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#1 of 21 Old 08-23-2008, 09:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Is it normal for a 5 yr old to be able to listen to instruction? Like for example: At a restaurant and he is getting up to go and look at things often. I tell him to sit down and he just goes anyways.

-At my parents house and he goes running into the driveway where there is something potentially dangerous because he wants to see someone out there. I tell him "FREEZE!" and "STOP!" and he just goes anyways.

Personally, I think it is normal, especially for boys, (And especially all the "go go go go go" however my dh AND my entire support system seem to be blaming me for his lack of listening. They are his caretakers when I am not around. dh, my parents, dh's parents. They are all very concerned about this.

Should I be too?

My real concern is that I will have no help with watching my ds when I need a break because everyone has written him off as a "bad kid who doesnt listen."

I think he will grow into "listening." And I think "well cool, he is a leader and not a follower."



My dad actually told me last night that if I dont "get him" to listen, he is going to end up stealing cars at 17. How ridiculous?

And sometimes I really really want a kid who listens. Like at bedtime. (Which I have a whole nother thread about. ) It is inconvenient, I'll give them that.
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#2 of 21 Old 08-23-2008, 09:59 AM
 
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My three year old is like this when he eats salicylates. I mean he absolutely does not listen to anything, does not follow any requests, does things like you mentioned... just does what he wants regardless of what I say. It's like I never said a thing. When he's free from them he does listen, he's a spirited boy, but co-operative.
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#3 of 21 Old 08-23-2008, 04:19 PM
 
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My 5yo is this way a lot (though not all) of the time and it is so difficult I am inclined to think it's not "normal" either. I don't expect obedience at all times, but the constant testing or just ignoring/not listening from someone who is rested, fed nutritious meals, and given a lot of attention is worrisome to me. I know it's a fine line, b/c a lot of people expect kids to listen to everything like robots, and that expectation gets me mad too. But I worry that we have issues, or a problem, or food allergies, or AP backfired, or something.

Anyway if it is "normal" then I would be happy, if it passes. It's just that my son seems like he'd rather not cooperate most of the time, and doesn't listen, or try to, or anything. And I just don't get it.
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#4 of 21 Old 08-23-2008, 04:24 PM
 
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I think its "normal" in that many 5 years do not respond to verbal instructions.

I don't, however, think they'll just grow into listening as they get older. I think, if anything, the habit of not responding to verbal instructions will probably continue if they keep getting practice. "Oh, mom's words don't mean anything."

When DD was younger and not responding to my safety requests (or other requests that were kinda important) I stopped using my voice to try to change her behavior and would go up to her, touch her arm, and then explain/ tell her what to do instead. If she continued to refuse to follow my request I was in a position to physically prompt her. I think if I had gotten into a pattern of calling out to her what she needs to stop and she did it anyway without further intervention, today she would simply not listen. No reason to. My words wouldn't mean anything. That would bother me a lot; that she gave no credibility to my words. I would feel disrespected and devalued.

As for developing leadership skills... well, I'm not sure there's a great deal of association between ignoring your mom and being a leader. I'm pretty sure listening well is a necessary leadership skill.

Of course he's not going to end up stealing cars at 17 just because he doesn't respond to directions right now. How ridiculous! Its one thing to trivialize mama's words - its something entirely different to be anti-social and engage in criminal behavior.
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#5 of 21 Old 08-23-2008, 04:30 PM
 
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Not sure if I am the odd ball here but I believe a 5 year old should be able to follow those simple instructions. I know thinking back on my days at that age they were cabable. DH brother had a 5 year old that would listen sometimes but when you look at how they would half discipline him I understood why he didn't take them seriously (ex. Don't jump on the couch, they say it 5 times he keeps doing it and then they just ignore it, repeat that attitude with different scenerios). So when they are around sometimes I don't want to deal with them because it is too much hassle.

When I had DS his brother family came(with their two sons 5 and 3) and they was jumping all on our stuff, on the heater, ect... while their parents was just sitting down and my mother was the one having to get up and stop them(and she had recently had a hysterectomy). NOT saying it is ALWAYS the parents fault but a 5 year old should be able to follow simple instructions. If you(you as in general) keep ignoring the behaving, he will keep ignoring your instructions, why would he grow into listening when he can do his own thing.
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#6 of 21 Old 08-23-2008, 04:38 PM
 
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There are times I have given up because I am EXHAUSTED with the behavior and other little ones and nothing seems to work. Not saying that's a way to go, but it happens with my oldest in places where I might feel safe to do so.

Anyway, I'm wondering if with the OP, the ignoring turns into testing and resistance when she tries to physically help/guide him to listen. That is what happens here a lot.
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#7 of 21 Old 08-24-2008, 01:01 AM
 
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Ohhhhh, I really feel for you. I could have posted that exact post:-)
I have one VERY well behaved daughter (8) and three younger sons.
We just got back from a trip with my parents and they were so horrified by the way DS 6 (just turned six a few days ago) and DS 3 (learned from big brother) talked to me, to them (sometimes), didn't listen much, ran around like crazy animals ALL the time, etc... They just couldn't understand how I could "permit" that behavior. I "must get control" they say.

I do get really frustrated and yell more than I want to. It is really hard. But, I do believe that they will learn to behave (by gentle guidance and good examples) and that they really are wonderful children. Of course they are. It is just hard for other people to see that sometimes. They are definitely MUCH more defiant around me than anyone else. Most other parents and teachers say that they are the best behaved, best listeners ever. I guess they feel safe letting loose around me or something. But, it is hard when family members make you think that you are not "making" them behave.

No real advice, just lots of
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#8 of 21 Old 08-24-2008, 01:28 AM
 
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What kind of converstions do you have with him on the topic of listening? I felt really frustrated that almost-4-yo dd doesn't "listen" til I asked her what she thinks listening is. She said "Being good... or nice?" Which to me says, "I have no real concept Mom..." So we work on the virtues involved in what we grown-folks term as listening:
  1. One 'mantra' I have been using with her since she was 18 months is eye contact. "The first part of listening is eye-contact"... that's looking in each other's eyes so we can see each other listening.
  2. I explain 'listening' as "Hearing what a parent or teacher, etc, is saying, knowing what they're saying and what it means, and doing it." Like if Nana says, "Put that down, please" you look at Nana, so she's knows you heard her, and then put it down, because when you look at her, you can see she what she wants, and you know how to listen.
  3. Part of listening, a BIG part, is Cooperation. I define this with dd as "Working together to make things happen easily, quickly and/or safely" When I ask you to hold hands in the parking lot, you make it safe for both of us when you cooperate.
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#9 of 21 Old 08-24-2008, 10:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I really really think the running around/animal behavior is instinctual in males. Men are born for action. When they get mad, they show it in physical ways.

I really think it is biological.

We have just tried to turn everyone into gerbils who sit at their desks nicely and do what they are told.

I often wonder if modern conveniences have caused ADD/ADHD because traditionally, boys would have been building houses/plowing fields/etc.

Dunno, its a theory. LOL.

PP whos brothers kids were running all over your house-What did you want to see? (Your opinion is shared by all of my family members so I am honestly curious.)

In my experience, kids = little crazy animals.

Maybe I need to move to the woods.
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#10 of 21 Old 08-24-2008, 06:35 PM
 
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[QUOTE=BellinghamCrunchie;12017898] I don't, however, think they'll just grow into listening as they get older. I think, if anything, the habit of not responding to verbal instructions will probably continue if they keep getting practice. "Oh, mom's words don't mean anything."

When DD was younger and not responding to my safety requests (or other requests that were kinda important) I stopped using my voice to try to change her behavior and would go up to her, touch her arm, and then explain/ tell her what to do instead. If she continued to refuse to follow my request I was in a position to physically prompt her. I think if I had gotten into a pattern of calling out to her what she needs to stop and she did it anyway without further intervention, today she would simply not listen. No reason to. My words wouldn't mean anything. That would bother me a lot; that she gave no credibility to my words. I would feel disrespected and devalued. QUOTE]


I totally agree with this!! I have a 4yo that I have actually taken him to an ENT to have his hearing tested! seriously, I thought there was something wrong with his ears 'cause he was consistently not listening to me and saying "huh" all the time. Well, after I found out that his ears are actually working, I changed the way I was talking to him, quite a bit like the quote says. I talk to him face to face and make sure he is looking at me in the eyes so that I know he has heard and understood me. He seems to be doing better, though we still have a moments of not listening.

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#11 of 21 Old 08-24-2008, 08:17 PM
 
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My 6 year old is the same way. It drives me batty and I know he's getting in the habit of not listening to me. But I don't know how to "make" him listen. He listens to dh perfectly but not me. He sometimes listens to my mom but not always.

I don't know what to do at this point.
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#12 of 21 Old 08-25-2008, 12:09 AM
 
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I also could write this post for my ds, age 5 as well. OP, you're not alone.
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#13 of 21 Old 08-25-2008, 12:34 AM
 
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A good piece of advice that I once heard was for every 5 requests you make at 1 ft away- you can make 1 at 5 ft away. For every 5 at 5 ft you can make 1 at 10 ft and so on. Basically- go right to your child calmly and state what you need them to do. You only get about 1- 20 ft away response every 3 days.
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#14 of 21 Old 08-25-2008, 01:02 AM
 
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I think it's probably normal but shouldn't be accepted. My dd is 5 and she will test me if I've asked her to do something but she is always expected to obey. I wouldn't let her get away with not listening at her age.

Nicole, mom of 3. Mitochondrial Disease.: Epilepsy
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#15 of 21 Old 08-25-2008, 02:16 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BellinghamCrunchie View Post
When DD was younger and not responding to my safety requests (or other requests that were kinda important) I stopped using my voice to try to change her behavior and would go up to her, touch her arm, and then explain/ tell her what to do instead. If she continued to refuse to follow my request I was in a position to physically prompt her. I think if I had gotten into a pattern of calling out to her what she needs to stop and she did it anyway without further intervention, today she would simply not listen. No reason to. My words wouldn't mean anything. That would bother me a lot; that she gave no credibility to my words. I would feel disrespected and devalued..
DS is only 2 but I do what this poster is talking about. I don't let my requests go un-responded to IYKWIM. I always make sure there is follow through so he doesn't really have the option to just ignore me. It's not like a constant thing or anything. There are just a few things that I demand cooperation on (mostly safety). I'm as gentle and patient as I can be but he doesn't get to just ignore me. I don't ignore him. DH and I don't ignore each other,etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BellinghamCrunchie View Post
I'm pretty sure listening well is a necessary leadership skill.
A big yes that that! You cannot lead well without listening well.

DS (6.06), DD (10.08), DD (05.11).

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#16 of 21 Old 09-11-2008, 01:29 AM
 
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I think we all have the same problem. Sometimes, when I talk to DS, I feel like talking to the wall. I have to repeat something few times until I get a respond. Boys are that way!!! I didn't know this until I read the book
"The wonder of boys".

There is a book you may heard of it "How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk"
http://www.amazon.com/How-Talk-Kids-...1103270&sr=8-1

I have read it once a year ago; I am planning to read it again. It gives you very good examples of parent and child scenarios.
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#17 of 21 Old 09-11-2008, 01:41 AM
 
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Well, I'm a sociologist, so I don't buy your theory that males are somehow less able to listen. I actually would have if I hadn't had child #3, though, because my middle son is a lot like yours. He's only three, but he gets on a train of thought, or starts an action, and it is very, very difficult for him to stop or switch gears. So if he had already jumped up to run off, he might hear me but not be able to stop.

My dd, however, who is 5, does not act like this. She listens quite well, and while she sometimes decides not to do what I've told her, she will usually argue with me first.

Does your son get enough rest? Have you pointed out to him that when Grandpa asks him to do something while at Grandpa's house, it's important that he does it?

Mommy to kids

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#18 of 21 Old 09-11-2008, 05:10 AM
 
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Often when my just-days-away-from-5 yr old DD tunes me out it's because I'm being too bossy and annoying in general, so I think I come across as a wa-wa speaking adult ala Charlie Brown. It's frustrating, but when I communicate with less nagging and lecturing on a daily basis, she is more cooperative when I do make requests. Also, with safety stuff, often I think they don't actually believe us or trust us if we've given them too many fear based exagerations or worst case scenarios that didn't come true rather than teaching them to use their heads. But it's also normal for the age, they have lots on their mind, they have so many new abilities, that they just want to go for it! Keep in mind that we keep a tighter leash on our 5 year olds than ever before, when I was 5 most of us were able to wander the streets alone and stuff, now in today's world especially in urban areas 5 year olds don't have as many opportunities to be free to make their own real world choices, maybe they need some more of those opportunities.
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#19 of 21 Old 09-11-2008, 10:45 AM
 
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I don't think it's a male/female thing but it may be a personality based thing - kind of in the realm of multi-tasking.

I agree with a pp that there are ways to address it with your son. If you're within reach, like at a restaurant, the techniques that worked for me in a special ed class were:

- touch the child's arm or shoulder
- get down at eye level and make eye contact
- give the instruction (with reason, if your son is like mine and needs the reason) "in restaurants, we sit at the table. People are walking around with hot food, so we have to stay seated."
- have the child repeat the instruction - "In restaurants, what do we do?"

For the running away one, this is one where I think practice helps. Playing games like red light green light, mother-may-I, Simon Says, etc. Also, sometimes a "code word" that you don't use in other contexts can help - like if you say stop all day (stop hitting your... stop throwing your...) you could use "halt"

But I do think it will pass in time, too. There's no reason to assume he will be stealing cars at 17.

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#20 of 21 Old 09-11-2008, 01:15 PM
 
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My 3 yo frequently "cannot" hear us. I suspect with her it's sensory. DH does the same thing. If they're focused on something else, or overstimulated in some way, that aspect of their ability to pay attention just turns off.
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#21 of 21 Old 09-11-2008, 03:49 PM
 
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It is probably normal. I have found that sometimes I repeat myself way to often before expecting dd to listen and she in turn waits until I sound frustrated before listening. I try to not repeat myself so much and that works usually, but it is hard sometimes because I get busy with other distractions.
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