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Active 2-yr-old who never listens

Asking about a 2yo girl who is very active and never listens as many times as we say no she keeps repeating the same things also she will not go to bed without a fight it’s been going on since like 18 months.

If we look at the age of your child through the same lens as general attention span timeframes, it could be that your daughter at the moment, has around only a two minute attention span. Spend lots of time outside, so that she can run, jump and climb. On days that you may not be able to go outside, you could offer experiences around dancing, or even sensory calming experiences for her such as playing with playdough, water etc. Gradually as she gets older, her attention span will increase and you should find her spending longer periods engaged in either self chosen play or any experiences that you have offered her.

In regards to the listening aspect of your question, offer her realistic options/choices if this is around her activity levels, such as if she is jumping on the couch: 'we can jump outside on the grass or the concrete but not on the couch'. If the listening is around listening in general then my advice would be that if you are really needing her to listen as opposed to just general conversation, drop down to her level - whether that's sitting beside her on the floor or a chair. Be very clear with what you are saying: 'I asked you to stop jumping', and keep your message clear and simple, such as 'We jump outside'. Again, where possible, offer a realistic choice to empower her to make the right decisions. Always follow through and reinforce what you have said if needed. Something really important to remember is that we need to praise the good behaviours that we see often, as this also reinforces what we are desiring. For example, if she is sitting really well on the couch, point this out and praise her for it in the moment.

Is your daughter in a 'Big Girl Bed'? Sometimes when children begin to struggle with bed time, it is around the same time as they are ready to transition. Either way, my advice would be the same. Have a consistent bed time routine - dinner, bath, story, cuddle and then bed for example. Again, offer her some choices so that she feels that she has some 'buy in' to this routine. She could choose which pyjamas to wear, book to read, teddy to cuddle, or even whether the night light is on or off. Try and remain calm and consistent, so that you can both enjoy this busy time of day. If the struggle is while she is in bed, it might be helpful to 'check in' on her so that she knows that she isn't on her own or been 'forgotten about'. You could use these check in times to also praise her if she is laying there peacefully. Also in the mornings, point out all the positives that occurred the night before during the bed time routine, as a way of reinforcing what you are desiring to occur.

Kylie Romero

Kylie Romero

Early Learning Consultant, Goodstart Early Learning

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