Natural consequences for not listening? - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-15-2007, 04:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DS (2 1/2) is going through an ignoring phase. I'll say his name several times, then a bit more loudly/firmly, then I actually have to go over and turn him to face me before he'll pay attention or do what I asked. I know he hears me because I've seen him turn away or walk away when I talk to act like he doesn't hear me. We use timeouts occasionally, which I know not everyone here agrees with. Usually when he ignores me and I know he hears me, he gets a timeout, then afterwards he'll listen better. Daycare has been noticing the not listening/ignoring thing too. They use timeouts there too, which have the same result. So it seems the consequence of not being able to play for a few minutes works pretty well for DS.

What kind of natural consequences do you use for not listening?

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Old 08-15-2007, 04:40 PM
 
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Have you actually had his hearing tested?
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Old 08-15-2007, 04:43 PM
 
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I think your expectations are way out of line honestly.

I'm really disturbed to hear a timeout used for an under 3 yr old for not hopping fast enough. Wow. That really bothers me. Remember, at this age they have little impulse control.

-Angela
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Old 08-15-2007, 04:50 PM
 
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I've noticed a lot of Montessori classes start around this age. The child can become completely involved in his work when he is interested, to the point where he doesn't hear anything.

It's a good thing. I know it doesn't seem like it to you right now, but he is learning focus and is being interest driven, which fosters a love of learning.

The natural consequence for you, mom, is to work with him, not against him. You know that this is how he is right now, and you know what you need to do when you want his attention - go over to him, touch him (to announce your presence), say what you need to in about 5 words in a clear, polite voice(to work with his comprehension skills) and have him repeat it back (so that you know he was listening and the information is being processed).
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Old 08-15-2007, 04:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by LilyGrace View Post
I've noticed a lot of Montessori classes start around this age. The child can become completely involved in his work when he is interested, to the point where he doesn't hear anything.

It's a good thing. I know it doesn't seem like it to you right now, but he is learning focus and is being interest driven, which fosters a love of learning.

The natural consequence for you, mom, is to work with him, not against him. You know that this is how he is right now, and you know what you need to do when you want his attention - go over to him, touch him (to announce your presence), say what you need to in about 5 words in a clear, polite voice(to work with his comprehension skills) and have him repeat it back (so that you know he was listening and the information is being processed).
Excellent advice.

-Angela
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Old 08-15-2007, 04:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I can understand when he's involved in something he may not hear me. What I'm talking about is when he actively walks or turns away from me when I know he hears me, basically choosing to ignore me. He does NOT get a timeout when he's doing something interesting and I know he isn't paying attention to anything else.

He had his hearing tested at birth and it was normal. He responds to whispers and soft noises. So I know it's not a hearing problem.

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Old 08-15-2007, 04:59 PM
 
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I think your expectations are not appropriate.

-Angela
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Old 08-15-2007, 04:59 PM
 
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The natural consequence is for you to gently walk over, get down on his level and say it gently where he can see your face.
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Old 08-15-2007, 05:04 PM
 
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The natural consequence is for you to gently walk over, get down on his level and say it gently where he can see your face.


-Angela
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Old 08-15-2007, 05:14 PM
 
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You can't make a natural consequence happen. Either they happen or they don't. If it's something you do, it isn't a natural consequence, it's a punishment.

He's just 2. Toddlers don't listen. That's just the life of living with a toddler.
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Old 08-15-2007, 05:16 PM
 
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I can see where you are coming from because I thought I had a similiar problem around a year ago. Looking back I realize that my expectations were inappropriate. We stopped using time outs last March (I think), because they were escalating her bad behaviors. It was around that time that I started lurking on this forum; I felt so lost. Anyway, things have improved for us and she just turned 3. She hasn't had a time out in 5 months and listens more now. I agree that you'll want to walk over so that you can see his face and then talk to him. With that said we do talk to dd about how her choices to not do something have logical consequences. For instance, if she ignores me when I ask her to get dressed and continues to play, I will let her know that by choosing to play she may be choosing to not go to the playground because we don't have enough time for both. If she doesn't get her shoes on when I ask then I may have to put them on for her to save time. If she can't listen when we are in the store then she may need to ride in the cart for her safety. HTH
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Old 08-15-2007, 05:23 PM
 
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The natural consequence for not listening is that he didn't hear what you said.

And so you need to say it again in a way that he hears and understands.

It really sounds like you're wanting to USE the phrase natural consequence, but what you really mean punishment. Not uncommon on these boards. :
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Old 08-15-2007, 05:39 PM
 
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For me, this is normal 2-1/2 year old behavior (And 3-1/2 year old, for that matter.)

One thing that I learned from my Aunt who taught preschool for 20+ years was to clap my hands and go "1-2-3 eyes on me". It's not that they're ignoring you, it's that they're so focused on what they're doing. The clapping, 1-2-3 thing attracts they're attention because it's not your normal voice--but it's not yelling either.

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Old 08-15-2007, 07:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by minkajane View Post
I can understand when he's involved in something he may not hear me. What I'm talking about is when he actively walks or turns away from me when I know he hears me, basically choosing to ignore me. He does NOT get a timeout when he's doing something interesting and I know he isn't paying attention to anything else.
This is one thing I do for myself and it really helps.

Take a look at what you wrote, and see if you could put a positive spin on it. One of my favorite phrases is Even at their worst, they're at their best. Meaning, he's trying to do the right thing, in his own way. It's hard to remember when it feels like one is doing everything he can to intentionally tick me off, but it does help me calm down and address the situation in a better manner.

Think of it this way - you could say he's choosing to ignore you, or you could say he's trying to be independent. He's walking away from you, or he's choosing a different activity. Or you could forget that part entirely and look at each incident as something new - looks like he wanted to play with that puzzle. How can I make sure he listened to me and understood what I need?
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Old 08-15-2007, 07:53 PM
 
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Mamayes hit the nail on the head, the natural consequence is that he didn't hear what you said. If my kids are intentionally ignoring me when I am asking them to do something they will enjoy, I will not repeat myself over and over and over again. Just like with dh or any adult. If it is something that I want them to do such at that moment and they don't want to do, I usually wait a few minutes and try again.

I think that getting down on the floor on eye level and gently engaging him is a much more age appropriate response than a timeout. The timeout might be working now, but I don't think it is going to get the longterm result of building a good relationship so that he will really listen to what you say because he wants to...
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Old 08-15-2007, 08:14 PM
 
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DD1 (3.25) has been doing this for nearly a year. I used to get really mad. (DH stills does sometimes)

I think you chose the wrong words. You aren't looking for "natural consequences," you are looking for "logical consequences."

And I agree with mamabear&babybear. If DD chooses not to listen to my words and put her own shoes on, I will have to help her. This is a logical consequence of her choosing not to listen. And goodness knows, for a child that age, this is enough! Just losing the "privilege" of turning the TV on/off because she chose not listen when I asked her to is enough to make her crazy and it's enough to encourage her to choose to listen next time .

(Of course, I also draw a line between "she's choosing to ignore me" and "she didn't hear me because she is so involved in ___")

It's not a hearing problem. It's not a DC is too involved to hear problem. It's a choice. I feel that it is my responsiblity to help her make good choices. Listening to mom and dad and the DCP are good choices. If she doesn't make good choices, logical consequences should occur.
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Old 08-15-2007, 11:22 PM
 
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Well, I do know how annoying it is to be ignored by anybody, toddler or not. So I can empathize with the OP's wanting to *do* something about it, because it can get frustrating to deal with.

I know that my (almost) 3yo definitely picks and chooses which requests to reply to -- there's a big difference between "do you have to go potty" and "do you want a popsicle", for some reason.

I like the advice to touch the child, repeat the request, and ask to hear it back. I've tried that with DD, albeit with mixed results.

What I also sometimes do is simply say "Hey, can you hear me?" to get DD's attention. Once I have eye contact with her, I can usually get her to respond verbally.

Now, getting her to comply with the request is another story...
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Old 08-16-2007, 01:11 AM
 
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Originally Posted by chfriend View Post
The natural consequence is for you to gently walk over, get down on his level and say it gently where he can see your face.
I agree, and that is what I do with my 3yo DD who selectively 'not hears' me alot.

Honestly, its really frustrating and can be very irritating at times. But I try to look at it for what it really is and try not to make too big a deal out of it or give it more attention/energy than it deserves. I also remind DD alot to use her words with me- if she doesnt feel like talking, I get her to tell me "later, mummy." Its really an age thing.
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Old 08-16-2007, 01:17 PM
 
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I didn't even realize the whole not listening thing could be an "issue" until the other day. I was trying out a mother's helper and walked in on her trying to get dd to eat. She was calling her name over and over again then looked at me and said, "she doesn't listen." Of course she doesn't listen...she's two! I thought. I guess I've just gotten used to dd not listening and I expect it. I understand too that just because she does not appear to be engaged in something interesting, that does not necessarily mean that she is not. I think she's starting to daydream a little. Sometimes she will be nursing or just staring off into space, then she'll randomly turn to me and tell me something about a puppet, a cow, or her uncle working at a carwash. I don't pretend to know how a two-year old's mind works, but I can see that the idea of "focus" means something different from what a lot of adults might expect.
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Old 08-16-2007, 01:55 PM
 
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You can't USE natural consequences, they just happen. Thus, the natural. You're thinking of punishments for a totally age appropriate issue. If he's not paying attention, get down on his level and tell him again. Wastes much less time than a time-out and you're punishing something that is normal for his age. He's TWO.

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Old 08-16-2007, 03:02 PM
 
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shoot - I thought there would be some helpful suggestions for my non-listening kids who are 10 and 12, but OP, your child is still a baby. They really don't communicate through words very well. Physical touching and eye contact *are* their language.

This is not a natural consequence, but lately I've been telling my kids they get 3 free reminders or repeats, and then I start charging a small fee. I just look at it as a special service I provide, and for which they pay
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