When do they start to "listen"? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 25 Old 06-08-2010, 04:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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At what age can kids start listening/obeying? I'm not talking hardcore obeying, obviously. Just wondering when you can expect them to comply occasionally, to some requests.

Ds1 started "listening" when he was 12mos. It was sporadic at first, and he still needed some of help with impulse control, but it was obvious that he tried to do what I asked, at least some of the time. I always redirected to a related activity. He was really young (maybe 18mos?) when he was able to stop himself from doing something that wasn't ok (like hitting the dog) and move himself to a related activity. He was never one to be into everything anyway. I could take him to a non baby-proofed house, and reasonably trust him not to damage anything at well under 2yo. One reminder not to mess with something was usually enough.

I get the impression that that's not really the norm, though.

Ds2 is 11 mos, and doesn't seem to be anywhere near that.
It's getting a little old having to move everything out of his reach. The trash can is out of the kitchen (which is a pita), he regularly tips the paper recycling container to play in it, he can open all my cupboards, so all the lower cupboards have to contain baby safe stuff and he empties them many times a day. He eats his board books- some are missing chunks that he ingested. And on and on!

What has been your experience? I just want to know what I can expect, kwim? And if ds1 wasn't the norm, I need to know not to look forward to 12 mos with ds2!! lol

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#2 of 25 Old 06-08-2010, 05:01 PM
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Yeah, I know DD listened something when she was 1 b/c I asked her to not climb the stairs and she never did. Not sure when. She was really good for a long time about listening, stopped putting certain things in her mouth after we talked about it, etc. Now that she's older she pushes some things more, which makes me happy b/c I was starting to worry she was like TOO compliant and wouldn't develop her sense of self or whatever all that 2 and 3 year old pushing limits is supposed to be about

I keep saying the next one will be super-wild and that will be a trip for us!
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#3 of 25 Old 06-08-2010, 05:47 PM
 
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You got lucky with the first lol Some impulse control usually doesn't get better until more toward 3-4.

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#4 of 25 Old 06-08-2010, 06:22 PM
 
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You got really lucky with your first one! Our first was like that - never really pushed the boundaries. Our second? Much later. I can't remember exactly, but she needed a lot of watching until she was 2. 2 1/2 to 3 was really when I felt comfortable leaving her alone in a room for a while.

Even at 6, she's just plain old not very compliant. So, she doesn't 'listen' well sometimes. But we don't fear for life and limb anymore.

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#5 of 25 Old 06-09-2010, 01:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by DevaMajka View Post
I'm not talking hardcore obeying
This made me laugh out loud and think of...
!!!

I think my 7 mo can obey simple commands that involve requests like "come here," and "give me the ball." more complex things, i think the dr sears book says takes up to a year and a half or so..

and following commands are a little different than impulse control and the like, though. they're all so different! even if there were an average age, that would not really tell you what your ds2 will be likely to do!

Is it getting lonely in the echo chamber yet?

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#6 of 25 Old 06-09-2010, 02:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think my 7 mo can obey simple commands that involve requests like "come here," and "give me the ball." more complex things, i think the dr sears book says takes up to a year and a half or so..
wow! ds2 is just now getting to where he can/will follow commands like "come here" lol. But now that I think of it, he DOES follow those commands sometimes. So that's a good sign! I know it doesn't say anything about impulse control. I'm thinking *that* will be the biggest difference between ds1 and ds2. I think ds1 had abnormally good impulse control.
At 3 I could have left a bowl of candy on the counter and been 90% sure ds1 wouldn't get into it until given permission (though he would have whined and pleaded until I GAVE him permission). I never actually tested that, because that would have been just asking for trouble, but I'm fairly certain he would have left it alone.

So I guess it's just a matter of waiting and seeing what ds2 is like! Man, it would be so nice if he's at least close to what ds1 was like! lol. I'm not thinking that's going to happen, but a girl can dream, right?

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#7 of 25 Old 06-09-2010, 04:59 PM
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My DD started responding better to request after about 3.5. A little after turning 4 she started to like being helpful.
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#8 of 25 Old 06-10-2010, 12:17 AM
 
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I think the key here is that around age 1, children (still babies, really) ENJOY listening. It is new for them to have this sort of communication and understanding with another person. But at 2-3 they are testing limits and trying out they're individuality and things change.

That being said, dd1 is 4 and still has a hard time "listening". But I remember the first time my gentle and easygoing dd2 put something in her mouth from the floor. From across the room I shook my finger in a gentle way and softly said, "No, no, Lily, that is not for your mouth." And She Removed It! I was in Shock! With dd1 everything was a struggle, even at that young age. So it also depends a ton on personality!!

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#9 of 25 Old 06-10-2010, 03:55 AM
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I also noticed that my DD listened well for awhile right around 10 months and then seemed to stop after the novelty wore off. So she 'listened' better at 1 than at 18 months or 2.
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#10 of 25 Old 06-10-2010, 10:02 AM
 
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DS is 3 and I think he started listening about 6 months ago. He started about 6 months earlier than that at preschool, where peer pressure was there to help.
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#11 of 25 Old 06-10-2010, 11:16 AM
 
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you know, too, i think another trick is that you ask them things they kind of want to do or are about to do anyway. I know that sounds silly, but it seems to work.. When I want dd to listen, and I see that she's about to craw towards me, I'll say "come here!" and I really think that doing that increases her knowledge & association with the words/actions, so that next time when I say "come here," and she's NOT headed towards me, she will remember. Putting the request/command with an action. Especially good if you catch them doing something like chucking blocks back into the basket or something like that! Praise that action & see if you get a repeat.

getting them to do what they don't want to do will be a challenge until they're.. 21 or so?

Is it getting lonely in the echo chamber yet?

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#12 of 25 Old 06-10-2010, 03:26 PM
 
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I also noticed that my DD listened well for awhile right around 10 months and then seemed to stop after the novelty wore off. So she 'listened' better at 1 than at 18 months or 2.
This. DS just turned 4 a little over a month ago and I have been noticing a marked improvement in his cooperation level. It was rough for a while there, especially with my husband, who understands little of age-appropriate behaviors.

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#13 of 25 Old 06-10-2010, 05:39 PM
 
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DS started listening and following simple instructions from 12-16 months.

Then he decided that he had better ideas.

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#14 of 25 Old 06-10-2010, 11:28 PM
 
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Yeah? It can get worse after it gets better!!

Mine are 10 and 14, and both are steadily becoming deaf!

The anti-Ezzo king
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#15 of 25 Old 06-10-2010, 11:45 PM
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My kids differ based on their personality. Both my kiddos could "come here" and give me something when I asked for it, etc, at around 11-12 months. But I see a huge difference as far as listening to rules.
My 3 yo ds for example, is really good about listening when he doesn't want to. If he really really wants to go outside, his impulses telling him to ignore mom and make for the door, he will restrain himself and listen.
My dd is only 16 months... but, denying impulses is not something I see in the future for her. She is a strong willed, mentally overactive and determined little girl. I am going to have trouble with her! lol
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#16 of 25 Old 06-11-2010, 11:39 AM
 
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My 3 yo ds for example, is really good about listening when he doesn't want to. If he really really wants to go outside, his impulses telling him to ignore mom and make for the door, he will restrain himself and listen.
My dd is only 16 months... but, denying impulses is not something I see in the future for her. She is a strong willed, mentally overactive and determined little girl. I am going to have trouble with her! lol

This describes the differences between my dds - 4yo dd has ALWAYS listened to her impulse to do whatever she wants. Just last night she repeatedly turned the living room light back on when dh was trying to change lightbulbs. She just Kept Coming Back For More - UGH! But 2yo dd will override her impulse. She may hang her head and pout, or burst into tears, but she will listen. In my house, that's the difference between an introvert and and extrovert.

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#17 of 25 Old 06-11-2010, 02:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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UrbanSimplicity and bluebirdiemama, that's good to know. I think that's what is going to happen here. Ds1 totally could override his impulses really young, and pretty much has been able to ever since (though now that he's 5yo, I think he's sneaky every once in a while).
Ds2, I mean he's still little, but I have a strong feeling based on his personality so far that he won't be one to override his impulses very young! And is that child ever persistent! He was totally focused on playing with the tv last night- turning it on/of, up/down. I must have spent 10 minutes taking him out of the room, finding other stuff for him to play with, distracting him, giving him something else with buttons to push. And he STILL kept heading straight back to the tv. I ended up giving up on watching. lol.

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#18 of 25 Old 06-11-2010, 04:02 PM
 
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I think he's sneaky every once in a while).
Ds2, I mean he's still little, but I have a strong feeling based on his personality so far that he won't be one to override his impulses very young! And is that child ever persistent!
Persistence is a great quality, just not in a toddler! If he's persistent, then he will have a harder time.

I'm reading a book on memory/attention, and I just read a little blurb about a classic developmental psych task developed by the Russian psychologist Isaac Luria that I'd forgotten about. It illustrates just how difficult it is for kids to inhibit actions most of the time. Children were given a bulb to squeeze (or a button to press) and told: Squeeze the bulb when a green light comes on, don't squeeze it when a red light comes on."

Young 3 year olds squeeze the bulb (or press the button nowadays) regardless of the light color. They do this even if they can repeat back the instructions. When told "squeeze" or "don't squeeze" they can follow it. But when left to do it on their own, they need help. 4 year olds are better, especially if they're told to say "go" or "stop" for the different lights. But it's not until 5 that kids can reliably inhibit or not perseverate the actions.

Thus, if you've got a highly persistent child, it's probably very hard for him to stop. You've got my sympathies. Our 2nd is highly persistent as well. It's been great for her learning to read. It's a challenge for other things.

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#19 of 25 Old 06-12-2010, 11:48 AM
 
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Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post
Children were given a bulb to squeeze (or a button to press) and told: Squeeze the bulb when a green light comes on, don't squeeze it when a red light comes on."

Young 3 year olds squeeze the bulb (or press the button nowadays) regardless of the light color. They do this even if they can repeat back the instructions. When told "squeeze" or "don't squeeze" they can follow it. But when left to do it on their own, they need help. 4 year olds are better, especially if they're told to say "go" or "stop" for the different lights. But it's not until 5 that kids can reliably inhibit or not perseverate the actions.
WOW!

Just shows how useless it is to get upset at under 5s who don't do what we ask, tell, order them to do!!!

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#20 of 25 Old 06-13-2010, 07:56 AM
 
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Your DS2 sounds a lot like my DS. DS is 17 mo, and he sort of listens. He started following simple commands like "come here" or "give it to daddy" at 12-14 months, but is just now able to understand "no, don't do that" or "get down" or any other command where we want him to stop what he's doing. It doesn't usually work, but I can tell he understands (writing on the wall, I say "no writing on the wall" and approach him, and he takes off running, throwing a fit when I take the pencil. - Also, the things he knows he shouldn't do, because we've already corrected it and removed him 100 times, like climbing on the coffee table to reach the stuff on top of the tv, he climbs up, then looks to see if we're watching. We've since moved furniture to prevent this.)

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#21 of 25 Old 06-15-2010, 06:00 AM
 
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Young 3 year olds squeeze the bulb (or press the button nowadays) regardless of the light color. They do this even if they can repeat back the instructions. When told "squeeze" or "don't squeeze" they can follow it. But when left to do it on their own, they need help. 4 year olds are better, especially if they're told to say "go" or "stop" for the different lights. But it's not until 5 that kids can reliably inhibit or not perseverate the actions.
I needed this. Thank You.

My 3 year old is generally very compliant. But, there are moments that throw me. I have to remind myself that she is so young.
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#22 of 25 Old 06-15-2010, 07:24 AM
 
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I think the key here is that around age 1, children (still babies, really) ENJOY listening. It is new for them to have this sort of communication and understanding with another person. But at 2-3 they are testing limits and trying out they're individuality and things change.

That being said, dd1 is 4 and still has a hard time "listening". But I remember the first time my gentle and easygoing dd2 put something in her mouth from the floor. From across the room I shook my finger in a gentle way and softly said, "No, no, Lily, that is not for your mouth." And She Removed It! I was in Shock! With dd1 everything was a struggle, even at that young age. So it also depends a ton on personality!!
This exactly!

Also - a big part of your question has to do with impulse control. Heck - many ADULTS struggle with that! Like me and chocolate! lmao

Part of impulse control is knowing why. If our (my DS1 and I) connection is good, he doesn't feel the need to question why. I trust him and he trusts me. But of course he is young and curious and the world is still very new to him - so he questions why a lot. He doesn't need to verbally ask 'why'...he shows me this by his behaviour. No we shouldnt, no I dont want you to - but he goes on and does it anyhow. Because he wants to know why for himself!

Another part of impulse control is reasoning. So as an adult, if I know why I shouldn't have chocolate, then I can reason with that and control my impulses to eat any. Young children are just unable to do this a lot of the time.

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#23 of 25 Old 06-17-2010, 02:08 AM
 
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I read your question and I thought, children listen?

Seriously though, my DD, 3.5, is already the master of selective hearing. If you say "chocolate milk" in any context, she is at the fridge and ready to go in a heartbeat. But say "come here" or "put that down", well, I sometimes wonder if I'm actually speaking or if maybe my DD has forgotten English. It is like having a teenager. Check this mommy -- I'm ignoring you...what you gonna do about it? I must count down from 5 at least 20 times a day. I give limited choices, start counting, and then enforce the choice she makes if I get to zero without compliance. Doesn't work so well when she is stripping her clothing off at the playground however. Five seconds is five too long for my sense of modesty!

I do think DD went through a listening phase from about 18 months to 28 months or so of age. It was a golden time when mom's voice was heard. I'm not holding my breath, but maybe it will repeat at some point before the age 12 "too cool to listen" sets in.

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#24 of 25 Old 06-20-2010, 02:20 PM
 
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This is a great thread. I'm incredibly glad to know I'm not the only one with an incredibly persistent 1 year old. Example: when I take him to the garden, he pulls out the label stakes. We must have repeated the same action 30 times: son pulls 2 stakes out, mom puts them back. Mom redirects child to another activity, child comes back (even when very far away!) and pulls them out. Mom puts child with dog to play, child comes back and pulls out stakes. Mom shows son other kind of stick...yeah, no help. Mom calls it a day and takes everyone inside.
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#25 of 25 Old 06-20-2010, 02:31 PM
 
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My 4yo is just starting to "listen", but she has a long way to go. I can usually trust her to be by herself for a bit and not be in mortal fear, but she is not ever going to be particularly compliant if she is anything like me. (and she appears to be just as strong willed). That personality type is going to make a great adult, but is really challenging to parent when the logic circuits aren't in place yet.

Mom to 10yo Autistic Wonder Boy and 6yo Inquisitive Fireball Girl . December birthdays.

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