Mal228 asks:

3 Year, 10 months and will not listen!

Hi! My son is "spirited". He received occupational therapy for his activity level. He can pay attention and sit for age appropriate amounts of time, so attention deficient is not an immediate concern. He has trouble regulating himself once overly stimulated and works with the therapist on safety, following directions, deep pressure, etc.  However, he does not listen to my husband or I!  We are beyond frustrated. We try time outs, taking away toys, withdrawing attention, extinction, YOU NAME IT!  He still doesn't listen and we battle at least once a day with him!  What can we do??  Thank you so very much!
In Topics: Cognitive development
> 60 days ago



Nov 25, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

Hello and thank you for writing to JustAsk,

I know that children who seem to maintain in one situation but are not easy to handle/ spirited in other situations can be very frustrating!

I hope that I may be able to direct you to some resources:

1.  You may wish to consult with your son's pediatrician to rule out Attention Deficit Disorder as the first step or any other possibility for his behavior that is medically based.  

2. Secondly, you may wish to consult with your local school district to see if they have a preschool/early intervention program that your son may qualify for or can participate in.  An evaluation may be needed to determine if he meets the criteria for an early intervention program or not.  Request consideration via writing a letter vs. a phone call  in order to have documentation.

3. Consider these other resources to assist you:

Michele Borba wrote an excellent book:  The Big Book of Parenting Solutions
This book is a template to help parents through tough times with challenging children.

Wendy Young has a website chocked full of assistance for parents with "spirited children"
Lori Lite assists families by helping to reduce stress, anxiety and anger with her program Stress Free Kids.  Go to

Also, you may wish to ask your local library if there are area support groups for parents with children the same age that you may avail yourselves of to assist you.

The school district also may have information to share with you, too.

Best wishes,

Louise Sattler, NCSP
Nationally Certified School Psychologist

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