Not listening...so frustrated — The Bump
Toddlers: 24 Months+

Not listening...so frustrated

I don't even want to go anywhere with DS anymore. He doesn't listen AT ALL. He runs away from us constantly making going anywhere public a nightmare. Even getting together with friends is near impossible because one of us is constantly chasing after him. Not that I'm expecting a 2 year old to follow commands like a robot or sit still for a half hour, but responding to us when we yell "STOP!" as he runs away or sitting in one place for 2 minutes would be a nice start. Every time he doesn't listen we pick him up and walk with him for awhile and go over what he should be doing. He'll try again but within a few minutes we are having to pick him up again. Sometimes we attempt putting him in the stroller but some places (like where we were today) aren't conducive to one. The other times he screams and writhes around trying to get out. I'm just so frustrated. Any tips on how to get my kid to listen? :-( We always follow through with some kind of consequence and praise the crap out of him If he actually does something we ask, but obviously nothing is working.
Mr. & Mrs. UMich! July 2006! :-)
image
DX: High FSH/DOR
It took 44 cycles, just over 3 years, 6 failed IUI's in MI, and 1 round of IVF at CCRM to get our BFP!

Beta #1 (9dp5dt) = 206, Beta #2 (11dp5dt) = 438
1st u/s @ 6w5d = 11/11/11 = ONE little bean! HB 120bpm!
?Our Baby Boy Born June 26th, 2012?

Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker

Re: Not listening...so frustrated

  • I agree that the walking around may be reinforcing his behavior. My DS is extremely active & hates to be "contained" in any way.

    We have found he does best if we can do so something extra active (park play, jump on trampoline, etc) before he has to sit for any prolonged time. Get him hungry & thirsty if I can, then sit him down w/ a snack & water! We also keep a close eye on the amount of time he is stuck in the car. Too much car time = meltdown central!
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  • Buy a harness with a leash. We have a backpack one that looks like a monkey. She hated it but it got our point across and now she listens when we yell stop. She's 28 months.

    I agree that the walking around isn't working. I think you need to steel yourself for some epic meltdowns while you rearrange the consequences and either deal with them or remove him entirely. Of he doesn't stop. Put him in timeout. He sits, alone and still, for two minutes. It took a couple weeks of us having to sit with her, a couple weeks of putting her back again and again, but now she will sit in timeout when put there. She howls, but she sits there.

    Married DH 7/30/11

    CSC arrived 5/7/12 

    CHC arrived 6/2/14

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  • It really sounds like you are doing everything right! We recently got out of this phase! It sucked so much! DS1 loves outings but i had to bring the stroller everywhere and the threat of going in the stroller was usually enough to keep him near me. One time when he was put in the stroller he cried and wailed so much that we just left the zoo. I had brought him, his 4 month old brother 35 minutes downtown to the zoo...he threw a massive tantrum about the stroller and we just went home. He was horrified that we left I think! That seemed to be the climax of our running issues. He started staying around me and even willingly getting in the stroller sometimes from then on. And by about 32 months, the whole running phase was like a bad dream! So yes, a lot of it is just "2"!! Hang in there! I can say from experience the harness never worked for us. I would have no hesitation using it for disney, airport, etc. But I found when we used it out and about it felt like more like a torture device. He would run and "bounce back" once it ran out of slack. Making me feel like an awful mother and he never learned anything from it. We used it twice and it hasn't been out of the closet since.
     DS1 8/2011. DS2 8/2013.

  • Thank you for your responses. It sounds like others have gone through these issues to the same extent as us which makes me feel better knowing my DS isn't alone.

    Does he respond at other times to commands? To his name?

    And he absolutely responds to other things and his name which is what adds to my frustration. I know he KNOWS what we are asking him to do--he is choosing not to. Hopefully we are just at the peak of this phase and it goes away to some extent soon lol!
    Mr. & Mrs. UMich! July 2006! :-)
    image
    DX: High FSH/DOR
    It took 44 cycles, just over 3 years, 6 failed IUI's in MI, and 1 round of IVF at CCRM to get our BFP!

    Beta #1 (9dp5dt) = 206, Beta #2 (11dp5dt) = 438
    1st u/s @ 6w5d = 11/11/11 = ONE little bean! HB 120bpm!
    ?Our Baby Boy Born June 26th, 2012?

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • A harness is a good tool for a known "runner" in a very crowded situation - Disney, festival, etc. But it's not useful for a typical 2 year old testing boundaries, IMO, they need to actually learn first. 

    Yes. But you can also use the harness while they are learning. We didn't just sick it on her and let walk out in front of us. She was still expected to hold our hands and listen, but it there to catch her on the occasions she did run. You can do both.

    Married DH 7/30/11

    CSC arrived 5/7/12 

    CHC arrived 6/2/14

  • To some degree, he's 2. He's not always going to do what you say. But if you have a consequence that matters, and are consistent you should see improvement. You have to have reasonable expectations - like a 2 year old can't sit quietly eating & chatting for an hour. Maybe 10 min. It's your job to both teach him behavior and be prepared for these situations. So for family events - bring something he can do with the other kids - coloring, bubbles, a ball, cars, etc. And definitely for outings and fun things, there needs to be a little tough love. Can't listen? Come sit on my lap for a break/time out. If you continue to not listen, we leave the zoo/park/whatever. Errands - they ride in the cart for not listening. I try to talk in a low, calm, serious voice close to their face. Lastly, sometimes at 2 you are still just doing a lot of redirecting. Don't just yell stop/no; give him something to do.
    Agree with all of this.  Kids have an attention span of minutes per age, so he has an attention span of about 2 minutes.  You can't expect him to sit still much longer than that.  I would try redirecting, offering him something to do, etc.  Give lots of praise when he does listen, and be consistent/follow through when he doesn't.  Redirection rather than consequences might work better for him.     
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