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Six year old just. won't. listen.

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi Mamas.  Oh boy.  Where to begin?


My almost six year old dd and I have had a really good relationship until the beginning of the school year last year.  I don't know if the events are connected or coincidental, but she was bullied pretty badly by a new girl in her class and really, really was struggling.  The girl left town in January and things improved at school, but at home, things haven't gotten any better.


In a nutshell, she just doesn't listen.  She wants to either negotiate things to death or she completely ignores me.  It makes me feel totally disrespected. 


So, I'm a pretty experienced mama and a human service professional.  I've appealed to her sense of relationship - how we each have to do our part to have a good, happy relationship. How when you live in community everyone has to do their part - just like in school. But, it seems we are always in conflict.  I really do not want to go the way of punishments, but I'm not opposed to being the B-word in her life if that's what it takes.  I just don't want to "lose her" along the way.


Of course, I hope it passes, but I suspect it won't.  She's a pretty intense child, but very loving, creative and bright.  She plays pretty well with her brother and is close to her older sister.  I do carve out time just for her and so does her papa. 


Any suggestions - including reading material - is greatly appreciated!

post #2 of 7

First, I'm sending you big hugs over the internet.  It's difficult when a child isn't cooperating.


With my 4yo, I've found that the more I push something, the more he pulls back.  It's almost like a knee-jerk reaction.  Have you tried not showing that it bothers you?  Not repeating yourself when she doesn't listen? Etc.?  With my 4yo, if he's not listening and it's dinner time, for example, I'll say "Dinner is on the table, please come to the table and eat.  I will set the timer for 1 minute and if you're not at the table when it goes off, then your dinner is over."  I know he hears me even if he doesn't respond and then there's no negotiation.  Would something like that help?


Or you could try playing games with her that focus on listening -- but she'd just think they were fun games.  Like Simon Says or something like that?  Maybe if she got back in the swing of listening carefully during those games she's transfer that better listening to general life.


My son is 4yo and loves auditory processing worksheets... different ones have riddles or games or clues and the child has to listen to decode or complete the activity.


Not sure if any of these suggestions are helpful, but I hope so! :)  Good luck! :)

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks so much for your reply.  Today was a better day.  I talked with a friend of mine tonight who's personality is a lot like my dd and she was very helpful too.  The experiment continues!

post #4 of 7

I have a 7 year old son who isn't the best with listening.  What works well for us is if I put a hand on his shoulder when I'm talking to him and look him in the face.  His nose is always in a book so I think he literally doesn't hear me sometimes. 

post #5 of 7

No advice here, just wanted to say that I too have a 6yo who just doesn't listen.

post #6 of 7
My daughter is a negotiator, which drives me crazy sometimes, but it doesn't bother my husband, and I'm in awe of how he handles it. He'll tell her to do something, and she'll start negotiating, and he'll say something like, "OK I want X. What is it you want? You're a problem solver, so come up with a solution where X happens that you're happy with." I'm amazed how well that works for him, and I've tired it and had not as great results but it doesn't come as naturally to me and I keep trying to remember to do it when it comes up. "I want us to leave the house in 5 minutes. How can you make that happen and still get what you want?" If she can come up with an alternate solution, like putting on shoes in the car, then I let it go. My natural tendency though is to say, "Put on your shoes because we have to leave." And then she'll say , "BUT MOOOOOOOM!" LOL. Then I try to use my dh's trick. "Ok, I want to leave the house in 5 minutes. So long as that happens, you can do what you want, but your shoes have to be on your feet because we're going to the store and you can't go in there in bare feet." She does respond to that better. Also, she responds very well to being called "a problem solver" when she starts negotiating like that. Framing it as her helping her solve the problem instead of her trying to argue gets her back on the team in a way.
post #7 of 7

I have an almost 6 year old with the same issue.  Perhaps it is the age?  I don't remember my older two being quite so difficult though when they were 6.  My YDD is also a big negotiator.  She never wants to do any sort of chores including feeding her dog, whom she adores.  It's always "Well, if I do that, can I do this?"  And the thing she wants to do is something that won't be happening like staying up until midnight or sleep in the chicken coop.  I don't know where she comes up with half of this stuff.  It's infuriating.

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