My 4 year old daughter likes to ignore my husband and me when we talk to her or ask her with help in a specific task. What do we need to change to try and stop this behavior?
There is an excellent article already written on this topic called “How to get your Preschoolers to Listen & Respect You“.
The author’s bottom line is that you are the parent, and if you want your child to do something than you need to calmly direct your child to follow through or else use appropriate consequences so she learns that you are serious and will not give in or bribe her in order to get the results you desire.
By preschool age you can also use incentives for listening and positive behaviors by making a chart & using stickers. For example if you want your daughter to pick up her toys before bedtime, write that as a chore on her chart, if she does it without complaint 7 days per week you can reward her with something small at the end of the week. You may also choose to take away special privileges for not complying with rules or for not listening. For example, if you have planned to go to the park and your daughter is not listening or following through with your directives than she stays home from the park as a consequence for not listening.
Remember, preschoolers will assert their independence and test your rules and limits; however, it is up to you to stick to your guns and calmly, but firmly teach them about listening or help them to learn the consequences for not listening. You can find more information on positive reinforcement and behavior on our Early Intervention Support website.