Anyone ever experienced similar situation? My 2.5yr old daughter always trying to ignore my words, by not listening and not answering.

For example, when there's conflict I try to blame her on some bad behaviour, she would run away, or not look at me at all. However even when there's no conflict, even like when my mum's asking her what did she eat for lunch, if she's not in the mood (which seems everyday she's not in the mood), she will not listen or answer at all.

I've kept talking with her for months that it is basic courtesy to look at the counterpart, and answer, when people talk to her. Not working. It happens to everyone: parents, other relatives in family, teachers in kindergarten, etc....

We don't think she has hearing problem: when she's in a good mood or she has some demand for us, she's talkative and our communication flows well.

What can I do in such situation please? Thanks!

  • Have her teachers/doctors/random strangers commented on this, or is it mainly something that you notice?
    – 1006a
    Commented Jan 11, 2018 at 22:12

2 Answers 2


This sounds like pretty normal behavior for a two-year-old, honestly. Remember that at this age children are completely self-centered and tend to fixate their attention narrowly; if she's focused on something more interesting, your mother's questions about lunch are just background noise. "Basic courtesy" is not a relevant consideration for her.

And ignoring you in order to avoid conflict is totally understandable; kids of all ages do this. (I vividly remember a day in kindergarten when I, normally the best-behaved kid in the schoolyard, threw a snowball at someone and saw a teacher walking over to chastise me; I clapped my mittened hands over my ears and ran as fast as I could in the other direction, figuring that if I couldn't hear the teacher, I wasn't in trouble.) I can't count the number of times I've lost it and yelled at my two-year-old over some grievous offense, to absolutely no effect; if they don't want to hear something, they simply won't. (Effective discipline for two-year-olds is more focused on positive reinforcement, which is a whole other conversation.)

Don't worry about the ignoring -- and take full advantage of the times your daughter is in the mood, to have as many conversations as you can.


I think you need to consider a few things.

  • Why would she want to listen to you blaming her for some bad behaviour. It sounds like a totally reasonable response. (Assuming things like yelling back to you isn't something you would actively encourage, and don't try to do that just to get her to talk). What might work, instead of trying to blame her, is to talk to the room about some consequences. For example, say (in a calm voice but loudly enough for her to hear): "Hey I see someone spilled their drink. I wonder if someone could help me find a towel to clean it up". That way you step away from blaming her and make her part of the solution. The point is not to actually make her do it. The point is to teach her that helping each other to fix little mistakes is more fun than running away.

  • Kids can be very dependent on a single parent at that age. My youngest daughter won't talk to me at times. While my older daughter won't talk to her mom. If she has a phase that she won't talk to her grandmother just let her be. If they want to bond with your daughter let them play a game on the floor and see if your daughter wants to join in. Then while playing see if you can get her to talk.

My middle daughter is 6 now and speaks about 20 words a week. That's a huge victory for us (it used to be 5 words a week). In part that is due to her disability but that doesn't seem to be the case since your daughter is talking just fine at other times. One thing I learned with my daughter is that communication is about opening and closing communication circles. I say "Hey", you respond with "How are you" and then I respond with "Fine". A conversation needs be be interesting for all parties involved for this to happen. Being scolded, talked to, or non interesting questions is not something that encourages communication, especially at that age.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .