My Toddler Ignores Me

There is nothing more frustrating for a parent than to say something they know their baby understands, but that their baby just seems to blithely ignore. From the: don’t touch that to the bring that to mommy to the play nicely to the stop doing that – when your toddler isn’t listening to you, you may wonder what you are doing wrong. Before you start banging your head against a brick wall in frustration, keep the following in mind:

  • Actions speak louder than words to your toddler, if you want them to stop doing something, remove them from the activity and put them at another one
  • Don’t just call to them from another room, walk in and get firm eye contact with them so they know you are serious
  • Don’t tune out your child, I’ve seen this done time and again when a toddler asks for a drink or food or some other item, only to have their parent not even acknowledge the request – when asked about it later, they admit they didn’t hear it in the first place
  • Don’t be too complicated – toddlers are still learning the beginning stages of the language, keep your requests and orders down to the absolute basics such as demonstrating what you are asking and expect to have to do it several times before they get it
  • Remember that your toddler is not trying to drive you insane, they may simply not understand or they may not be able to comprehend how to do what you are asking
  • Short and sweet should be your mantra – if they have totally disheveled a room, don’t expect to tell them to clean it up and have them do everything – start out with – help mommy get all the blocks, then move from item to item until everything is up where it needs to be
  • Be their cheerleader – seriously, using positive reinforcement is a great way to remind them that they did it right instead of just getting mad at them when they do it wrong
  • Be patient – every child learns at a different rate, just because your neighbor’s child puts away one toy before getting out another doesn’t mean your child is stupid because they don’t – it just may take them longer to get the hang of it

What do you do when your toddler doesn’t listen to you?

Related Articles:

The Things Our Toddlers Do To Drive Us Crazy

Pay Attention to Me: Toddlers & Telephones

Toddler Playdates and Picking Up Bad Social Habits

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About Heather Long

Heather Long is 35 years old and currently lives in Wylie, Texas. She has been a freelance writer for six years. Her husband and she met while working together at America Online over ten years ago. They have a beautiful daughter who just turned five years old. She is learning to read and preparing for kindergarten in the fall. An author of more than 300 articles and 500+ web copy pieces, Heather has also written three books as a ghostwriter. Empty Canoe Publishing accepted a novel of her own. A former horse breeder, Heather used to get most of her exercise outside. In late 2004, early 2005 Heather started studying fitness full time in order to get herself back into shape. Heather worked with a personal trainer for six months and works out regularly. She enjoys shaking up her routine and checking out new exercises. Her current favorites are the treadmill (she walks up to 90 minutes daily) and doing yoga for stretching. She also performs strength training two to three times a week. Her goals include performing in a marathon such as the Walk for Breast Cancer Awareness or Team in Training for Lymphoma research. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience through the fitness and marriage blogs.