Why your Toddler does not LISTEN to You

Published on June 10, 2015


All of us are always looking for ways to make our babies listen to us. The ‘tiresome twos’ and the ‘terrible threes’ are those times when we feel at a complete loss with our children. So, before you get frustrated and pull all your hair out, you need to understand why…

Remember – It is the job of a toddler to oppose you. Around 18 months of age, children start developing individual thoughts and feelings which can be different from those of others. They can follow simple instructions such as, ’pick up the plate’ or ‘sit down’. This is the time when she starts understanding that she has a separate identity and can also have some sort of control over the world. So, when you say ‘No’, she thinks ‘why not’ and does the opposite. This defiance is a way for her to make choices and is typical of a toddler.

Now, like adults, all children are different in nature. Some are likely to be more oppositional than others. Normally, children whose emotional reactions are very strong or those who are extremely shy and timid tend to be more temperamental than those who are flexible and adapt easily to situations.

The key here is to understand the nature of your child and find ways in which the child feels in control of her environment but in a positive way.

To start off, you need to think and answer the following questions about your baby:

  • What does your child react to the most? Do these things/situations have anything in common?
  • Why do you think these situations make your child react defiantly?
  • Do you ‘react’ or ‘respond’ when your child is being defiant? What works? What doesn’t?

(When you ‘react’, it is an action without much thinking- more instantaneous and at times rebellious/anger. But when you ‘respond’, it is a thought-out reaction to the situation – more positive with the aim of finding a solution to the problem)

In our next article, we will discuss ways in which you can respond to defiant behaviour. What can you do and how you need to think about your own behaviour towards your child. So, observe your child for now and start thinking about these questions… I am sure that you will be able to shed some light on the answers yourself!

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