2muchestrog... asks:

3 1/2 doesn't listen which is driving my wife crazy

I have a 3 1/2 year old daughter ("M") that has issues listening.  My wife ("K") and I have to repeat ourselves many times.  We have taken away things, we did the time-out thing, we spanked, we raised our voices to the point of screaming and nothing seems to work.  We need help!!!  Millions of things are running through our head about this and we can't find an answer which is straining our lives.  Here are just 2...

1.)  We feel that we have done something terribly wrong in raising M.  Our fear is now that our 18 month old ("P") will exhibit those same behaviors.  We feel that M needs to go to counseling or see a doctor for medication.  I keep telling K that she is a 3 year old, but it doesn't help K.  She insists that there is something wrong with her.

2.)  K is definitely feeling the hardship of not listening and has reached her breaking point.  I told her to spend the night at her mother's and I will take them up to my mom's this weekend for a visit to give K a break.  Unfortunately, next week happens to be a week that I have to travel for work, so I am a little frightened.  For myself, the not listening is one thing, but to throw a mental breakdown from K on top of it, ends up making me crazier.

What can we do to make M listen?  
In Topics: Parenting / Our Family, Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago



Boys Town National Hotline
Jan 22, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

It can be very frustrating when we are trying to communicate with our young children and they are not listening.  There are a few simple things to remember that will improve communication.
1. Remove distractions from the environment.  If the TV is on or a video playing, stop those momentarily.  Put the toy down that they are playing with or just hold it still.

2.  Get on the same level of your child so you can look them in the eye.  Either get down to their level or raise them up to your level.

3.  Speak in a very clear, normal voice tone.  Use words that can be easily understood by your child.  Limit your words.

Teach your child “Listening to Others”.  This is a social skill that will help at home, at daycare and in other situations.  Social skills are sets of behaviors linked together in a certain order that will allow children to get along with others.
Use three simple steps to teach this and other social skills;

1. Show and Tell the positive behavior.  (Be brief and specific and tell and show what you want them to do.)
“When you listen to others be sure to look at the person who is talking to you.  Sit or stand quietly and say okay when they are finished talking.”

2.  Practice.  (Make it fun. Use pretend situations, games, or actual situations and keep it brief but do it often.)
“Let’s pretend you were watching TV and Mommy started talking to you.  Show me you can do what I just told you and showed you to do.”

3.  Show Approval.  (Use words of praise and encouragement.  Include smiles, touches and hugs. )
“That was simply super! Now that is what I call good listening skills. You won’t miss anything when you listen so well. High Five.”

By doing this type of teaching you are giving your child positive attention and preparing him with skills that will help him through the rest of his life experiences.

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