My boys will not listen

Discussion in 'The Toddler Years(1-3)' started by leaudemiel, Nov 12, 2013.

  1. leaudemiel

    leaudemiel Well-Known Member

    My three year old boys. Do. Not. Listen. Ever. They have been running around and laughing and carrying I in their room for two hours now. My husband is loosing it. They just don't care.
    There's no potty at all. Ever. No interest.
    I just don't know what to do at this point. I feel like nothing is working. I just get frustrated with my husbands frustrations. They are three. I don't know what is reasonable. I'm exhausted. My husband is exhausted. Evenings are long.
    He says that not being able to listen is a precursor to trouble as they get older. I fear it's true.
    Ugh, ugh, ugh.
  2. Rollergiraffe

    Rollergiraffe Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Oh man, have I been there. Deep breaths, and a gallon of wine!
    My boys have gone through periods where they are completely out of control. The only suggestion I have is to enforce a lot of structure, and stick with it. Mine responded really well to routine and responsibility. They have to get themselves dressed, put their dishes away, basically earn their toys and playtime. 
    One on one time also helps a lot; if they don't have their brother to egg them on they can be delightful little people. See if you can't take one grocery shopping with you in the evening while your husband chills out with the other one at home, or vice versa. That way you have one kid at a time to concentrate on, and things don't get out of hand as quickly.
    I'd skip the potty training until you get the other behavior under control; potty training is overwhelming at the best of times.
    Evaluate their sleep and eating schedule. I always found when my boys were getting really wild it's because they either weren't getting enough sleep or I was putting them to bed too early. Also try a walk after supper/before bed to tucker them out a bit.
    Daycare/preschool helped us a lot in this regard, especially if you can get them into separate classes. Or swimming lessons or whatever.
    I also think it helps to talk about expectations and what 3 year old behaviours are appropriate. My husband also gets really frustrated with the kids, but he doesn't always put into context that they're acting completely normal for their age or if there's something else influencing their behavior like illness or something going on at school. To counter this, I try and research certain situations if they're really out of control and send him links to read or bring it up when it's not in the heat of the moment so I don't add to his frustration. Basically, I gently try and tell him to relax, because a lot of what kids do is just kid stuff, and it will resolve itself no matter how much effort and frustration you put into it ;)
    5 people like this.
  3. ECUBitzy

    ECUBitzy Well-Known Member

    I agree with everything Jen said! Routine, clear expectations, good sleep, and something to drink. Rinse and repeat. Again. ;) 
  4. cheezewhiz24

    cheezewhiz24 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I third Jen. Feel the love, Jen!
    1:1 time will amaze you with how much they change. I try to check in with my one son who I butt heads with more, regularly. He's totally different and so sweet without his brother around.
    My boys are extremely active so I try to remember a couple of things they need daily:
    1. Outside or physical play a la McDonald's.
    2. Help time - a timer is your best friend here. They can clear the table, pick up their room, pick up the toys in the living room before rest  or preschool time, etc.
    That being said, sometimes you just have crappy days. Yesterday getting my kids to the Nature and Science Museum deserved a medal. They were just plain tough all day. But the more you can work with them and find out what motivates each of them the easier it is. For example, we play the "click game" when getting into the van where I pretend the sound of seat belts clicking is the worst sound on the planet. 
    1 person likes this.
  5. Rollergiraffe

    Rollergiraffe Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    What Michelle said about the "click" game, I also agree with. When the boys are being nuts, I get right down to their level in their face and speak softly (when I have the presence of mind to do it) and eventually I work them into a game/story time/whatever.
    Talking about your expectations of their behavior helps a lot too.
  6. mom2gc

    mom2gc Well-Known Member

    I agree with all that have been said. Also remember to give them lots of praise when they do listen and are doing well.  We have a saying in our house that by evening they have used up all their intelligence and that is when most of the battles start.  Them just being silly and not listening to anything we say. Consistency is key, but not always easy.
  7. ECUBitzy

    ECUBitzy Well-Known Member

    Yes! Praise! We praise things that seem silly (you're being SUCH a good listener! What a great cleaner! I love when you share so nicely!). It helps, though!
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