Why won't my baby listen to me??

United States
April 10, 2007 9:07am CST
Like when my daughter goes to grab something she shouldn't Mike will tell her no annd she will stop but if I try to tell her no she just keeps doing it. I even try smacking her hands but she goes right back to it. She seems to get pissed that I am trying to keep her away. Like she loves taking items off of her diaper table and pulling her clothes out of the drawers. I can't tell her no for anything and if I take something off of her she has a tantrum-screaming and crying like I am murdering her. Why is it that she will listen to dad but not to mom? What can I do to make her listen to me??
4 people like this
17 responses
@Gemmygirl1 (2870)
• Australia
11 Apr 07
You just have to be persistant - my daughter is the same but it also depends on their age - which you didn't mention. I think if she has a hissy fit over taking things off her then that's the way to continue doing it, that way she'll learn she's not to have it. My daughter hates the word no, yet still continues to do whatever she shouldn't be doing anyway. I don't smack but if you think it could help then i hope it does - my Mum said she did it with myself & my siblings & it worked just fine! Good luck with your problem & maybe you just need to be a little 'growlier' when you tell her off!
• United States
11 Apr 07
10 months
@bad1981 (799)
• United States
11 Apr 07
Its just the age probaly, my son is the same way and if we tell him no or take soemthing away then he has a falling on the floor fit.
2 people like this
• India
11 Apr 07
You need lot of patience. Smacking on her hands are of no use. Children by birth are inquisitive. They are restless, they love doing things which we have told them not to. It will take some time and lot of your patience. But you have to point out to the child that certain things are offlimits for her. Also you have to teach her now itself to pick things which she had pulled down. Always ignore her when she throws a tantrum, simply go away from that place.
• Philippines
11 Apr 07
When you say no then no. Sometimes kids won't listen to 1 parent because they are not that firm with their decisions. Even if your child throws tantrums, just don't mind her. She'll stop when she realizes that you're not minding her.
2 people like this
@goldjay (465)
• United States
11 Apr 07
It is important to know how old your baby is for this discussion. But, basically I would say to keep telling her "no" and eventually she will get it. You can also try re-directing her attention to something else that might be more appropriate and see how she reacts to that. Good luck to you.
@youdontsay (3503)
• United States
11 Apr 07
It may be that she ignores you because your are always there. And your "no" doesn't have the sound of authority that dad's has. And I'll bet he doesn't tolerate as much naughtiness as you do. As for tantrums, let them scream and cry, but don't give in. One time my little granddaughter threw herself down on my floor when she was visiting and started screaming and kicking because I wasn't giving her her way. I stood over where she was lying and bent from my waist so I could face her but not be too close to her. I started screaming like she was. She was so startled she stopped! I told her that I could scream louder than her so she might as well just go into another room until she was done crying. I always make the little kids leave the room if they are going to cry in anger. I don't tell them to stop crying, just to go into another room and shut the door so we don't have to listen. Children tantrum to get their way. As long as it works, they keep doing it. They learn quickly that it doesn't work at grandma's! Once I heard one granddaughter tell her sister she had better quit whining because "It doesn't work on this grandma"! I had to grin at that. You don't say how old she is. My guess is she's between 15 months and 26 months - that's when mine were going through the phase of ignoring "no". Hang in there. They eventually grow up and then you miss them. :-)
• United States
11 Apr 07
Actually she is only 10 months which is kinda why I am wondering why we are having problems with her listening. Or is she just too young to understand?
@mememama (3077)
• United States
10 Apr 07
Just keep telling her no and point to the object that she shouldn't get into. It may take a thousand times, but it will happen. I remember when my son was a year old, he'd walk around and point at things like the dvd player and shake his head, and walk away! I know that many parents slap the childs hands, but after awhile it discourages them from exploring, which is how they learn! http://www.askdrsears.com/html/6/t062100.asp SLAPPING HANDS How tempting it is to slap those daring little hands! Many parents do it without thinking, but consider the consequences. Maria Montessori, one of the earliest opponents of slapping children's hands, believed that children's hands are tools for exploring, an extension of the child's natural curiosity. Slapping them sends a powerful negative message. Sensitive parents we have interviewed all agree that the hands should be off-limits for physical punishment. Research supports this idea. Psychologists studied a group of sixteen fourteen-month-olds playing with their mothers. When one group of toddlers tried to grab a forbidden object, they received a slap on the hand; the other group of toddlers did not receive physical punishment. In follow-up studies of these children seven months later, the punished babies were found to be less skilled at exploring their environment. Better to separate the child from the object or supervise his exploration and leave little hands unhurt.
1 person likes this
@mansha (6301)
• India
11 Apr 07
I agree with her, you should not slap those daring hands trather a firm no will do. my daughter also does that when we say no she will make a crying dface and make a crying sound it looks so cute that we have to give her a hug and if its a light no she will do phrrrr at us and straight away go back to doing the same thing. sat least youtrs luisten to her father. may be she is going to be a daddy's girl. I have kept all her toys with in her reach and moved away the stuff I don't want her top touch. I keep my almirah's locked. I prefer this to saying no tyo her all the time. so rearrange your house a bit rather than reprimanduing her all the time.
@glenry86 (211)
• Australia
11 Apr 07
i think your daughter knows she can get away with it when you tell her 'no' but when Mike does it she know he means NO! try making she she is looking at you when you tell her, be VERY FIRM and mean what you say, if she takes something and you take it off her, let her have a tantrum, let her try as much as she wants, ignore her when she does it and DO NO GIVE INTO HER! be very stubborn, and your daughter will soon realise that chucking these hissy fits are getting her no where, and she will eventially not do it, be loud and FIRM! all the best
1 person likes this
@pumpkinjam (6784)
• United Kingdom
10 Apr 07
It could be the way you tell her. Dad is properly more stern in his voice. Apart from that, if you are her main carer then she will find it easier to see how far she can go with you than with her dad, especially if she only sees him in the evenings. A lot of children are like that. They see daddy come in and want to spend time with him (especially girls) but they see mummy as more of a "baddy" who tells them off all the time whereas usually if daddy tells her off, she will know she has to behave because daddy probably tells her off less.
• United States
10 Apr 07
i do not have any kids but have heard that if a child is getting into something they are not suppost to redirect there attention to something else then they will forget about what they were doing and do something different. i do not know if you have ever watched super nanny it comes on abc on monday nights. even though i dont have kids i like watching the show shes very good. a father has a more stern voice. i know when my dad speaks especially when he raises his voice i listen. im 36 yrs old and he still gets my attention when he raises his voice.
1 person likes this
• United Kingdom
10 Apr 07
Redirecting their attention might work with some children but their are others who will not be interested because they only want what you are saying no to, often just because you are saying no. I know I have tried the distraction method with my youngest and it doesn't work!
@emskoneko (806)
• United States
10 Apr 07
I wonder how old she is. But anyways whatever age she is she should learn that without you she would not be able to survive. She needs to know the saying Don't bite the hand that feeds you. You can try sounding more serious when telling her no. Time out also works.
• United States
10 Apr 07
thanks for all the responses! I will try the advice. I try to use a firm tone but she just laughs like I am joking or something. I dunno.
• United States
11 Apr 07
You sound like my daughter with her daughter who is 2.5 years old. You need to be consistent with what you tell your daughter. We have a tendency to let our children get away with things without even thinking. I see it all the time with my granddaugther, she immediately changes her attitiude when her Mother comes and picks her up from my house. She knows what button to push to make her do things for her and her Mother never sees it. When I tell her to take a nap she goes down for a nap cause she knows the consequences of not taking a nap and that is dealing with me and I don't put up with much, having raised 2 children already I remember well on being strong and firm with your decisions for them. Try it out for a day, give him firm consequences when she does not do what you say, see how she does, it is only a day, you might be surprised at the results. Good Luck
@koikoikoi (1247)
• United States
10 Apr 07
Well to the baby it's just a game. But don't try to make her listen to you because it'll just lead to frustration and yelling. If you have the patience to then make her pay attention to you.
• United States
10 Apr 07
Do you always follow through? My son who is now 4 does the same thing to his father and will most of the time look at me to see if I will say the same thing that his father just told him. This comes from his father always being the "playful one" and hardly ever the "enforcer". I think that if you always follow through with everything you tell her and make sure she knows when you are playing and when you are serious that it would help alot. She might just be confused.
• Canada
10 Apr 07
I feel this is because men have a much deeper voice than women and so it sounds more threatening to a baby or small child. My kids used to be the exact same way. I kept telling them no and taking things off them, and then ignored them when they had a temper tantrum. They soon realized that doing things like they were doing and then having a tantrum weren't the ways to get my attention and it stopped. It took a while but they do learn. The key to this is patience. I know it's hard sometimes, especially when a kid is screaming, but they will learn.
@Tanya8 (1734)
• Canada
10 Apr 07
How old is she? If she's under 20 months old this is developmentally normal. She needs to explore to learn about the shapes and textures of objects. It's a phase that won't last for more than a few months. I remember worrying that when my kids did things like this, that I'd end up with a 3 year old who pulled things off shelves or a 4 year old who wouldn't listen, but please don't worry. Whether you make a big deal about saying "no", or just do what you need to do to get through the phase, it does end. I would just put anything you don't want touched out of reach; lock up anything unsafe, and let her have access to some drawers. You can start to teach her about putting things away after she's done, but it will take a while before she understands and does it regularly. Her places of interest around the house will probably change over the next few months. One week she'll be obsessed with taking books off the shelf, the next it will be unravelling the toilet paper roll. Whenever she gets into something new that you don't think is appropriate, distract her with something else, and move whatever it is out of reach. I put the toilet paper on a high shelf for a few weeks, and when I brought it down, my daughter was no longer interested in unravelling it. It wasn't necessary to keep it down, and MAKE her not touch it in order for her to learn. As kids get older and more verbal, you can simply tell them to not touch a particular object because it's breakable or dangerous, and they'll listen. As for her father's "no" seeming to be more effective, it's probably because of either the lower voice, or because she's not as startled when you ask her to stop doing something.
@gabesmom (1246)
• United States
10 Apr 07
I think that you should be firm, consistent and immediate in communicating to her which behaviors are not acceptable. When she grabs something that you don't want her to, tell her at once in a firm voice and do it every time she does it. It may take a few repetitions for her to understand it. She may even forget that after a few minutes. Then you'll have to go through the process again. Sometimes, you may just have to rearrange your furniture and move stuff out of her way. I usually put my son in his playpen for a few minutes if the above technique doesn't work. He gets distracted most of the time but there are instances when I just let him cry it out. Spanking, though, could give inconsistent results and is not advisable.
@TeeandMe (104)
• United States
10 Apr 07
This is usually because Dad has a more stricter voice then the mom does. When me and my kids dad were togather my kids would do the same thing. Even now they are that way at times. My son will be acting up and he won't stop unless I call his dad and his dad talks to him over the phone. I have gotten it pretty much to where they will listen to me the majority of the time. I just have to make my voice sound more stricter so they know that I mean business. Try telling her no in a more loud and stricter voice!