How Can I Get My 3-YO Daughter to Understand the Importance of Apologies (and Changing Behavior)?

Good luck lol. She’s not even 3, that’s a big expectation from her.


Routine. Cleaning up before lunch everyday, cleaning up before dinner (food is a good motivater). Consistency. Without Consistency it will never work.

Pick up the blocks and put them away.

She’s 3. You stay consistent, and she will learn.

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By telling her your apology means nothing without changing behaviors

Maybe she is overwhelmed. Give her step by step directions. It might help

Yes all kids manipulate

Patience consistency and model the behaviors you want

You’ve basically taught her that apologies make everything better. So she thinks she can get out of anything if she apologizes. All kids are manipulative at young ages because of course they do what they can and know what gives them what they want. You need a more severe punishment than time out or her behavior isn’t going to change.


Be the example and she will see. Patience

To help get her involved in cleanup give her the illusion of a choice, do you want to pick up the blocks or the babies. Then you do the opposite of what she chooses. This way the toys still get picked up but she thinks she has a choice and therefore some control as to what is happening.

When I didnt clean my room my mom said shell throw everything away… I said ok (age 5ish) and I even help her put my stuff in trash bags… that’s it… few months later mom gave me back all my toys which I put away neatly… I was happy I got them back… but didnt really bug me… I thought… but I kept my room clean since then

She’s at the age where she’s learning the importance of trial and error. Remember they were just brought into this world and everything’s new. Sometimes do you tell people no when you don’t want to do something? Yeah, I’m sure you do it all the time as a mother and a wife lol. Does that mean someone should shove you in timeout everytime you tell someone no? Absolutely not, people conform to their own patterns and own minds. My step daughters the same age and we have the same problem. She use to take all the toys on the floor until I put them in the toy chest and told her she lost privileges to play with those toys because she never took care of them. After three days of me telling her no everytime she got into the toy box, she eventually took it upon herself to start putting toys up once she was done with them, as a reward I would give her a hug and a kiss and would take her out to the park or something. Kids learn from touch and go, remember they’re small and trying to figure stuff out, and that this whole world is an exciting new place to them. Kids make messes. It’s okay, takes time, patience, and persistence. It pays off in the long run I promise. Xoxox

She knows what buttons to push. They know how to sweet talk. They are not stupid.

She’s 3 she’ll learn

No manipulation!!! Children are for the most part, born perfect. They have an innate ability to behave on primal instinct. Meaning they have natural empathy. So if they are told to do something like apologize when too immature or when it is insincere the apology becomes just a thing they have to do to avoid punishment or reprimand. Let them naturally grow into wanting to apologize for the right reasons. Because their conscience guided them to, not because some adult told them to. They will want to do it and if they don’t, work with them on that aspect. Why they dont feel it the impulse to make ammeds over the situation.