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Anonymous asks:
Q:

I have been getting complaints from school that my 4 year old has not been listening to teachers and not paying attention.

My child has been in a new school for the last 3 months and teachers have been complaining that he doesn't mingle and does not listen to teachers. Has used the word stupid for his teachers and laugh when they try to counsel him, I have not encountered such a problem at home. He has never used that word at home but he can be stubborn at times and refuse to do something that he is being told to, usually when he is sleepy or hungry. They are pushing me to consult a child psychologist. Need advice.
In Topics: Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Boys Town National Hotline
May 29, 2013
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What the Expert Says:

A simple way to approach the situation is to teach your child the steps to "Following Instructions."  This approach will help him understand the expected behaviors for listening to adults who are in authority. Sometimes young children have not grasped the concept of following instructions from anyone besides their parents.  The steps for Following Instructions are:
1. Look at the person (eye contact is essential in that it helps them focus)
2. Say "OK"
3. Do the task that you were asked to do
4. And if they are given a chore, they should check back
You as a parent will need to practice it with your child over and over again. Model the behavior so they can see it in action. Sometimes it could be a silly instruction like hopping up and down. The key is to get them to repeat the behavior so it becomes natural and they begin to understand that should be their response to instructions from other adults as well. You then have to have consistent expectations and tolerances at home and not let him argue or not listen, and be sure to reinforce them anytime he follows instructions correctly!

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