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Old 06-14-2007, 11:44 AM   #11
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Re: When can we expect toddlers to listen?

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I like your suggestions about sending positive, or "yes" messages rather than "no" messages. That worked really well for us when dd was your dd's age. Now that she's 2 (birthday's the 23rd), she's a little beyond that. Instead of her being able to do things on her own/explore on her own being a novelty, a sit was at 15 months, it's now a right (in her mind) and a mark of being a big girl.

At 2, we're struggling with this. We had a blowup this morning over dd not listening. I try to get her direct attention - I ask her to look at me, or look at my eyes, then tell her what needs done. Just talking to the side of her head doesn't work for us. We have about a 75% success rate w/ the "look at mommy" approach. Also, I've found that a lot of the time, she's not NOT listening, but she really feels compelled to finish what she's doing at the moment before going along with my instructions. If it's something that'll just take a minute, like putting the last book away, I'll allow it. Otherwise, I'll explain that we can finish whatever it is later, after doing what needs done first - like, "we can finish transporting each piece of kitty kibble from one bowl to the next after we put our shoes on and do our hair." Also, having her say goodbye to whatever it is she's into works wonders - say goodbye to the tv, say goodbye to the slide...Just be prepared, my dd likes to also *kiss* whatever it is goodbye, or, at the very least, hug it goodbye. Sigh. 2 year olds.
Thanks - I'll remember that, and give it a try if/when we reach that stage... good bye stray cat

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Old 06-14-2007, 12:10 PM   #12
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Re: When can we expect toddlers to listen?

my son is almost 22 months and i still dont expect him to listen. my dr said maybe between ages 2 and 3 they start to fully understand directions, and consequences. it may be even longer for my son because he is autistic. just decide how you want to handle it and be consistant. i would tell her once. the second time i would tell her while helping her do it. if she stood back up a third time i would use time out perhaps, or whatever is your presonal discipline choice. this is of course once she can understand you... whatever age that may be.
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Old 06-14-2007, 12:40 PM   #13
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Re: When can we expect toddlers to listen?

My DS is almost 18 months old and we DO expect him to listen. He understands what we are telling him and chooses to listen or not.
He is the youngest at his daycare and we have been told the most well behaved. (by the daycare lady as well as other parents)

Im sure some people think that is too young to expect so much, but i personally am tired of seeing all of the kids running around who have no respect for anyone or anything, think the world owes them or something... i will never allow my child(ren) to be that way. I believe kids should be respectful and polite and we started that a a very young age. Babies arent stupid, they learn from day one the bad habits.. (they cry they get picked up.. etc.. yes i know, that isnt a BAD habit so to speak, but that is a whole other arguement) but they can also learn the good stuff too. I am very proud that my son will say please and thank you and will do what is asked of him.. most of the time. And i do understand that he is only 18 months and he will test us....

Not trying to start a debate, everyone is entitled to their own opinions, this is just what works for our family.
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Old 06-14-2007, 12:43 PM   #14
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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   #15
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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   #16
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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   #17
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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, 07:15 PM   #18
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Re: When can we expect toddlers to listen?

Take what you think your toddler knows and then double it and that is about what they understand. I really think people underestimate their kids when it comes to listening and when it comes to limits/boundaries. We sing them high praises for everything else and ooh and ahh about how much they understand but then when it comes to discipline suddenly people tend to feel that their child can't possibly understand.

In my experience being firm, loving and consistent are the keys to making discipline work. It really doesn't matter what you do for consequences (natural, logical, time-out's, etc) as long as you are consistent. Obviously using positive discipline and gentle discipline are the desired methods (at least in my book) but even loving parents that are firm and consistent who spank tend to produce children that turn out just fine. The key was that the parents were loving, firm and consistent. You take out any of those factors and that is when discipline stops working or only partially works. The problem in most families with spanking is that they are not able to keep those three factors in check and apply spanking at the same time. Now, I am not a proponent of spanking and am against it being used for basically the reason I stated but I know many good families who use it in a balance approach and their kids are just fine. Most of us who have had bad experiences were because one of the three keys were out of sync or missing.

Anyway, find a method of discipline that is natural for you and that you can do each and every time that the situation calls for it. Enforce a request before you need to say it 15 times. Preferably a request is made 2 or 3 times and then enforced - some would even propose you only need to say it once but hey, I sometimes need things repeated - why shouldn't my child? Teach your child to respond to a request whether you are whispering it or speaking it - don't teach them that you need to be shouting or have an angry look on your face before they need to respond. This is something that I've been working on. I grew up in a house where you didn't need to worry about doing something unless someone was yelling and it is something I don't want to teach to my children.

There are sooo many good discipline books out there. I really recommend leaning on the gentle discipline side but in reality there are many good ways to raise a child. I honestly believe it is not the method so much but that the other three keys are present. Everyone wants you to think they have the best way but there are many ways to raise a child just as there are many families.

Ultimately, to answer your question. Yes, I most definitely believe your child is old enough to listen. Old enough to follow through without help from you each and every time? Of course not. But old enough to be encouraged to and to have limits placed on her when she doesn't. We teach our children limits from the beginning and there's no reason to stop when they become a toddler. Just as you would pull your breast from your child each time they bit you during nursing you should enforce a limit each time they don't listen to a request you make.

Of course, make sure your requests are reasonable and make sure you are flexible but you are also the parent.
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Old 06-14-2007, 09:14 PM   #19
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Re: When can we expect toddlers to listen?

Well I have determine that if they are boys, never, b/c DH still doesn't

Sorry... Anyway, I will be watching this as I still ahve issues w/both boys listening.
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Old 06-14-2007, 09:29 PM   #20
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Re: When can we expect toddlers to listen?

Every child is different. I definitley wouldn't ask my ds to do something 15 times though. When he started standing in his high chair, we stopped using it. He stands in a regular chair at the table. I couldn't think of any reason not to allow this. Sometimes it is easy to feel like arbitrary rules should be enforced but is there really a need? I'd put the dog in another room during dinner.
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