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5 year old not listening at all?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Would love to know where I go from here.  My son is 5 and a few months and honestly we have days where he doesn't listen at all.  He is constantly telling me no or just flat out ignoring what I say.  Then I find my self in a debate which I hate.  I would love a gentle approach to get things back on track. 

post #2 of 14

Don't get caught up in debate.  If you ask him to do something and he doesn't listen, there should always be a consequence that you follow through with. If he does the "I can't hear you" thing, you have to walk over and get his attention.  If at that point he won't listen, give him the consequence.


At this behavior is totally normal, BTW. :)

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

alright give me some consequence ideas.  Nothing I have tried works.  I feel like I am spinning my wheels.  I am trying not to get angry but its frustrating. 

post #4 of 14

Well I didn't give some before because each family is so different and I don't think there's one right way to approach this.


If you ask him to put away a toy and he says no you could warn him that you will take away that toy and then take it away for a few days.


Or you could make him sit on the stairs for awhile.  


It is relentless and doesn't work overnight but if you don't give in, it may lessen his desire to keep arguing.


My dd, 7, "can't hear" me sometimes.  When she does this I got put my hands on her shoulders and turn her face towards mine and repeat what I said.  Usually that is enough that it doesn't get worse from there.  

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 

can you think of a good one for putting shoes on to go.  This is huge in our house.  He can be doing nothing and he will just lay there and ignore us. 

post #6 of 14

Well if you notice that particular thing seems to be a problem for him, I'd probably ask him to do it once and then just go put them on him.  You don't have to get mad about it.  I know it's frustrating but we really can't ask ourselves "why" a kid does/doesn't do what they do, they don't even know! :)


I'm just saying not to make a battle out of the shoes and then he's really not "not listening" to you.

post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 

ya that is a good point.

post #8 of 14

Is he good about getting shoes on when it's somewhere he wants to go?  If so, I'd set up a few times where you're willing to deal with a meltdown & don't need to go somewhere, give him a reasonable amount of time & if he doesn't do it don't go.  His loss.  If it's all the time, regardless, maybe there's something about doing his shoes that seems overwhelming to him, or that he has a hard time with. 


I generally don't believe in punishment, but natural consequences (real ones, not stuff that people make up to make punishment sound nice) are good.  You don't get ready, you don't go. 

post #9 of 14

We're in the same boat. If i were to tell dd "if you dont' put on your shoes, you don't go," well, she'll get upset, may even cry, but will not do what is being told and then we end up not going. The loss is hers but it's also mine because I probably wanted to take her to wherever... But, that would be just one, single issue for us. She does not listen to anything being said. Nothing. Unless there are conseuqences like taking away a toy for good and just giving it to Salvation Army. Several of her toys have gone and things are still the same. I feel like I am at my wits end with this attitude. Dh and I have arguments swaying one way and another and just not finding the right parenting method. So, even though she is begging for her toy that is going, we follow through and don't give it back. So, I now think I am teaching her to be stubborn.

post #10 of 14

Sorry, OP, I didn't mean to hijack your post. I guess I had a moment and was just frustrated.

post #11 of 14

For my stubborn 4 year old I just say "I'm heading out to the car now and I'll meet you there.  Do you want to put your shoes on or should I put them in the car for you?"  or "I'm putting your shoes in the car."  Not a puniishment at all but it meets the goal of getting out the door without a fight.

post #12 of 14

stories and imagination and humour can help if you add them into the mix (consequences good too but you can end up feeling pretty boring soon). They help change everyone's mood, and engage a different part of the child's brain.


eg shoes:

 ah,,, can you hear that little voice? Where is it coming from? Oh, I hear those shoes saying something? What? you miss feet? You want to give them cuddle? etc etc




Ok fireman sam, get your fireproof boots on, we've got a fire to hose!




There are some magic pixie shoes waiting to carry you off to dream land....


We also have visits from tidy mouse who comes to collect the cheese/bread etc - I go next door and start calling him/looking and ds (5) turns into a little squeaky mouse and gets involved.


These things don't always work especially if your in dead loggerheads, but they are remarkably effective if you can enter into the spirit and certaibly help grease the wheels. Its one part of the picture....

post #13 of 14

oh and very. short. sentences.



stop NOW stool hurt fingers - i did this this extreme version the other day at the end of a long and not very effective lecture. sometimes needed when ds is reeeeellly on another (i don't have to listen to you) planet. Generally short gets through easier. I read in another post about "saying it once" before introducing a consequence. I like that. We do too much talking. Their heads aren't build for it already!

post #14 of 14

I don't know whether this is helpful or not.... 


This is not an issue we have, not because I'm a better parent (we all have our own struggles), but because I never put up with it. Not at any point in time.


My boys are 9 and 6. We have a convo in my house a couple times a year, along the lines of - when I ask you to do something, you need to do it right then, if there is an emergency, I need to know that you are going to do what I tell you so we can be safe. We use those words a lot - so we are safe, so you are safe. In this world, with so many crazies running around, it's important for me to teach my kids to be safe, and that starts with listening to us and doing what we ask them to do. We don't open the screen door to strangers, because it isn't safe. We don't cross the street when cars are close, because it's not safe. We don't run in parking lots, because it is not safe. It has nothing to do with restricting their fun time, they get a lot of that. It is 100% about keeping them safe. And they get that.


The safety thing covers everything. Putting on shoes, getting ready for bed, getting things done during the day, getting in the truck, whenever I say stop, etc. There are no arguments, things just get done. I listen to what my husband says about weapons and how to take care of the truck, so we can be safe. The boys listen to me and their dad, so they can be safe. Yes, sometimes it takes one or two reminders - where are you supposed to be, what are you supposed to be doing. And my 6yo just started asking why with everything. When I asked him why he asks why, his response was "because I like to know". I can roll with this, and put a short explanation with my request.


I am quick with consequences that fit the crime.

* No shoes - then we either go and they have to be in the cart, or we don't go, or we go and they can't play, or they stay home with Dad and I go by myself.

* Not picking up toys - toys get restricted, no tv time, no game system time, etc.

* Not listening - usually is because the tv is on or they are involved in the game system, it gets removed until an appropriate time.


I am very to-the-point. "You are not listening, that is not ok. Get up, go do xyz, we need to abc." I do not make threats I'm not willing to follow through with. And my kids have learned that I mean exactly what I say. 


And they understand that their behavior is their issue, and results in consequences that fit their choices. If they don't do what they are asked to do, then there is a consequence for that. They chose this consequence because they chose to not listen. Had they chose to listen, then they wouldn't be dealing with the negative consequence.





Neera - So, even though she is begging for her toy that is going, we follow through and don't give it back. So, I now think I am teaching her to be stubborn.


Remind her it is her choice. She chose to not listen, and she understood it meant her toy was going to go to the SA, so she chose not to keep that toy. Maybe next time she will make a better choice and will be able to keep her toy.




My kids are by no means angels. But they are decent kids and people tend to comment about them. So either I'm doing something right in this part of parenting, or the beatings every night keep them in line. :)



Just my thoughts - hope it's helpful. :)

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