My Blog toddler won't listen

Published on July 15th, 2017 | by Tae


Toddler Won’t Listen – How to discipline the un-disciplinable!

My youngest child just turned 2 last month and, whew, is she a handful. My toddler won’t listen. Nothing that worked for my 2 other children works for her when it comes to discipline. Time out doesn’t work, nor naughty steps, nor taking toys away. Shouting “NO!” doesn’t even make her hesitate. My child is is so good at not listening, that I actually started to worry about her hearing. I was honestly going to book an appointment with my GP to get her ears checked until someone suggested the “Whisper Test” which she passed with flying colours. In case you don’t know, the “Whisper Test” is basically just whispering to your toddler during that increasingly rare quiet time and seeing if she reacts to you.

So, with the Whisper Test confirming that her hearing is fantastic and she’s just a pro at ignoring me, I decided I had to find something to teach her actions have consequences. Well, to be more accurate, I decided to start slow and teach her naughty actions have no consequences, good or bad.

toddler won't listen

Image Credit Travis Isaacs

Toddler Won’t Listen

I’ve noticed my daughter loves attention, positive and negative. When I was trying to implement time out, it was just one huge enjoyable game to her. She loved it. She wasn’t upset or frustrated, she was having the time of her life playing a toddler version of cat and mouse with her mother. Taking her toys away doesn’t bother her either, as she’ll just start leaping off the sofa like a future gold medalist long jumper, making me terrified she’s going to break a bone. Take her off the sofa and, hey presto, mummy’s playing her favourite game of chase again! Hit mummy in the face and she says “Ow!”? Oh, hahaha! That’s the funniest thing she’s seen all day! My child is creative with fun, if you put her in a padded cell with nothing in there, she’d find a way to entertain herself. Probably dangerously.  Disclaimer; I have never, nor ever plan to, lock my toddler in a padded cell, however tempting it might seem at times.

So, after reading some advice from other mums who’s toddler won’t listen, I decided to just ignore her bad behavior. No shouting, no chasing after her, no nothing. You want to throw things at my face? Cool, you’re not getting it back and I’m not going to even flinch. You want to jump off the sofa like you’re training for the Olympic long jump? Nah, I’m going to take you off EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. With no words. You want to have a light jog down the middle of the main road when we’re out walking? Nope, back in the buggy, no questions asked, the walk’s over. You want to slap me and pull my hair? Mummy’s gonna walk away from you without even looking at you.

toddler won't listen

Bad Behavior Gets Nothing

Her bad behavior gets nothing from me anymore. Absolutely nothing. We only started implementing it last week, but, slowly, I’m starting to see improvements in her behavior. The first day was spent with me taking her off the sofa 97,578,534 times. The second day I only had to take her off the sofa 97,578,533 times.

It’s slowly getting less and less, I make it as boring for her as possible and give her other activities to do. She’s pretty much stopped hitting me and throwing things at me already. Though she still throws things and I’ll have to work on that, for now at least it’s not at me. I still get the occasional slap from her, but usually only when she’s having a tantrum and I get that. It’s hard being 2, your emotions are all crazy and no one understands you, so sometimes you lash out. It’s cool, still gets no reaction from me though.

Ignoring bad behavior has worked for us for now. I’m sure it probably won’t forever, but I’m hoping by then she’ll be older and more open to communication and we can work through these things in different ways. Til then, I suggest that if your toddler won’t listen, try ignoring their bad behavior and see how it works out for you guys!

Thanks for reading Toddler Won’t Listen – Disciplining the un-disciplinable, I hope it helped you out!

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2 Responses to Toddler Won’t Listen – How to discipline the un-disciplinable!

  1. Telxzx says:

    Excellent post. I find this post really helpful and will try it out.

  2. My daughter is just coming up 11 months so nothing is really naughty yet and of course communication is difficult. However, she had started biting me during feeds and it was getting incredibly uncomfortable, if I said “ow” she laughed so like you I have just started ignoring her and very quickly (thankfully!) she has pretty much stopped. Will bear it in mind for when she’s older too!

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