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Almost 4 year old doesn't listen

(17 Posts)
lyssie29 Thu 23-Feb-17 06:17:46

Hi my daughter is 4 in march and lately she is completely ignoring me when I'm telling her not to do things. She drags her baby sister along the floor and when I tell her stop she acts like she can't hear me. I can say something to her 20 times and she ignores me. How can I handle this as it's making me really angry with her? I'll take her toys away, send her to her room, take treats away, but nothing works. She's the same with other adults too like her auntie and my neighbour who she knows well. she was always a lovely well behaved (most of the time) child. Is it an age thing?

MoonlightMedicine Thu 23-Feb-17 06:26:41

My 3 year old is exactly the same. I have to go to her, touch her, say 'listen to me' firmly and then she generally hears me. Doesn't always do as I am asking though.

I'm going with the phase theory!!

skerrywind Thu 23-Feb-17 06:33:53

Communication is a two way street.
You could describe this as " she's not listening", but the same truth is that you are not talking to her in the right way.

Dragging a baby around the floor? Obviusly unnacepptable. How old is the baby?

lyssie29 Thu 23-Feb-17 06:40:37

@skerrywind well really she's not a baby she's a toddler and is 16 months old. My 3 year old says she wants her to play with her and grabs her by the hand and she pulls her along and if she falls over she just carries on pulling her along.

I don't really know how else to talk to her. I ask her nicely to stop doIng things like I'll say "will you please stop pulling her sister along" and then if she stops I say "thank you because you'll hurt her" etc etc. If I get angry I do raise my voice but either quiet voice or raised makes no different at the minute she doesn't care either way.

skerrywind Thu 23-Feb-17 06:43:30

How much time do you spend alone with your 3 year old?

I am a great believer in positive strokes.

OddShoe Thu 23-Feb-17 06:44:47

When mine was that age I genuinely was about to take her to the doctors because I thought she had hearing loss! She listens to me most of the time now, it didn't last for too long.

Cupcakegirl13 Thu 23-Feb-17 06:51:17

I've had this trouble with my almost 4 year old , we too did hearing tests - the lot as he just wasn't listening and I was so frustrated with him it was exhausting.In the end i decided to take the approach Skerry suggests after my friend mentioned it and i started doing things on my own with him at weekends like movies for juniors or a trip to the park without his sister and lots more positive reinforcement. It's had an amazing affect on his behaviour , both I and DH have seen a vast improvement, positive breeds positive here it would seem and he listens so much more now we have broken that negative cycle.

lyssie29 Thu 23-Feb-17 06:53:33

Most the time her baby sister is there too but normally she'll nap for 2 hours in the afternoon. That's when we do jigsaws etc so her sister doesn't try to take the pieces. I'm a single parent as their dad passed away and have no one to babysit so they're both with me all day every day except when my daughter goes to nursery.

HandsomeBoys Thu 23-Feb-17 07:01:24

Sounds like you're in a vicious circle here.

Dd sounds like she wants attention. She wants attention and she's realised that not doing what you say / what you want grabs your attention very quickly.

Try (and it is hard) to pre empt unwanted behaviour. If you see her about todo something you don't want her to do, distract her. Ask her a question-ask her where her favourite toy is,ask her if she can help you carry something into another room, play a quick "I spy" game and ask her to show you 3 things that are yellow etc etc

Also, repeating yourself doesn't work ime. You have to explain why , calmly and positively, you don't want her to do xyz. Use examples with her of something she did that was brilliant.

I found the threes very challenging with my dc. All challenging behaviour passes. Reward the good/positive behaviour more often and you'll see more of it.

HandsomeBoys Thu 23-Feb-17 07:02:22

So sorry about your dp op flowers.

dylsmimi Thu 23-Feb-17 07:04:19

My 6 year old is the same - although I am thinking he may need a hearing test. It has improved this last week though
But now my 4 year old has started - doesn't even flinch when you say his name Nevermind to put shoes on etc
I know it's good to be positive but sometimes you do need to leave the house on time!!

Stitchfusion Thu 23-Feb-17 07:07:33

This is the age when you can actually enforce boundaries. If you wait till they are teens, you have lost.
There are so many kinder ways to say this, but im late for work, so I will be cruel: you need to (wo)man up and actually be a parent. Not the part about buying toys and giving them great fun times. You need to set rules and actually enforce them so the child learns the consequences of going against them. Or not, and suffer the conseqquences or your own poor parenting.

lyssie29 Thu 23-Feb-17 07:36:46

Thank you @handsomeBoys. I'll try to distract her when she starts getting too hyper as that's normally when she starts ignoring me. Maybe give her some fun jobs to do etc.

@stitchfusion that is what my question is. How do I enforce these boundaries? As I said above I can be nice it doesn't work, I can lose my temper and shout it doesn't work, take toys away, take treats away, send her to her room, I've put toys in the bin, stopped her from going to soft play or the park etc. no cartoons, no tv, she doesn't care at the moment that's what the problem is. Please tell me what else I can do?

HandsomeBoys Thu 23-Feb-17 07:49:07

Our youngest is as stubborn as they come. He really doesn't care if he's told off or if things are taken from him.

The only thing I can guarantee will get his attention is to ignore him and walk away. If he's hurt his brother I tell him that's not nice and I expect better behaviour from him. I scoop the hurt brother up and go in another room giving him cuddles and we do something together-even if it's something boring like putting the recycling out.

Ds that was naughty will follow or come in-he can't stand being ignored. I tell him to let me know when he's ready to apologise to his brother. As soon as he apologises we have a cuddle and a quick chat about why he can't behave like that. Don't hold grudges.

Our stubborn dc is 4. I don't have all the answers and by no means am I perfect (as you can see with my stubborn one) but you do have to find what works and follow through with anything you say.

There's 15 months between my youngest. It does get easier

Stitchfusion Thu 23-Feb-17 19:49:39

I was a bit harsh this morning. I'm sorry.

Try not to lose your temper. It rarely helps and you just end up feeling more guilty.
I think, that as long as she isnt being unsafe with your younger dc, then the strategies you are using are reasonable. For me, the naughty step worked very well. one minute for every year of a childs life, so at 3, she can have 3 minutes in the corner. Stopping TV and going to her room, where there are probably more toys is unlikely to work at this age, more an older child thing.
Be very firm, look at your child directly, on their level, and tell them to stop it. Firmly without shouting. Most kids will get it and stop what they are doing. Then reward for good behaviour later.

LivininaBox Fri 24-Feb-17 23:59:13

Have you tried techniques to get her to work out what she needs to do for herself, rather than you telling her? With my son, I might say - what do we have to remember when riding the bike? And he'll say wear a helmet. I say oh yes well remembered. Then he goes to get it happily, whereas if I just said put your helmet on he might not.

So in your example, if she's playing with the baby, you could say - why do we need to be careful with babies? She might say they get hurt easily. And then you say oh look you are being really gentle there so that she doesn't fall over and hurt herself.

The problem with this is that you need the time and energy to do it, you need to be able to stop yourself from just saying "don't do such and such". It is hard but it works for me when I get it right.

Astro55 Sat 25-Feb-17 00:04:07

Have you tried a visual chart or balls in a jar or similar?

Can she earn good girl points for doing the right things!

Visual really helps little ones - they all love stickers!

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