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Discipline at almost 3 years old

 
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tinatherealtor
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Joined: 04 Apr 2008
Posts: 1
Location: Twin Lakes Area, Arkansas

PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 9:43 am    Post subject: Discipline at almost 3 years old Reply with quote

Please help with getting obedience the first time. Just recently, if I am speaking with someone, and he does something that takes him too far away from me (say up a flight of stairs, or into the woods) and I ask him to come to me, then continue my conversation, he ignores me, not moving further away, but not obeying the command "come to me". This is my one and only child (i am 41). Up until now he has been very able to do almost anything he wants. I am careful to choose my battles, and only surpress him when I feel he is in danger. I don't spank. Time out only works when he is seat belted in his booster chair, which isn't available when we are out in the world. Please send suggestions before this behavior gets set in. I am of the mind that I need to remain calm, which I am normally good at. However, this latest disobedience has me not as calm as I would like to be. Especially when I walk to retrieve the child and he runs, sometimes into danger (the street) leaving me scared. I will be headed to Walmart for a harness, if I can't get what I think might be a better answer. I know there has to be a better way. What do mothers with several children do? They must have compliance. Hubby is no help, giving in to him always if the child fusses. Neutral
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elliemaejune
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Joined: 30 Oct 2006
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Location: The Fireswamp

PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 10:16 am    Post subject: Re: Discipline at almost 3 years old Reply with quote

tinatherealtor wrote:
Please help with getting obedience the first time. Just recently, if I am speaking with someone, and he does something that takes him too far away from me (say up a flight of stairs, or into the woods) and I ask him to come to me, then continue my conversation, he ignores me, not moving further away, but not obeying the command "come to me".


Whenever he disobeys you, you must stop what you are doing and require him to obey. Every. Single. Time. Of course, there may be some confusion, as you say you "ask" him to come to you, but then you say he doesn't "obey the command." It is acceptable for parents to require their children to obey; it is part of training children to become mature, responsible adults.
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Ophelia
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Joined: 20 Nov 2007
Posts: 105
Location: Ohio

PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Elliemaejune gives good advice on this topic.

I would still invest in that harness though.

My oldest had just started walking when I was very pregnant with his sister. We lived on a boat in a marina, so water was all around us. And while he always wore a life jacket, being as pregnant as I was, I could not chase him. I used a harness with him so that he couldn't stray to far from me. He eventually learned to stay within a certain distance of me even after we stopped using the harness.

Since the harness had worked so well with my son I used it again with his sister when she began walking even though I wasn't pregnant and could chase her. Both children learned what was an acceptable distance to stray from me. It brought me a great deal of peace of mind.

For time-outs I put the children into their booster chairs. If we were out, depending on where and the situation, either my husband or I would take the child to sit in the car for the duration of the time out, leave the activity, buckle them into the stroller, the shopping cart, etc.

I have no suggestion on the HOW, but you need to get your husband to work with you on this. The child needs to see Daddy backing you up on your position on discipline, he also needs to enforce the same rules when he's caring for your son. There must be consistency.
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Lily
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Joined: 10 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would urge you to really look at what you are asking of him in terms of development. You are speaking to a 2yo - let's call him that first instead of 'almost 3'. By putting the 3 in there you are subconsciously expecting another year's development on top of what he is.

Second, there are a lot of great books out there about what to expect from a 2 -4 yo in terms of cognitive and spatial development. Right now, you have a child with very little (but blooming) impulse control. He is a little scientist, testing the reactions for each and every situation. They may look all the same to you, but a child that young picks up on subtle differences that adults tend to ignore - different place, different time of day, tone of voice..these are all tools for him to use to see if the same reaction will happen each time. The more logical and consistent you are, the easier his "experiments" are for him.

I like the 'say it once, do it the second time approach' when I need to have something listened to at this age. I get down and tell the child once, making sure I have his/her full attention and am at eye level. The second time, I simply pick up/lead/help the child do what I am asking so that s/he understands my words mean something.
If the above is impossible, it is up to me to control the situation to begin with, either by not letting an impulsive toddler get too far away or by picking him/her up the first time instead of leading with my words.
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Miss_Kristy
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Joined: 17 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a 2 yr old son also. Let me start by saying that this behavior is NORMAL. Your son is just doing what 2 year olds do. He's not being mean to you. He's not trying to make you mad. He's just being a 2 year old.

It would be best if you would reevaluate the situations you are putting your son into. If you KNOW that your son has a habit of running into the street, or dangerously near the street, then YOU should not put him in the position to be ABLE to run into the street. - This senerio works in every other aspect of life when dealing with a 2 year old. For example, my son will not sit still in a resturant at this point in his life. He wants to walk around, talk to people, touch things. This is not acceptable. So..... We don't go to resturants with him. Viola! Problem solved.

Obedience the first time will come, in time. But by exspecting it at this point you are just setting yourself up for failure. You should have rules of course, you can't just let him run wild. But he is a toddler-- not a short adult.-- He has limits. Work with them.
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alexsmom
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Joined: 04 Apr 2008
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Location: North Bay, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with the first two ladies...he's old enough to train to stay with you and follow your directions. It will take some time and a lot of determination and patience from you. Also, and I realize that you already know this, it's gonna be even harder if your husband is not on the same page with respect to discipline...harder but not impossible. You can look at it this way...it will be easier to do it now than when your child is older and is willfully straying from your side/area. Right now it's a matter of just not knowing any better. Later it will be about a power struggle.
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Decrease
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Joined: 18 Jan 2008
Posts: 125
Location: Verona VA

PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having an "almost 3 year old", there is nothing wrong with expecting them to come to you when you call. They can cognitively understand the command and they are rebellious in not wanting to obey. Yet, a child should learn the importance of obedience on the first command. If your child does not understand the command or cannot physically obey the command, then that is a different story. Yet, if your child can rationally grasp the command and disobeys, they are being disobedient and this should be dealt with.

I also want to point out what obedience is and is not. Obedience is "Doing what your told to do, when you are told to do it, with the right heart attitude". Because he may do what he is told to do does not mean he is obedient.

We have had this problem with our youngest child on several occassions. So, we will spend time just giving commands. "Go to your bed"... "Come here"... Go get a towel out of the closet and bring it here"... etc... We call this training time and actually is a lot of fun (the other kids have fun with this as well, screaming and cheering the child on sometimes). Then, we recreate the exact situation where the child would not obey and then call the child once more. The child will respond.

For some, not obeying has dire consequences. If I were with my father at the age of 2 on the farm and he told me to do something and I didn't, it could mean that I was going to get trampled on by a horse.

Yes, this may be normal behavior, but little kids are sinful creatures. The rule of thumb I have on whether they are being rebellious to need discipline is:

1. If the child can understand the command
2. If the child has the ability to obey the command

If those two are met then they are being rebellious if they do not obey. If they do not understand the command then that means I train them and teach them what the command means and then I expect obedience. If they lack the ability to obey the command then you should not give the command and also apologize to the child if you gave him a command he was unable to fulfill.

Finally, we should watch the commands we give our children. There were times when I told my child not to play with something only to realize my command had no merit. I allow my child to appeal such a decision and sometimes I realize that I was neglectful in that command.
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Shari Nielsen
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Joined: 20 Jan 2008
Posts: 56
Location: CT

PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As many of you have mentioned...consistency is the key. Kids should know that you mean what you say - all the time - and that there are unpleasant repercussions for their poor choices or actions - all the time.

Since he is still 2, this will probably turn into a battle of wills that goes on for the next few years. Pick your battles carefully and make sure you win any battle you engage in.
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Decrease
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Joined: 18 Jan 2008
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Location: Verona VA

PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shari,

Great points. We cannot train our children that our commands are only "Sometime" commands but "always" commands. And, choosing the best time to make a stand is vital. Let it take place on your turf not on the kid's.

Good comments.
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Shari Nielsen
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Decrease!
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Emerging Dad
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2008 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have found that phrasing things as a direct command are much more effective than "asking." E.g. the difference between "Come back, now" and "Would you please come back now?"

With a smart kid, if it comes in the form of a question, they're going to interpret it as a request. Always.
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