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Old 06-14-2007, 10:11 AM   #1
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When can we expect toddlers to listen?

I am afraid I am training my 17 month old DD to only listen to me after I've asked/told her to do something 15 times. I do not want to do that! But when can we expect them to listen to us? My top complaint is probably not sitting when I tell her to (she likes to stand at the table and in her highchair). Usually I just remove her from the table and let her come back later, but not always. I don't want her to miss all of dinner! It's also annoing that she likes to feed her food (often expensive, orgainc food!) to the dog. Or just to come inside when I call her, etc., stuff like that. When can we realisticly expect those things? Please tell me it's soon. I'm starting to feel like a broken record!
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Old 06-14-2007, 10:17 AM   #2
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Re: When can we expect toddlers to listen?



I've been told I'm expecting too much from my 2 1/2 year old. But I mean really when she stands there giving me a nasty look after I tell her to stop doing something I know she has heard me, and fully understands too. Which causes my irritation level to go through the roof because it's a non-stop battle to get her to even do simple things (pick up her toys in the living room, or close the cabinet door on the entertainment center).

I'm not helping you feel any better I'm sure.... sorry.

ETA: I just told her to step away from the electronics - 3 times all ending in please - she pouted with her arms crossed through 2 of the requests and the 3rd one she pointed at me said "you hush".

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Old 06-14-2007, 10:21 AM   #3
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Re: When can we expect toddlers to listen?

I'm told that I expect too much of my 20 month old also. Except that with him I started counting to three. He knows that if I get to three, he's going in time out. And he's learned that if he's in time out, he doesn't come out until I tell him to. But I started putting him in time out even at the grocery store and in the mall. The way I figure it, I would rather set rules for him now than seeing him steal a car when he's sixteen. I have some friends that "try" to do the counting to three thing but they never come through with it and their 3 1/2 year old son knows it. He doesn't care when they tell him to do or stop doing something since he knows he's not going to get in trouble. I don't want my kid to be like that. I don't spank him or anything, I just put in on time out. It took him a few days, but when he realized that once I got to three he was going to the wall; he started listening to me.
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Old 06-14-2007, 12:43 PM   #4
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Re: When can we expect toddlers to listen?

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ETA: I just told her to step away from the electronics - 3 times all ending in please - she pouted with her arms crossed through 2 of the requests and the 3rd one she pointed at me said "you hush".
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Old 06-14-2007, 06:28 PM   #5
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Re: When can we expect toddlers to listen?




This is the "What do you think, Mommy?" look.
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Old 06-14-2007, 06:38 PM   #6
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Re: When can we expect toddlers to listen?

I do the count to 3, after she's not listened a couple of times. If I get to 3, I do it for her, or if it something dangerous, she gets a 1 minute "thinking space".
It works really well with us, because I am consistent with it. She almost ALWAYS does what she is supposed to do right before I say 3.
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Old 06-14-2007, 06:48 PM   #7
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Re: When can we expect toddlers to listen?

My girls listen!
When they are told to do something and refuse, they have 2 options. Do it -or- go on a time out, and do it when your off time out!

I will count to 3, but lately DD does it at 2!

You HAVE to stand firm EVERYTIME!!!!!
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Old 06-14-2007, 10:24 AM   #8
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Re: When can we expect toddlers to listen?

You really cannot expect toddlers to do what is asked, it is a continual process of modelling behavior and/or removing things from their hands, physically putting them where they need to be, etc. My DC began to consistently "follow the rules" of basic things around 3-ish, which also coincided with when they began Montessori preschool (which was all modelling behavior as well). But if the desire to do what it was they were doing outweighed my telling them to do something else, it wasn't going to work, not until .. well.... I'm still having some of those issues with my 6 year old. It is a very gradual progression .
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Old 06-14-2007, 11:13 AM   #9
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Re: When can we expect toddlers to listen?

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Originally Posted by eirbjorn View Post
You really cannot expect toddlers to do what is asked, it is a continual process of modelling behavior and/or removing things from their hands, physically putting them where they need to be, etc. My DC began to consistently "follow the rules" of basic things around 3-ish, which also coincided with when they began Montessori preschool (which was all modelling behavior as well). But if the desire to do what it was they were doing outweighed my telling them to do something else, it wasn't going to work, not until .. well.... I'm still having some of those issues with my 6 year old. It is a very gradual progression .
I totally agree.
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Old 06-14-2007, 10:40 AM   #10
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Re: When can we expect toddlers to listen?

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Originally Posted by Steve's Wife View Post
I am afraid I am training my 17 month old DD to only listen to me after I've asked/told her to do something 15 times. I do not want to do that! But when can we expect them to listen to us? My top complaint is probably not sitting when I tell her to (she likes to stand at the table and in her highchair). Usually I just remove her from the table and let her come back later, but not always. I don't want her to miss all of dinner! It's also annoing that she likes to feed her food (often expensive, orgainc food!) to the dog. Or just to come inside when I call her, etc., stuff like that. When can we realisticly expect those things? Please tell me it's soon. I'm starting to feel like a broken record!
I know it is so fustrating! You may try asking once and then the second time say, "Do you need Mommy to help you sit down?" and then assist her back to sitting, etc. Call her and then ask if she can do it by herself or does she need Mommy's help, etc. It is important to model what you want done and not ask 20 times and then get fustrated. I am guilty of that!! As far as feeding the dog, put the dog in another room when you are eating may help.

As that age it is hard to say, my DD's are 2 1/2 & 3 1/2 so they DO know, we do spank at times and use time out, we set the timer to pick up toys and if they are not picked up then I take them away, etc.
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