them have ever pressed my buttons like my DD and her constant denial:

No! The sky is NOT blue! Ok, it's not blue. It IS BLUE!! It IS!!! Ok then it is. No!!!! It's NOT!!!! <collapse to the floor in angry tears>

Repeat ad infinitum. About everything.


OriginalPoster Mon 29-Aug-11 21:25:53

Don't reward him by chasing and arguing. Try 'when you've got the jamas on then it'll be story time. Then if he runs off just ignore, put the kettle on a d wait. He'll be back as he wants attention. Then say 'jamas then story' , if he's still messing then say, 'last chance for a story'. Then I'd just pick him up and put him in his room without speaking to him. No story.

In general don't argue back, once you have told him to stop once, just remove him from whatever he is doing without a word.

'how to talk so children will listen' is worth a read, it has common scenarios in cartoon form with different ways of handling them.

BikeRunSki Mon 29-Aug-11 21:27:21

DS is 3 next week,

I get "Not yet", "Whaaaat?", "Never ever", "I am busy" and "In a minute".

thisonehasalittlecar Mon 29-Aug-11 21:54:34

I'm in exactly the same boat with ds. It's the insolence that gets to me, I can't quite believe it coming from a 2.10 yo. I have How to Talk but have failed so far to apply it much to ds as like therewasalittlegirl I can't get him to listen (and also it has no advice for what to do when they do something REALLY REALLY naughty!). Those of you who've had some success with it with this age group, can you point me to some useful bits?

Firawla Mon 29-Aug-11 22:06:35

got it here with my 3 yr old too, he was not too bad aged 2 but he is getting worse - back chat, attitude, teenage sulking kind of noises... although he can be lovely at other times but the back chat is extremely annoying so i can empathise with you on that. i try to ignore it sometimes with mine, because giving a response or arguing back only encourages him but then at the same time i dont really wanna put up with it so sometimes i give him a warning n put him in time out for it if being really rude.. (lacking consistancy i know, cos not sure which way is best confused)

therewasalittlegirl Mon 29-Aug-11 22:38:47

Calm. Had my hot bath. wine in hand smile thanks OldLady

littlecar my DS is 2.10 as well! I sometimes just feel so exasperated and disrespected! Good to know we're not on our own!

I have the book 'Raising your spirited child' which seems good, but I don't really get chance to sit and read!

Original I know you're right, it's just hard not to argue back when I am tired myself, and when he tests my patience to the limits! I know a lot of it is that he reacts to me and how I'm feeling/reacting. And sometimes it's easier than other times to think straight and stay calm. Thank you.

tethersend He disagreed with me today that I was cold. 'Mummy, no you are not cold, take off Daddy's hoodie!' And then a paddy when I didn't.

Lucy88 Mon 29-Aug-11 22:55:55

I think all of you on this thread must be my sister.

She has a DS just like this. Funily enough he is no where near as bad for me as he is for her. Here are some of the things we do at my house to improve his behaviour.

Lots of praise and encouragement.
Engaging games and conversations
I speak in a very firm voice
Explain things simply to him
Explain house rules and boundarys to him
Use of time out and be consistent with it
Removal of favourite toys for 30 minutes
Sulkers corner - if he sulks, he gets told to go to the sulkers corner and when he stops he can come back and join in with whatever game we are playing.

Please don't take this personally, as all your situations are different, but my sisters DS acts like he does for her because she is not consistent or firm enough with him. She chops and changes her discipline methods and does not have a firm enough voice.

I know how challenging his behaviour can be, so he gets away with nothing in my house. He knows the rules and boundaries and he gets lots of praise when his behaviour is good - but I have to come down on him like a tonne of bricks when he is mis-behaving and let him know I mean business and that I am in charge - not a 3 year old.

TheSecondComing Mon 29-Aug-11 23:22:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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