Tuesday 10 November 2015

My 4 Year Old Doesn't Listen To Me

Now I know children of all ages aren't known for their listening skills when it comes to things they don't want to do or things they would rather not hear. I have got used to this over the past 4 years of occasionally having my 'don't do that' or 'please leave that alone' ignored and not listened to, its part and parcel of being a parent I think.

But the last week has been a joke, I mean I actually have to laugh otherwise I would be crying every day!

Finley is a typical 4 year old where he does things he knows he shouldn't and he pushes the boundaries wanting attention and the last week has been no exception. But where he would listen to me 50% of the time and stop whatever he was doing, knowing that if he didn't would result in the naughty step or going to him room, he has not been listening. At all!!

These threats have not worked this week, they have fallen on deaf ears and I am at my wits end on what to do. Because if he aren't bothered about being told off or being put in their room what else can I go?!

For example, he has taken to climbing the stairs, using the banister, on the wrong side of the stairs! So kind of acting like Spiderman, but without the aid of whatever it is that Spiderman would use to help him if he was to fall. Finley would ultimately have the living room floor or the top of the chair if he was lucky and both of these will hurt. Now I am telling him to stop climbing the banisters because I don't want him to hurt himself, but in his eyes I am just being mean and stopping him from having fun. I tell him to stop the first time, which he does, I then leave the room and 2 minutes later he is back up there. And this will go on for over an hour even after the naughty step, being send to his bedroom and the threat of no ice cream after tea. There is just no listening. Its in one ear and out the other and I honestly could cry.

Then there's the other example of being out today and telling him constantly to not run off. Explaining to him that if he can't see mummy, then I cant see him and that he could get lost. He kept running off after being told numerous time not to, so I used the example (harsh maybe) that someone could take him and he may not see mummy again (to him after my nags this may have been a delight) and that still didn't do anything. I was sick of saying 'please hold onto the pram' or 'please get off the floor' or 'please don't run off'. My poor friend was probably sick of the sound of his name by the end of it as I am sure every other word that came out my mouth was 'Finley'.

These are just two examples of things that have happened in the past week. There are many more along the same lines and with him not listening to me, at all, and it's getting me down and I'm questioning my skills as a mother.

I feel like I have a teenager on my hands in the body of a 4 year old. I ask him to not do something and he just looks at me blankly, or worse laughs at me. Now the laughing really gets to me, in a way it upsets me as he thinks its funny to ignore me, but I end up shouting at him that then in turn makes me feel guilty but then just having to tell him off again.

Please tell me I'm not alone because this 'stage' is so bloody hard. It's like talking to a brick wall and I don't know what to do!!

My monster child with that 'look'

The Twinkle Diaries
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
Best of Worst


  1. we're going through this same thing right now. its very frustrating and I'm not sure what the answer is either

  2. I don't think you're alone in this. My two are younger, but our Godson - who's just a little older than your boy - has been driving his mother to distraction with this kind of behaviour.
    I'm not sure what the answer is, other than to take away things he likes - TV or iPad time, if he gets it?

  3. YOU ARE NOT ALONE! I have a 4 year old girl (who mind as well be a boy because she will wear NOTHING girlie) We go to the store....she goes straight to the boys section and picks out superheroes stuff. And I tell you what I know she gets her strong personality from me but man it about drives me straight to the crazy house! I see more and more gray hair popping up on my head daily! I am visiting from #KCACOLS đŸ’‹Trista

  4. Ha this is so familiar but for me it is the 1 year old, we're quite fortunate with the older ones. 9, 6 and 3 seem to understand when we say something we mean it, the about to turn 2 year old is so much harder work than any of them were. I know it's normal at that age, but she's just something else. I actually avoid going most places as I genuinely CANNOT control her haha. Thank you for sharing xxx #sharewithme

  5. Sounds very typical! The problem is they have a really strong internal drive to do things like climb and push their limits. Sometimes redirecting them can work? Take him somewhere he is allowed to climb, for example? #bestandworst

  6. lol it's not funny but picturing him climbing up the wrong side of the stairs made me laugh. I find myself repeating things all of the time too. If it's a safety concern then sit him down & explain it in a strict way that he knows you mean business. I find if I say don't do this or that but don't stop what I'm doing & make eye contact, then it goes in one ear & out the other. #sharewithme x

  7. I'd try what cuddle fairy has suggested as sounds sensible. My other thought was if something safe he was doing then ignore him or reject him.So hard but I find it works. if my girlie continues to do something she shouldn't and refuses to listen I try the count down from 5. If that doesn't work I say "Mummy is ignoring you" and leave the room. She soon follows! It is harder though for the dangerous things. I'd keep persevering. Can you ban telly? Keep us posted on how you get on and big hugs. Not easy but will pass xx Thanks for linking with #bestandworst x

  8. Awww bless him. He sounds like a normal child and he is pushing the boundaries. Just stay calm and when you say NO mean it. Make sure he knows who is boss :) It will get better I promise.


    Gemma xx

  9. Oh it's a bloomin pain isn't it! And so frustrating!! I made a 'listening chart' for my daughter with a peg that could go up and down. Carried it round with me and moved it up and down as appropriate. Stickers if she reached the top by the end of the day. Worked a treat! x

  10. We are definitely going though the same and it's very hard great post #sharewithme

  11. Mine are younger, though also very good at relentlessly doing things they have been asked not to, but I think this is a common phase. Apparently young children are very selective in their hearing, and therefore the way you structure instructions can help, because they will only hear part of it, so they will often only hear what you don't want them to do, but not the part about not wanting them to do it! #sharewithme

  12. I feel your pain - This new "teenage attitude" (it's what my mum calls it) passes (apparently) although currently i'm having no such luck ! For now I just repeat myself and sarcastically ask if i'm speaking english to him - Chin up #KCACOLS

  13. As a teacher and mum to a special needs child I feel your pain! It is so hard!!!
    Tips would be try and stay calm. Use his name first to get his attention. Say what you want clearly. E.g. Finley stop climbing then wait. Repeat if necessary. Gerard clearly I want you to get down/ come here. Sometimes we use way too much language! That would be my advice but I'm not an expert. Hope it helps. Stay strong and remember you are a great mum! #coolmumsclub

    1. LOL should say state clearly. Not a clue who Gerard is! ;-)

  14. Oh look at that angelic face haha :-) How could he ever be a trouble?!? You poor thing! I think probably the worst is thinking it's just your child or you've done something wrong. It's not and you haven't. Just try and be consistent with your approach and eventually you'll get through. Good luck! #coolmumclub

  15. You...are...I'm sorry to say....having a Tweeennn.....Yes, the blank looks and laughs - all symptoms. There is no escape. But the good news is that they become human after age 20 so you only have 16 more years? Lots of patience needed and find a parenting approach which works best for him. All three of mine are so different and one method may not fit all and my youngest, being the most spirited, definitely needed a different approach from the older two. He responded to a lot of talking BEFORE we went or did anything. #coolmumclub

  16. No you're definitely not alone on this front. My two are like this at the moment especially Holly! There must be something in the water at the minute as a few kids we know are also having trouble listening. Hopefully it will wear off soon before I loose what little sanity I have left lol.xx #KCACOLS

  17. No you're definitely not alone on this front. My two are like this at the moment especially Holly! There must be something in the water at the minute as a few kids we know are also having trouble listening. Hopefully it will wear off soon before I loose what little sanity I have left lol.xx #KCACOLS

  18. I've had so many stints of this. Basically I just use the phrase if this....then...all the time. I.e. if you don't do this, they you won't get to do (whatever you like). Usually shocks them into listening! Good luck. This phases are soooo hard! Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub lovely x

  19. You are definitely not alone lovely!! I have a 5 year old that is constantly challenging me!! She still has tantrums and there are for no reason! It is very tiring and frustrating. As soon as you say "no, please don't do that" she gets upset or start crying. I think she builds it and then exploit. I have to ask her to calm down, relax and breath. I guess all kids have these things otherwise they wouldn't be kids. They have to learn how to behave. These are phases that comes and go. But there is always a grater degree of the naughty behaviour! :-( The problem is like us parents have to deal with this in a daily basis and it could be very hard to keep up. Looking forward for a happy phase, hopefully will come soon for you. Thanks for sharing this at #KCACOLS. Very happy to have you here! :-) xx

  20. Zach is three and I have this a lot. Like seriously he just doesn't listen. It's always been a common theme of him not listening at nursery. He just seems incapable of doing it sometime and you know what's worse?? He has a bloody answer for everything! Trying to get him to brush his teeth at night I try and explain that if we don't, his teeth will rot and fall out and he says that's fine, he wants them to. I mean, how am I supposed to get the child to actually realise that what I am saying is serious?! He's three. I am outwitted a lot by a three year old. What have I got on my hands?! Thanks so much for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

  21. Definitely not alone my four year old is the same. We go through stages with them. It's tough sometime but you sound like you are doing the best with it. I lose my patience one too many times but trying to have more patience with him when he is like this. Thank you ever so much for linking up to Share With Me. I hope to see you again tomorrow for another great round! #sharewithme



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