Anonymous asks:

I work with 1 1/2-2year olds

I am a 2 year old teacher at a daycare and I am having trouble with them NOT listening to me and not doing stuff as they are told. For example, when I ask them to help me pick up the room they just sit there and tell me no, then they go drag some more stuff out and play with them. I've tried making it a game, I've offered them treats, and I even made them sit in time out. Also when I tell them or even ask them to do something they tell me no and they  hit me. How can I make them listen to me and behave?
In Topics: Children and stress, Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago



Boys Town National Hotline
Oct 12, 2011
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What the Expert Says:

Make putting away toys and cleaning up a fun event for the children.  Try singing the "clean-up" song or teach them another song which will help them learn that helping out can be fun.

Make sure you are giving specific instructions to the children. They are still very young and they will not be able to follow your directions unless they are simple and specific. Telling them to clean up will not make sense, but telling them to each put one toy they played with on the red shelf for example, will make more sense to them.

Time outs for children this age can be effective when they are given for an action, not for a non-action. For example when a child hits you or another child, a time out will teach a child more than if you give a time out for not picking up toys.

You can find more advice on how to effectively work with toddlers and preschoolers by visiting our website:  We also suggest our book, "Common Sense Parenting for Toddlers and Preschoolers" as a resource. You can find the book and DVD at libraries and bookstores.

Thanks again for reaching out. Take care and best wishes to you and the children you serve!

Cynthia, Counselor
Boys Town National Hotlnie
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Additional Answers (1)

Rebecca1027 writes:
I used to work with the same age, very stubborn age, but they love music and songs.  If you pick a song on a cd that you play and sing to every time you pick up, it becomes routine...they thrive on routine.  The clean up song is a great song!  I have son who just turned two, if i tell him to pick it up..he won't, but if i start singing "clean up clean up" he starts to help me clean up, also if i ask "will you PLEASE help me"  they love to help...Hope this helps you! :)
> 60 days ago

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