"A father's contribution to his children is primarily a measure of how much he adores their mother. "

Understanding an emerging 3 year old.

Question

I am continuing to have problems with my 3.5 year old. There are two in particular that I want to address:

1. Not listening to commands
2. Whining when not getting his way

1. This is by far the worst problem. I don't know if I am being unrealistic, but I feel that I should be listened to the first time I issue a command. For example: we are at mass, and he will not stay in his seat. This could be as innocent as standing by his chair, or could be as bad as running away. I tell him to sit up (straight) in his chair for the duration. I only require him to do this for about 15-20 minutes, then we go in another room so he can run around...I feel that any longer and I'm just fighting a losing battle and I get tired of punishing something I feel he is not capable of doing. When he inevitably does not follow instructions (which is true 3 out of 5 times on average). I make him sit on the bench outside and/or go to his room when we get home depending on the severity of the offense. His behavior is not improving, and actually seems to be getting worse. What should I do? How should I voice these commands to be most efficient?

2. This one is more annoying than anything, but I don't want to encourage this behavior. For example: We live with extended family. My son asks to go see his grandmother who lives in the mother-in-law suite. I tell him he has to wait until a little later. So he does one of three things: (1) says that he will cry, scream, etc (usually only cries) (2) collapses on the floor in despair (3) goes and bangs on her door. I have sent him to time out, to his room, yelled, etc. I hate this display of insolence. Again, am I asking too much?

I probably use too many words when issuing commands, and when I deny him something he wants. I lose my temper far too often. I also feel I may not be explaining what I expect of him as far as behavior (in the example of mass). Please give me examples of what I should do/say. Thank you

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