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How to get toddler to listen

(8 Posts)
WeEE Thu 06-Aug-20 22:38:54

I have a 3 year old Daughter who is, on the whole, very loving, kind and sweet.

Since my 2nd child was born, she has been a lot more difficult. She has completely stopped listening to me and won't do anything I ask.

For example, when I take her on walks by the river etc, she will run off. I shout her name and ask her to wait for me, she looks back at me and carries on running until she is out of sight. I have my 4 month old in a pram so it's not always easy to catch up with her. After shouting about 4/5 times and getting more angry, she will finally stop. The same thing happens with going in the river. She will try and go really far in and doesn't listen to me saying stop. I'm always in wellies and follow her in, but she is desperate to ignore me and just do what she wants. If I ask her not to touch something (because it could potentially be dangerous), the first thing she does is touch it.

I know those examples don't sound awful, but I feel like I have to ask 100 times and get angrier and angrier before she takes any notice.

Does anyone have any tips they could give me that I can try? Ideally I don't want to be there screaming the poor girls name until she listens. I try my best to be positive and try and do the whole gentle parenting thing, but I'll be honest she drives me up the wall at times and it's hard to be calm.

OP’s posts: |
Beachlovingirl Thu 06-Aug-20 23:08:55

I think it could be all in the sentence “since my second child was born”. Sounds like she’s punishing you for having another baby and she may think you’re replacing her or that you she wasn’t enough and you wanted another “her”.

I’m no expert by any means but as a first step can you just down on the floor play with her when the baby naps? Or when your other half can be with the baby, spend time with your daughter just you and her?

Footlooseandfancy Thu 06-Aug-20 23:14:47

Mine's a bit younger than yours but I wouldn't be putting up with that - it could be really dangerous.
If she can't be trusted to walk by you or to a suitable distance in front my options would be either reins or in the buggy (baby in a sling). In the example of running off so you can't see, the second I caught up we'd be turning back round and going back home. My DD has bolting tendancies and it's taken a fair bit of practice to get her to walk in front without disappearing.

Agree with PP about looking at time spent together - is this a way to get attention (however negative) now that the new baby is here?

Fatted Thu 06-Aug-20 23:15:46

She is listening to you. She is just not doing what you want her to do.

You need consequences for pushing the boundaries. I would recommend buying a double buggy, so you can strap her down into that every time she makes a run for it. Take her home when she makes a run for it. Pick her up and throw her over your shoulder when she makes a run for it. She needs to see clear consequences for her actions.

How much positive attention does she get from you? How much time do you spend alone with her? You also need to make sure you are doing this so she doesn't learn that the only way to get attention is by being a flight risk.

My eldest was two when my youngest was born, so I have been there with a toddler and a newborn. I had the twin buggy. We divided and conquered as much as possible to make sure eldest got lots of fun one to one time with a parent while his baby brother got stuck at home doing boring things like napping in his cot for two hours while one of us had a blissful nap

VictoriousSockPuppet Thu 06-Aug-20 23:18:16

Try lowering your voice. Not the volume, the tone/register.
There's lots of anecdotal stuff about children ignoring mum and obeying dad.

Don't use unnecessary words. No long sentences.
So, for example, on a loud, deep voice "STOP"

And yy to those above suggesting she feels replaced.

So, LOTS of praise and love for her.

And try and turn negatives into positives.
So less "no, don't do that"
More "wait for mummy, we'll do it together"
Less "don't run off"
More "please come and walk with me"

jelly79 Thu 06-Aug-20 23:25:23

I have this problem and have started to say it want you to listen' or 'listen to mummy' or 'hear these words' and it's getting his attention for me to carry on

WeEE Thu 06-Aug-20 23:57:07

Thanks all.

I find it hard because just before the baby arrived, she would listen to me. She would never run off, she would happily walk by my side etc. I know she is capable of listening and doing what is asked of her, but I think everyone is right in that it is a bid for attention.

Totally agree that I need to put her on the reigns (I actually have some and I've no idea why I didn't think of using them 🙈). Also great idea to just take her home if she won't listen. That would soon sort the issue out I'm sure! I've probably been a little too soft with everything because I just assume she will suddenly revert back to how she used to be.

I do try and give her as much attention as possible, but will admit that I find it really hard some days if the baby is having a whingy day. I get on the floor and play with her probably 4-5 times a day, but it feels like it's never enough. She will ask me to play about 20 times a day, even when she can see that I am feeding the baby/changing nappy/trying to get her to sleep.

I could definitely work on using more positive language with her. I find I use lots of negatives on certain days when she really frustrates me and clearly need to work on that.

Thank you so much for the advice everyone.

OP’s posts: |
TigerQuoll Fri 07-Aug-20 07:37:28

Something else you can do, is before you go for the walk have a brief conversation with her:
DD, when we go for this walk it is important for you to stay with me. When I say stop, you must stop, OK?
What do you do if I say Stop?
Now if you don't stop right away, it means it is too dangerous to keep walking and we have to go home. What will happen if you don't stop when I ask?
Don't know.
If you don't stop when I say stop we will go home. So what will happen if you don't stop when I ask?
Go home.
That's great DD. So you'll stay with me on the walk?

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