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neobeo
neobeo asks:
Q:

How can I get my 3 1/2 year old son to listen and behave?

My son doesn't behave and listen to anyone. He is 3 1/2 yrs old and he doesn't behave and doesn't listen at all.  How can I get him to listen and behave?
In Topics: Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Boys Town National Hotline
Jun 17, 2009
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What the Expert Says:

Thank you for posting your question. Not listening is a common problem for toddler/preschool age children; it is very age appropriate for children to become very absorbed in play and tune out what may be occurring all around them.  You are right on track with concerning yourself with teaching him ways to listen and behave. Social skills instruction is one of your primary jobs as a parent. Teaching your child appropriate behavioral responses will allow him to achieve success in all settings. Typically 3 1/2 year old children are eager to learn through interaction and play. I would encourage you to begin to take the opportunity to teach your son social skills as part of your daily interactions with him. There is a website sponsored by Boys Town that will actually list specific social skills steps. The website also allows you to view articles and discussions of topics that pertain to various ages. To review the social skills promoted by Boys Town go to www.parenting.org and in the search box enter social skills. Your search will produce an article listing the 16 social skills that allow you as a parent to lay the foundation for a lifetime of appropriate behavior. It is important to make learning the skills fun.  Selecting the skill that you would like to teach, for example, following directions.  Tell your son that you are going to have some fun practicing something new.  Introduce the steps by saying something like "I want to teach you how to follow directions. There are four steps. #1. Look at me, #2. Say okay #3. Do what I ask and #4. Tell me when you are done". If your son had been playing with a puzzle right before you started with your instruction, you could ask him to hand you a puzzle piece. Say to him, "I am going to ask you to hand me a puzzle piece and when I do, please look at me, say okay, hand me the piece and then say something like, here's the puzzle piece, mom".  Make the practice fun and something that is easy to do. Once your son has had the opportunity to follow the steps you can enthusiastically praise him for anything that he did well or came close to doing right. If there were steps that he missed you can repractice as needed. Make sure to keep teaching sessions upbeat and short due to his age.  After teaching and practicing the basic steps to following directions, remember to reiterate those four steps throughout the day. For instance, you could say something like, "in a minute, I am going to ask you to pick up your toys. When I do, I want you to look at me, say okay, pick up your toys and then let me know you are done." The repetition of those steps and the praise you give him when he follows through will go along way to improving your son's ability to tune in to what you have to say.  Remember to reinforce him whenever he does listen by smiling, patting him on the arm, nodding your head and describing back to him with words what he is doing well. I hope that this brief description of social skills teaching has sparked some hope. Please feel free to visit the parenting.org website for more information and encouragement.  In addition, please feel free to contact a counselor at the Boys Town National Hotline if you would like to discuss your son's behavior in greater detail. Counselors are available by phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at  1-800-448-3000. Thanks again for posting your question on education.com.  Boys Town National Hotline 1-800-448-3000
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Additional Answers (3)

dgraab
dgraab , Parent writes:
Hi, I'm sorry to hear you're having some behavior challenges with your son. Here are a few resources you may find helpful to your situation...

A Preschool Behavior Survival Guide
http://www.education.com/magazine/article/preschool-behavior-survival-guide/

The Wonderful Three-Year-Old
http://www.education.com/reference/article/Ref_Wonderful_Three_Year/

You might also check out The Parents Guide to Preschool, which has even more articles like the ones above:
http://www.education.com/grade/preschool/

Good luck!

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MsEmpathy
MsEmpathy writes:
When he tries to ask you something act like you don't hear like he does  you ,but don't move from the spot you in he will keep asking and depending on what type he is he will either cry or ask you in a upset tone why you won't listen to him .It is at this point when you explain to him that he should stop cring or to lower his tone and tell him you are doing that to him because he aways does it to you, explain that he makes you feel bad everytime he doesn't listen he will get the picture.  Do this again to remind him if he starts to ignore you again I do this with my children works everytime.
> 60 days ago

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RJhinnu
RJhinnu writes:
Hi, I can make some suggestions on what to do to help your son listen to you more often. As you may have noticed little kids have short attention spans, which may play a large role in why your son is not listening. So to help him learn to pay attention and follow directions when you are talking to him, you can play games such as âSimon saysâ and âRed Light, Green Light.â These games will not only be fun for him, but they will help teach him to listen and comprehend what you are saying to him. You can also try positive reinforcement in which you would make positive comments to him when he is doing a good job of listening and behaving right. He will become eager to please you and receive the positive comments that he will become more aware of how he is behaving. Good luck!
> 60 days ago

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