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Is it possible to work on listening at this age? Print Version

MrsS1stbaby 04-11-11 09:52 AM

Is it possible to work on listening at this age?
Our dd is very active, independent, chatty, and pretty dang smart for a 2.5 year old (at least in our opinion, lol). Our greatest struggle with her has always been "listening." She hears everything, will repeat anything, and picks up on stuff like you would not beleive sometimes. But she chooses to do whatever she wants and does not listen to me, her dad, my parents....anyone. Daycare doesn't seem to be an issue; I think there are too many other kids misbehaving & being loud that she takes the backseat since they always tell me how quiet & good she is.

I know she is only 2.5, but it is becoming an issue. Especially when we are in a public place and she won't hold our hand, runs off, or won't stay by us. Dh is especially getting very frustrated. Especially when he sees other kids staying next to their parents at stores, or in their seats at resteraunts, holding their parents hands when they are in the parking lot, etc. Or hear my friend say how her dd always listens to them & does what she is told and she is younger than Kendall.

We had to take her into the bathroom for a talking -to 3x at breakfast yesterday b/c she would not sit still and did everything we told her not to. I even had to spank her (cringe!) b/c the entire time I am sternly talking to her, she is smiling & looking everywhere but at me like it was some sort of funny game.

I need help ladies! Is there something I am missing? Are we asking too much? Is there a discipline/teaching plan we should be following? Do we give her too much independence? She doesn't sit in highchairs at resteraunts anymore unless she is behaving badly & can't show that she can sit still, we let her walk in a store if we are only going to be there for something quick, we let her walk at the zoo (& she actually did pretty good), we take walks with the dog & she walks with us instead of riding in a stroller (and does well with this), she sleeps in a big girl bed, she's PT for #1 and wears underwear during the day. I feel like all of this is important for an almost 3 year old, espeically since she needs to understand she is going to be a Big Sister soon and there will be a little baby around who actually be treated like a baby.

lauralkemp 04-11-11 10:56 AM

I wish I could help. Joseph is pretty much the same way. We actually left an event before they served dinner the other night because he kept running off to go look at the pool. The funny thing is he behaves beautifully for others usually and only shows his butt(as i call it) to DH and I.
Granted Joseph is only 26 months old compared to Kendall's almost 3 but still I know he hears us because I slipped and said stupid and he repeated it. I told him that mommy made a boo boo and that is not a nice word. Luckily it was while we were watching AFV so he didn't hear me direct it at Dh or somebody else.

If you figure it out please let me know. I really would like to be able to take him places without resorting to his harness all the time(it is a must in the mall though).

~babydoll~ 04-11-11 05:00 PM

At 2.5 yrs. she is actually doing exactly what is expected, which is testing limits. Children learn to tune us out very quickly, so if she's getting constant feedback on everything she does, it all starts sounding like CHarlie Brown's teacher, and especially if there are no consequences backing you up. Toddlers have not yet developed empathy, so she really doesn't understand why you want her to do what you're asking; and, the more negative attention you give behaviors, the more you reinforce them.

What you and DH have to think about is choosing your battles; decide what is really important at what times (at this age it's really about safety) and have a plan in mind for what is really NECESSARY for her to do in certain situations and what you will do if she chooses not to comply.
There is tons of info online about toddler behavioral development, and is a well-respected national advocacy organization with research-based info. Good luck!