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Non Compliance in Preschoolers

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from misslily. Show misslily's posts

    Non Compliance in Preschoolers

    I'm beginning to feel like my children NEVER do what I ask them to. "Put on your shoes please." "Put on your shoes, sweetie." " Can you please put on your shoes?' "For heavens sake PUT ON YOUR SHOES!!!" "I'm going to count to three and if you don't put on  your shoes, we're not going." It's like that with everything. They just seem to either tune me out and ignore me, or flat out say, "no, i'm busy playing."

    When we're in the store I spend the whole time. saying, "stay with me, hold on to the carriage, get out of that nice lady's way. etc., etc., etc. I did once pull them out of the store and take them home with no food. They cried buckets all the way home. And while they are better than they used to be, they seem to me (and DH) to be the most non-compliant kids we see. It always looks to us like everyone else is sitting quietly at the table in restaurants and our two are playing with the silverware, spilling the salt, crawling under the table to get to the other side of the booth.

    At this point I can't figure out if we just have rambunctous kids, if lots of 3 1/2-4 year olds behave like this, if it's a twin thing or if I've just completely screwed up their upbringing to this point.

    I read all the books, provide boundaries, choices, set limits, give warnings and met out punishments like timeouts or taking favored toys away for time outs. I was an extremely compliant child, which I believe makes it even harder to deal with their exhuberance.

    Any thoughts? Hints? sympathy?

  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Non Compliance in Preschoolers

    When you threaten to not go, do you follow through and stay home?  That's what worked for my brother with their kids, telling them the first time, put your shoes on in the next minute or we don't go, and if they didn't comply they didn't go.  Yup, it was inconvenient.  But, they did the same thing for every directive - there were swift and consistent consequences (like heading immediately to the car with one parent while the sibling got to stay and finish with the other inside, for example) to disobeying.  If not going wasn't an option (doctor's appt, for instance) they had some other negative ramification for the kids to choose instead of obeying.  No ifs, ands, or buts, and they got compliance after the kids learned it was in their best interest every single time.

    ETA: they had to do this with one child more than the other; he was "strong willed," but even he learned that disobeying always had consequences that weren't worth it Because it happened every single time no matter how inconvenient it was for mom and dad.

    by repeating yourself over and over you teach them that your commands end with an implied "if you want to."


    Discretion is the better part of valor.

  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from wasMM379. Show wasMM379's posts

    Re: Non Compliance in Preschoolers

    I think it is very 3yo behavior.   For my son who sounds similar, I do think some of it as been related to his sensory processing issues and ASD diagnosis (not suggesting anything diagnostic here for your kids, but there are some sensory things going on for him that complicate his ability to sit still).  Things we have found successful strategies include behavior charts (has 4 or 5 behavioral goals each day with a smile, medium face, or frown rating) and for every x days of smiles, a small reward.  We also have consequences for frowns, like a favorite toy in time out.  This is rooted in basic behavioral conditioning, and we have consulted with the ABA therapsit as this is commonly effective for kids with ASD, and for my son it really works.  I know some folks look down on "rewards" for expected behavior, but it is an evidence based approach with the diagnosis.  Schedules also work miracles.  Giving him a schedule and letting him cross things off: first we are going in the car, then you will hold the cart while we go shopping, then you will get to pick out one (favorite fruit, favorite drink, tonight's dinner, a new sticker, whatever) then we will go back home and go to the park.  Drawing stick figures for each item, letting him hold the schedule chart, and then letting him cross things off really helps him stay with the task, be proud of getting through it, and then transition on to the next thing.   They do this a lot in integrated pre-schools.  I believe you have mentioned your kids have IEPs (if I am thinking of the correct poster - sorry if not).  Even if they don't qualify for any behavioral services as part of their IEP, consulting with you pre-school teachers or seeing if you can consult with the pre-school's behavioral therapist just for some quick developmentally-appropriate tips might be helpful.  Pre-School behavior is their specialty after all!  Definitely not mine :)

  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: Non Compliance in Preschoolers

    Sympathy, here! You certainly did NOT screw up their upbringing. I'm starting to see this same behavior crop up in my 2.5 year old, when she used to do exactly as I told her. It's exhausting and my DH keeps saying, "how do we get her to LISTEN??" My response: "We wait a few years." She is my first child so I don't have experience, but in watching my friends' older kids and just seeing the path that DD is on, I think it's every child at this age, at least sometimes. You have 2 the same age, so it's double the fun. If one is sitting still, the other might be moving around, and vice versa, so it probably seems like collectively they are always acting up.


    Maybe it's the wrong way to think about it, but part of me is just strapping myself in for the next 2 years and hoping we all make it out intact with a lovely 4.5/5 year old (it IS possible, i've seen the transformation in several of my friends' kids).


    You are not alone!


    ETA: I hope this post did not come out sounding rude. I'm tired and grumpy and just got a text that DD pushed DS down. So I'm feeling well in to the disobedient toddler phase and empathizing with you, not at all trying to imply that your kids "act up"! Hopefully you got my meaning.

  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from misslily. Show misslily's posts

    Re: Non Compliance in Preschoolers

    Yes - we have IEP's and I've spoken to the teacher about behavior. They are actually better in school - which I hear is often the case. I already do almost everything she lined out in her email to me. I do follow through with consquences when they don't comply. I'm careful not to threaten something I can't do (like Santa won't come or we'll stay home from school).

    I do think sometimes they egg each other on. One will be good and the other will start...then money see, monkey do and we're off to the races so to speak. And of course, sometimes they are little angels - but not often these days.

    Thanks for the hints and sympathy. Keep it coming!

  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Non Compliance in Preschoolers

    Repeating yourself even just once turns the idea of, "Do this task," into "Do this task [if it suits you at the moment]" in their minds.  Say it once, and if they don't immediately obey, make them regret it.  I'm not implying beating them or anything, just make them regret it in currency they care about before you repeat the ignored command even one time...ever.  Yes, it's sucky, but that teaches them that, "Do this task" means," Do this task right now."

    ETA: I know it works - it's what my mom did with me!  It was imperative that she not have to repeat herself from the time I could understand what a directive/command meant.


    Discretion is the better part of valor.

  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from rama8677. Show rama8677's posts

    Re: Non Compliance in Preschoolers

    Miss Lily - I think your kids sound totally normal and their behavior is age appropriate. My DD (3.4) is just like this. I have to repeat myself a lot and I often find she doesn't listen to me even when she knows what the consequence will be. I really think it is a developmental stage. Just hang in there and keep repeating to yourself that you are an awesome, devoted, and caring mother of two children who are at a very tough age!! 

  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from medfordcc. Show medfordcc's posts

    Re: Non Compliance in Preschoolers

    I have a hard time figuring out *how* to make them regret it, so to speak.  As misslily said, it has to be something you can actually do.  But everything I've read about this young age says the consequence should be immediate and related to the infraction.  So if she doesn't hang up her coat, then ...?  I can't think of how to end that sentence.

  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from CT-DC. Show CT-DC's posts

    Re: Non Compliance in Preschoolers

    Yup, sympathy here! And, as usual, I can't just have sympathy, I have to try to help. With a long post.  But you know me!

    And, yes, do make sure you don't repeat yourself too many times with the same directive/command.  So only 2 times do they get the instructions or the warning, otherwise, why would they listen the first two times when they know there will be a 4th or 5th time, and they'll only listen when you get "that tone" in your voice and you are about ready to knock some heads. It's super easy to get into the habit of repeating yourself ad nauseum, but be careful.

    Now, with 4 yr olds you just can't say "put on your shoes" and expect them to do it immediately like they're in the army. PERHAPS you could do that with 7 yr olds, but not 4's.  They dawdle (god, do they DAWDLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) and take freakin' FOREVER to do the SIMPLEST G-D things!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Also, frankly, they were quite busy playing with legos (or chasing the cat, or climbing onto the top of the fridge) and it takes a minute to stop and do something else like put shoes on.  So make sure you do give them ONE warning. 

    Can you go over and touch each child when you say something? Example:  Rather than calling from another room 'time to get your shoes on!' you'd:  1.  go into the room and say DS, DD, in 5 minutes it will be time to put your shoes on to go to school - simply touch them on the shoulder or arm as you say it.  This way they FOCUS on what you are saying instead of tuning out. Then leave the room.

    2. in 5 minutes (or 3 or 6, they can't tell, so just give it "some" time) go back into the room and TOUCH DS and say "DS, time to put your shoes on," then touch DD and say "DD, time to put your shoes on." 

    3. then go get your shoes and coat and car keys, and go back in and say "good job, DD, you have your shoes on, you're ready to go.  DS, do you want to do it yourself or do you need my help?" and he has 1 second to either start doing it or you just do it for him. 

    AND.... if you are feeling that one of the issues is that he is trying to control things and WANTS you to do it but you are trying to increase his independence, then instead of that you walk back in with car keys and say, DD is ready to go, let's go! and walk out the door....  DS is now trailing in bare feet and holding his shoes, whimpering about how he didn't get his shoes on. You can stop on the stoop outside the house and say "I told you it was time to get shoes on, now do it." and give him a second, if he doesn't, then you walk to the car (holding DD's hand so she doesn't start taking off her shoes) and he has to walk in bare feet down the hot walkway (it's summer after all).  And he'll get it, believe me, after a few of those types of trips.  BUT you aren't angry, you are just stating (so calmly, it's unbelievable) a fact "I gave you time, you didn't put them on, now you need to come anyway". 

    And... that type of thing will work, what?  40% of the time?  Perhaps 50%?  Perhaps more like 30%.  Sigh.  Really, it's this age that has them being independent enough to do stuff like shoes on, potty, blah blah but with zero time management, and little impulse control.  So they are starting to put on their shoes, but then they see the trains, and they stop to play with them..... and no shoes are on and the trains are out.  Sigh.  And you have TWO!  So much of this is waiting it out, truly, for them to be older, and setting them up for success - make sure YOU plan their wakeup so that there is enough time for breakfast, getting 2 dressed, shoes on, potty'd and out the door - so if you need to get up 30 minutes before they do to be showered and dressed, great.  If they need to get out of PJs earlier than you've been letting them so you don't have to try to HURRY preschoolers (the kiss of death is trying to rush this age group), then so be it. So rethink the morning routines, and all those other things so you can troubleshoot and plan for success. 


    And, I would second mm379 - for those things that are done the same way, in the same order, every day (have breakfast, brush teeth, shoes on, get backpack, into car to school) I'd make a list and make 1000 copies and let them monitor their own behavior - do the first thing, cross it off, go on to the next thing.  Use clip art, put a picture/icon of eating next to the words "Breakfast", then below that a toothbrush icon, then below that shoes, then backpack, so that each item is on it's own line, is done in a picture (they are pre-readers), and they can easily cross one thing off before going on to the next, from top to bottom.  I'd even print them on two different colors, so that DD's is always green and DS's is always purple so they can always know which list is there's, and they can monitor.  Tape it to the door, give it to them to take with them on a small clipboard, whatever works for you.  That way you aren't nagging, and they can see what's next and see progress.  And you can say "check your list to see what's next for you, DS." to keep him on task.

    For things like going to bed, getting ready and out the door to school, these lists are useful.  I used one every day for one of my 4 yr olds who just could NOT focus after lunch to get get his lunchbox cleaned up, teeth brushed, blanket and pillow on mat, and to visit on another child's mat over a book before the lights went out.  Our rules was: the lights go out at the same time every day, and at that point everyone had to go to their own mats and go to sleep (or rest) so if you weren't done with everything, there was no visiting - and he just could NOT focus, but by using the list he focused  and was able to visit with a friend with plenty of time to spare, it was a joy to see after many weeks chronic failures and tantrums. (Daniel, what's next on your list? is something I said for months until he was able to use his list without any reminding from me -  Daniel is now 22 yrs old!) I have been in love with the list for preschoolers ever since that part of my teaching life. 

    AND if just doing and crossing off the list doesn't work enough for one or both kids, then an incentive might be that IF you go through your list quickly enough (by the time the big hand is on the 4), you will have time for a quick book with Mommy, or you will get to help me wash the table, etc.  So if one twin flies through the list she/he gets a reward of time with Mommy - other twin dawdles, screws around, then no book/table washing with Mommy.  And that's a natural consequence.  The next time you hand out a list, you might want to remind said twin "remember, if you go through your list before the big hand is on the 4 then you get to have special time with Mommy" and see if that is motivation.  But of course, if it takes 20 minutes or 5 minutes, the goal is that they go through their list without you having to drive them so hard, so the goal should be going through the list and crossing things off, not getting to have time with Mommy.

    For all their frustrating DAWDLING, etc. they are also funny, can tell a story, have a good sense of humor, are starting to tell jokes, are really smart and ingenious in their thinking, and that helps to balance all the other frustrating stuff.  But at the end of the day as you are getting into bed, what you remember is all the bad stuff, because that's human nature and parenting nature.  SO to counteract that, no matter what else happens before you go to bed, can you either think of ONE thing that each child (a different one for each child, no cheating bec. they are twins!) did that was wonderful/fabulous/good and either share that with your husband or at least just say it out loud to yourself?  That will make you remember that DD said that funny thing when she saw the parrot at the store or DS did the nicest thing by giving the little girl at the playground a ride on the swing......... and you'll feel like the day wasn't a complete non-compliant loss! 

    When you are remembering being compliant as a child, unless you are very unusual, you are remembering when you were in 1st or 2nd grade (or even later), not when you were 4 yrs old.  Our memories usually don't go back that far so you're not comparing apples and apples. (and maybe your husband wasn't, ahem, all that compliant, so it might be his apples that you two are reaping right now, LOL - ask his mother for the honest to gosh truth about his little boy self)

    Oh, and you didn't take them out to the store much when they were little because there were two of them, so they also need more time out in stores to get good at that.  By the time a singleton is 4 yrs old, they've been to the store 1.2 million times from the time they were 3 months old, LOL.  I remember you saying that for the most part when they were babies and 1 and 2 yr olds that most of the time you went alone while your mother was with the kids at home.  Totally understandable, but remember that they simply haven't had the 1.2 million repetitions of being at Stop and Shop. 

    And they probably need about 2 more times of abandoning the cart in the aisle and taking them outside and driving home without those beloved popsicles that they wanted to get them to really GET that they have to comply in a store. Remember not to give too many warnings for good behavior, mete out those consequences.  I'd totally have 1 sit in the cart while the other walks, period.  Two of them not holding onto each side of the cart while you're shopping, so that they are only god knows where? Yikes.  So I wouldn't bargain, or cajole (if you're good, and you listen, you can both walk) - I'd say that X starts in the cart while Y walks, and at the same spot every single time (in the middle of the cat food aisle) you switch them.  Period. Every time.  Even if you don't need cat food, you go down that aisle.  So they know and it's predictable, but you have some measure of control.

    Except you are now going to say your son climbs out of that cart, right? this is the child whom you found ON TOP of the counter or refrigerator after he dragged a chair across the room, hopped up onto it.....   Then I go back to - patience, it will get better when he's 5 yrs old!  (and having a good stiff drink at 6pm, lol!)  The only thing is, you can't just give up until they turn that magical age, it's more like you repeat yourself (lather, rinse, repeat) for 5 years and then you realize that, ta da, they DO listen to you more than they don't, and just 6 months earlier they were NOT listening that much! Kind of like tranining a golden retriever puppy, only that lasts only 2 (long) years, I kid you not!

    Oh, and at school they conform better, faster, because honestly, a school with 12 or 16 kids doesn't have time to wait for every single child to get on the bus and put their shoes on- things are done in the same order, at the same time for a reason, so kids know what to expect, and then they really just kind of have to get on track because the rest of the class is going outside, and if they don't want to miss all the fun, they'll move it along! (and the teachers know which child they need to send to the potty first, because she/he takes much longer than the others, so in the time it takes that one child to be in and out of the bathroom, 3 other children have also moved through the bathroom, so that first child has a hope of getting his/her coat on in a timely manner - this is how we meet all of the childrens' needs. Or we create a list system for mm's child who has sensory issues and gets distracted easily)

  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Non Compliance in Preschoolers

    In response to medfordcc's comment:


    I have a hard time figuring out *how* to make them regret it, so to speak.  As misslily said, it has to be something you can actually do.  But everything I've read about this young age says the consequence should be immediate and related to the infraction.  So if she doesn't hang up her coat, then ...?  I can't think of how to end that sentence.


    Sadly, that's the part I can't remember other than timeouts (sitting in the corner), and since misslily has said that isn't effective in her family I left that part out.


    I appreciate CT's knowledge and experience, but I know that even when I was 3 my mother did not repeat herself so it must be developmentally possible.  However, I guess I take for granted that she had extensive early childhood development training for her career.

    ETA:  My tears spawned by not getting my way didn't seem to impact her at all (I'm sure it did bother her at some level but not enough to alter her resolve or change her behavior).  What was required was required, period.  There are many child rearing books today that would call her abusive (wrongly!), I think, but thank God for her being more strong willed than I was.

  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from IPWBride. Show IPWBride's posts

    Re: Non Compliance in Preschoolers

    My "or else" is usually... "ok, since you don't have shoes/aren't dressed/finished cleaning, then I have to go without you and you have to stay home". I get an immediate "nooooooooo" and an immediate desire to do what is being asked. I realize of course I'd never leave him alone, so this is an empty threat only working on a 2.7 year old. So I'll need something new very soon. Also, it won't be long before he then says "yeah, home myself sounds great". Consequences are very hard to determine at the 2-5 ages. But Lilly, I probably say "Please LISTEN!!" 10 times a day. He even knows. "DS, why did you have a time out?" "I didn't listen!"  At least that's something. 

  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Non Compliance in Preschoolers

    IPW, sounds like he gets the idea. :)

    There are philosoohies out there now that try to create tear-free families. I think it's impossible to have tear-free LOs in homes where true respect is commanded by their parents, but a home where those tears are viewed as an essential part of their development means mom is in charge and the children are not.  That takes quite a burden off the children - knowing that mom makes the decisions is comforting and reduces general anxiety despite how it seems at the time compliance is demanded and age appropraiate punishment for the lack thereof is metered out.

    crying as babies meant there was a problem that needed solving.  Crying because a 3 or 4 yo doesn't get her way should be addressed with empathy but not necessarily averted or stopped at all costs.


    Discretion is the better part of valor.

  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from KMMZ1012. Show KMMZ1012's posts

    Re: Non Compliance in Preschoolers

    I had one of those moments yesterday, misslilly. DS was a horror show from the minute I picked him up at school. I took tv away from him and when he would NOT stop spitting, I actually washed his mouth out with soap.

    I don't know who was more horrified about it, me or him. He cried and cried and cried and I felt like the worst mother in the world. I sat down and cried for an hour after he went to bed because that's not how I want to parent. But he made me so enraged by the not listening, the not cooperating, the constant spitting when I asked him to do something. I had threatened to wash his mouth out if he didn't stop spitting, thinking that would be enough of a deterrent. And when he didn't stop I had to follow through. It was awful and the way he sobbed just killed me. We sat together in his room for twenty minutes, so he could calm down and I could pull myself together. He kept saying, "I won't spit, I won't spit" and I wanted to slap myself over and over. Maybe if I hadn't been so frustrated about the not listening I wouldn't have overreacted so much about the spitting, but it was one of those days where he was just a nightmare from start to finish.

    Everything is always "five more minutes" or "no" or "I can't do it, you do it" (I know he knows how to put on his socks and shoes and how to take them off, but he refuses to). I do set the timer on my iPhone and let him know when it rings he has to do x (share the toy, go in the house, brush his teeth, etc). He seems to respect the timer.

    Listening ears (as we call them) are our biggest challenge. DS will be four in August and honestly, I don't know how I'm going to survive the summer with him. He is so stubborn and so willful. It's part of what makes him who he is so I don't in any way want to stamp that out of him, but I don't know how to get him to listen.

    Everything was fine by bedtime. He sat in my lap all night and requested me to read to him and put him to bed. I felt so guilty about the soap in the mouth, I let him watch one episode of his favorite tv show after dinner.

    I'm on my own with him tonight & tomorrow (DH has clients in from out of state and he's taking them to a game tonight and dinner tomorrow and won't be home until late), so I'm trying to psych myself up for dealing with all this on my own. DH was sort of stunned I followed through on the soap, but he backed me on it. He did tell me to stop crying and pull myself together after DS went to bed, but honestly I still feel like cr@p for doing it. If I had to do it again, I wouldn't.

  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from IPWBride. Show IPWBride's posts

    Re: Non Compliance in Preschoolers

    KMMZ - please don't beat yourself up.  I totally agree that you had to follow through.  We have ALL been there and I have sometimes caught myself swinging my arm back ready to smack my DS (which my mom did to me, and while I don't want to parent that way, I LOVE my mom today, and have no psychological scars from a few face slaps, and probably well deserved them).  Anyways... I'm sure it was hard on you last night thinking about it, but we can all only do the best we can trying to raise these stubborn little creatures who are WAY too smart for their own good, and probably all think they are in charge!  You did the right thing in my book!  While incredibly difficult, give yourself some personal praise that you probably taught him one heck of a lesson (until he does it again... but now... you even mention the soap and I bet you anything he'll comply!).

  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from medfordcc. Show medfordcc's posts

    Re: Non Compliance in Preschoolers

    CT, I love when you weigh in.  :)

    i don't get the sense that antone on this thread *wants* a tear-free family.  It's just the *how* of giving consequences that's so maddening.  Many of the logical consequences are impossible for us, like not going but it's daycare so we have to go.  Or giving a time out, for that matter, since it will make me even later.

  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Non Compliance in Preschoolers

    I was saying that there are books that seem to imply that if you are parenting by their philosophy there will be no, or at least very few, tears ever shed, as if to imply that a good parent has an always-smiling/happy child. So, when parents do necessary, reasonable things that inspire and command respect and their child cries hysterically, they feel like a bad instead of the great parent they are.  Asserting your role as parent will and should result in tears.  And, the more consistent you are with that assertion and follow through, the fewer tears there will be for everyone understanding and adhering to the expectations (which foster peace and reduce anxiety) of your family.

    If you try to parent such that your child never cries because they are mad at you, unhappy with a punishment, or disgusted with not getting their way, something is terribly wrong.

    ETA:  med, I get what you are frustrated with - the practical how...sorry, all I have is my own childhood, and timeouts worked for us.


    Discretion is the better part of valor.

  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from KAM2007. Show KAM2007's posts

    Re: Non Compliance in Preschoolers

    KMMZ-if it's any help, my mother washed my mouth with soap when I was a child, just once, it was all it took! and I still love her dearly today-she's my best friend!

    Mslilly-I think twins make it worse! One at that age is tough enough, two, can't imagine! DS I notice gets DD worked up, and vice versa, so there is a lot of monkey see monkey do in our house.

    things that have worked with DS to move along in the day-I have threatened to leave the hosue without him, even going so far as to walk into our garage and close the door. DS still in PJs crying he wanted to come, so told him to get dress we were leaving now. I've threatened, and started to take him to the garage in his PJs to go to school (not the first kid to show up in pjs!), and as soon as we get to the garage he's ready to get dressed quickly.

    In restaurants you probably just don't realize that we're growling at DS to sit down, or stop doing something. You're just focused on your own kids. But my kids are making a racket and not sitting either.

    Things that have helped with DS is assigning him to be my helper, explaining why I need him to be a super big helper (mommy's not feeling well, DD is acting up, going to be at a busy place) at 4.5 he likes to feel special and have special roles. When grocery shopping can you create lists for them and give them each their own responsiblities? That's DS's latest things, using lists at the grocery store-usually makes them up based on what he sees he wants, but maybe doing two lists will help keep them focused?

    But it's not you, its the age-at least that's what I'm telling myself!


  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: Non Compliance in Preschoolers

    If they do better at school, then they have the ability [though maybe not the desire or incentive] to do better at home. If you are already doing "almost everything" that the teacher outlined for you, maybe you could start doing those things that she suggested that you haven't implemented yet.  It could be those are the silver bullet.  If not, try CT's suggestions. She has years of experience dealing with tons of kids.  

    I'll just say that you can't bargain w/ a 2 yo (or any kid under 5) - telling them okay 5 more minutes, when they have no concept of time, or giving them a choice to do something or not, or when to do something (5 more minutes) when you really want them ready now seems counterproductive and likely to engender feelings of irritation on both sides.  The limited choice of red pants or blue pants I can see, but they should not think they have a choice regarding getting dressed.  Perhaps its giving them the impression that they do have a choice regarding getting dressed is what is causing the problem.  GL 

  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Non Compliance in Preschoolers

    Yes, bargaining and repeating turns a directive into a suggestion for "kids" of all ages, it's just human nature.  A command only has one acceptable response, do it.  A suggestion has two acceptable responses, do it or don't do it.  If they are given the choice to not do it and they take it, it's not their fault for having been given the choice.


    Discretion is the better part of valor.

  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from misslily. Show misslily's posts

    Re: Non Compliance in Preschoolers

    Medford - my twin's teacher gave me a great suggestion that I use a lot and it seems to be helping. When the coat lands on the floor you say, "If you want to (good thing) then you have to hang up your coat."

    CT - again - thanks for all the wonderful suggestions. I do everything in the same order and I leave lots of time. We get up at 7:00 and don't leave until 8:45 or so. Today I had them dressed and ready, I went to the bathroom and when I came back DS had shoes and socks off! (sigh).  DD was organizing something and had no intention of stopping until it was finished - like all the red legos in a new box or something. (sigh) And this week I've started using "Let's get dressed and then you can play until we go" which seems to be helping a little.

    And giving choices doesn't mean making things optional. It means "do you want red shoes or blue shoes?" "a sweater or a hoodie?"

    I guess, after reading other comments, I'm not doing as badly as I thought. It's just the age, the fact that they are twins and that they are both curious and rambunctous. (All good things!)

    I do get down on their level and make eye contact. I have to do that anyway because of their hearing.

    I think DH and I got tired on our little vacation that we took this weekend. But 6 restaurant meals and sleeping in a strange place coupled with a car ride and the fun of the beach was a lot for two little kids.

    Thanks everyone for all the suggestions!

  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from misslily. Show misslily's posts

    Re: Non Compliance in Preschoolers

    KMMZ - I've cried over things like that too. I think we all lose our patience and get angry once in a while and regret how we handle it.

    I yelled at DD this morning and she actually said, "I hate it when you're angry" It made me feel horrible because sometimes I do lose my temper when they simply won't comply. I've screamed at them a few times and I always feel horrible about it.

    Hang in there.

  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from CT-DC. Show CT-DC's posts

    Re: Non Compliance in Preschoolers

    Right, believe me, misslily, your children are NOT the only kids at the restaurant not behaving. Believe me - but you and your husband are too busy to see past your booth.  Smile

    Yup, sounds like you guys were tired - but you know what? It's more important that they have those trips to the beach, and it's going to be exhausting for a while - you'll always need a vacation from your vacation but in a year or so, it won't be.

    And, right, red pants or blue pants gives children a sense of control (and who wants to be ordered around constantly, told what to do, when to think, what to eat, when to pee, when to sleep, when to get up? a family is NOT the army!) BUT there is no implication that not getting dressed is ok.

    Seriously, misslilly, next time your son's shoes are off and it's time to go, I vote you have him pick those &#$@ shoes up and march him out the door, right down the front steps - he'll so get it when his feet are hot!  I do think, though, that if you tried to walk out the door and leave them, they'd call your bluff, so I wouldn't try that. I see parents do that all the time at the center, and the child turns and runs the other way - and the parent needs to come back and get the child.

    Reminds me of a father who picked up his 2 yrs, 4 month old daughter - she's rather willful but so bright and has so much language.  He says, "ok, Ella, we're going out this door. let's go see Mommy."  She says "No, I want this door (we have 2 doors out of our main lobby, much to our parents' chagrin, I'm sure).

    No, the car is parked out this way.  We need to go this way.

    (bursts into tears) No, this door!  (now she's crying, sobbing, standing still.)

    He calmly walks toward the door he wants to go out of, and she keeps crying, sobbing, really sobbing, but she starts walking towards him, all the while saying "no, daddy, this door, no daddy, no daddy...."

    And just keeps walking, holds the gate open for her, and by the bottom step, she'd dried her tears and was counting the stairs - he didn't fight her, he explained once, then he just kept doing what he was going to do, but didn't argue, try to reason, or further pi$$ her off, and she complied - crying (I was laughing in my office, it was like a trail of tears) all the way. 

    Another father and mother have a full of pi$$ and vinegar boy, and he'll say 'I wanna go out this door" and his father will say "Naw, you don't want to do that, let's go this way to the car" and he usually will go without any more discussion.  Same man and his wife will also say "No, you don't want to do that (stand on the chair, take a toy that belongs to the center home), David.  (and he believes them, but a minute earlier he was sure he wanted to stand on the chair, take the toy home, and if they'd argued he would have dug his heels in.) Of course, those are 21/2 yr olds, we'll see what they are when they are 4 yrs old.

    Really, you all will parent and discpline differently because your styles are different and your kids are different.  I can only imagine what Kar's parents of triplets will do!  good lord, can you imagine having THREE of them, misslilly?  My heart literally stops when I try to imagine it (and that family has 4 children, the older one is only 2 years older or so - it's like a tv show!)

    (and, no, not all 4 yr olds will do what KAM's 41/2 year old did (he cleaned up his toys and his sister's toys at a hotel? and packed his clothing?  for real?  wow!)

    But the truth is, there are TWO of them, so to a certain extent you just need to buckle up.  I like the "If you want to play with legos, your coat needs to be hung up" - it's not an argument it's just a simple fact. At some point, when you are ready for them to have their own rooms, you can send them to their room to cool off but you can't do that now, as they share a room!

    and, yes, misslilly, I figured you probably touched them or got their attention because of their hearing loss, but I figured others might not know that trick.  For some children (mm, this might work really well for your son) that simple touch as you give the direction is like a magic bullet!

    by the way, if you don't mind me asking, where are they on the scale of language now that they are practically 4 years old?  And are they getting better about keeping their aids in? Have they invented safe super glue for keeping aids in ears?Surprised

  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from CT-DC. Show CT-DC's posts

    Re: Non Compliance in Preschoolers

    Not that this is what others are discussing, but as someone in the business but who is not a parent, I will admit I get what Kar is saying - it does seem like disciplining children and helping them to behave is not being done by parents as much as when we were growing up (I'm a bit older, at 48, but only a bit).  There seems to be more negotiation and discussion and bargaining - I think it's because working parents are so busy and have only a few hours/day with their children that they don't want to spend it fighting or saying no. I'm not into the army, and I believe in giving choices, but choices the parent decided on, not after bargaining with the child. But my sister was/is a SAHM and she also parents this way, so it's not just that parents are working (and believe me, my husband's mother worked all his life and he was not bargained, negotiated or whatever'd with)

    BUT I also believe that we are trying to raise our children differently, to allow our children more independence, more sense of having a say in the world, being able to think differently about problems and issues and if that's true, then we can't just raise them with the "what I say goes, son" attitude of the 50s and 60s, or the "adults are right, children are seen and not heard".  But I sometimes feel we've gone the other way, the pendulum is too far to the other side, and it's now "pretty please, will you listen to me, son?" and that's not helpful when raising children, or future adults.  And I feel that there is less respect of their elders, and I do realize I sound so old when I say this, but when I was growing up, if an adult walked into the room at family functions, all children stood up and moved over to offer their seat to that adult, and believe me, they took it.  Now I watch my older aunts walk into a room (I'm talking in their 80s)and stand around or sit in an uncomfortable chair while their 8, 10 and 15 yr old grandchildren sit in the comfy chair by the fire and nobody suggests they move.  And I do think they should move - and that a certain amount of respect is accorded to those older than us, those in positions of authority (parents now, teachers later, bosses later) that younger people have no clue about.  You wouldn't believe how my 18 to 25 yr old staff speak to me, their BOSS, and yet the 50 yr olds don't. 

    So I dunno. 

    And yet, I was never spanked, never had time out (seriously, never) but believe me, we were incredibly well behaved, we never hit, punched, kicked other children or our parents, we didn't sass them (although we did plenty of the "I hate you" and run to our room in tears when we were upset) and we did well at school, etc.  My mother did set expectations (I remember that) when we went into the grocery store about what would happen, and she took away things if we misbehaved.  Never forget that I whined about going to bed at 8:30pm in front of a babysitter exactly once - her comment, said in a very firm but calm tone was "oh, it sounds like you're tired, so I guess you should go to bed at 8pm.  So (babysitter's name), both girls should go to bed at 8pm."  and to bed at 8pm we went, even though I was 2 years older! (the horror, the same bedtime as my OMG younger sister - that was one of my only privileges growing up!).  Guess what? I NEVER WHINED about a bedtime again, and I was probably about 9 years old at that point, old enough to "know better."

    If we brought ideas up and discussed things (I'm getting older, am now in x grade, and didn't they think a later bedtime was ok?) they would hear that discussion and then decide.  I've been told that the summer before kindergarten I evidently suggested that when I went to kindergarten I wasn't going to have a nap, so since I'm going to school soon shouldn't I not nap anymore - and it worked, my mother stopped my nap when she realized there was merit to that argument.  But whine?  omigod, don't do that near my mother!  And now I'm the same - bring a complaint to me in a reasonable tone of voice and I'll hear you (and you'll probably get what you wanted) but whine?!?!?  My heart starts to beat faster, my hands itch, and I am saying NO before you can finish your whine!

  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from CT-DC. Show CT-DC's posts

    Re: Non Compliance in Preschoolers

    Finding consequences you can live with is a real trick, and/or 'natural consequences' sometimes it's do this because I said so or because I told you not to!  Which is also when a spanking came into play for many of our parents and even for some of us.

  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Non Compliance in Preschoolers

    Please allow me to clarify:

    Giving a choice between red or blue socks, is GREAT and NECESSARY for autonomy development and decision making skills.

    my point about turning a directive into a suggestion is that by repeating, repeating, repeating, screaming a repeated command you - by the act of repeating yourself - turn it into a suggestion.  If they choose to not follow what, by default, has become a suggestion that, by definition, is their choice to do or not do because you gave them a choice, it simply means they've figured out they can.


    Discretion is the better part of valor.