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Please help me get my 2 year old to listen.

(11 Posts)
HarrysMummy17 Sun 17-May-15 19:49:34

I'm really starting to struggle with my DS who is 2.2 years.

He doesn't listen. I can sit him down, look him in the eye or I'm not proud to say, shout but he doesn't do as his asked.

Tonight it's been ds, please don't throw the cushions off of the couch again it's time to tidy up. Repeat 6 times, ends in removing him to a different room. Continue to hoover and turn around to find him throwing the cushions.

Same situation with the book shelf, please don't pull all of the books on the floor, choose one to read.
No, all of the books pulled onto the floor.

Same senario with toys box being emptied out, throwing, pushing things off of the table.

Basically I'm spending my life telling him off or tidying up in his wake! It's almost 8pm. He's bouncing around the living like he's had a cup of sugar and im shattered and dispairing looking at the trashed house!

Any tips of getting a 2 year old to listen??

NobleLocks Sun 17-May-15 20:04:46

I'd be really interested to know this as im at the end of my tether with my 2.5 year old

rastamam Sun 17-May-15 20:10:07

Can you make it fun like making it into a game to get the toys into the box etc etc?

caravanista13 Sun 17-May-15 20:15:21

Often useful to say what you do want him to do rather than what you don't want. For example 'Please keep the cushions on the sofa' rather than 'Don't throw the cushions on the floor'. Pretty typical for this age though!

CultureSucksDownWords Sun 17-May-15 20:21:53

I agree with PP about telling him what to do, rather than what not to do. Also giving him an alternative but similar thing to do. If my DS wants to chuck things around then we have two or three soft balls which he's allowed to throw around inside.

This may not be helpful, but perhaps also lower your expectations. It's only now at 2yrs 10months that I can expect my DS to not put all his books on the floor, or chuck all his toys out of his drawers. He can understand more now about it when I talk to him.

HarrysMummy17 Sun 17-May-15 20:22:03

I'll try the asking to do rather than not to. We do sometimes try games although by this time of night I just want to run out of the door screaming confused.

I know it's pretty typical of his age. grin

sahdad2 Tue 19-May-15 13:46:29

i'm in the same boat. ds2 is the same age and exhibits the same tendencies. its made harder by the fact that ds1 is usually around (5.2). i like the idea that you should try to tell him what he should do not always what he shouldn't. i try incredibly hard to make lots of fuss of him when he does good things (like hug his brother). he deliberately stamped on a lovely poppy ds1 and i have been admiring in the back garden today (he did it backwards whilst scanning my face for a reaction). its obvious to me that he often knows he shouldn't do x and is angling for a response by doing it - and sometimes i cut straight to the sanction and avoid the increasingly urgent reprimands (which i find SO exhausting). no eye-contact, no verbals - just sanction: i don't want to give him the intense attention he's after. if i do do that, i make sure he gets included straight away on coming back from his 30 seconds or so in isolation. and gets lots of attention for ANYTHING remotely good i can think of that he's doing.

my only tip for getting a two year old to listen is start saying things he wants to hear!

could you have less cushions? I know it sounds mad but children like to chuck cushions around and bounce about (this is why I have a very old and cheap sofa so they don't have to listen to me nagging about something else) - plus your DS is likely getting more of a reaction from you by throwing the cushions on the floor and making a mess than standing there politely while you vacuum

so as pp said it's probably wise to lower your expectations at this age. when my DS was the same age as yours I was probably banging my head against a wall whilst drinking wine asking the same thing but it's only now at 4 that he is able and willing to tidy up, a bit, when he feels like it. He still can't stop doing something if I ask and he really wants to be doing it. so what I tend to do is 1) ask once "DS bottom on the chair please" (its more expensive and nice than the sofa I let him bounce on), 2) ask again with a warning "DS this is your warning, please sit on the chair or I will take you off it" 3) follow through on the warning by removing him from said chair. Once he's finished objecting to the fact he's been removed I will have a quick chat with him about how it's lovely to bounce (or do whatever he was doing that I didn't want him to do) but that's a special chair and we want to look after it so he can bounce on the sofa or the trampoline in the garden.

In your case perhaps you could set up an activity with throwing soft toys or beanbags into a basket or screwed up paper into a bin. He might be looking for attention (which is natural and not being naughty) or he might just be going through a schema

nobody else seems to have mentioned it but 8pm seems pretty late for a 2 year old to be up. is he getting enough sleep?

Thurlow Tue 19-May-15 14:22:39

We have this off and on with DD, who's 3.5 now (and sadly still as prone to not listening sometimes)

The things I found helped are being inanely over the top with praise for correct things, and ignoring 'naughty' behaviour. Any attention is good attention, as far as a toddler is concerned.

The most useful thing I read on here was that if you ask them to do something 6 times before you remove them or take them to do the thing, they sort of learn that they don't need to do the thing the first time, as you're just going to keep asking. When DD is going through a very inattentive spell I try and make sure we only ask once. So I ask her to go to the bathroom to clean her teeth and she doesn't do it, so instead of asking again and again just take their hand and start steering them towards the bathroom. It does start to work.

Above all try and stay calm. So hard when you're at the end of your tether, but as people say on MN all the time, sometimes you need to pretend you're being watched so that you keep yourself a little calmer!

Millionairerow Tue 19-May-15 23:29:58

Ha ha, my children are 2, 5 and 6. Still praying. Let me know when u crack that one.

HarrysMummy17 Tue 19-May-15 23:42:16

Thanks for the replies! I think it being my time of the month hasn't helped the situation!!

I've tried asking ds to do things rather than not to do things and lowered my expectations.

I do think he does it for attention sometimes, especially if I'm busy!

I'll just try to relax a bit and remember he's 2! grin

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