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When nobody listens
What do you do?

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#1 beabea

Posted 01 November 2012 - 11:55 PM

I nearly posted this in 3-5yo because DS is four and is driving me crazy with this. But I had to post it here because DH would be driving me just as crazy if he was at home as much as DS is! Clearly it's not just a 4yo problem at our house.

The problem is nobody listening to me. I ask DS to do something and he listens at his own convenience. He asks me questions and then asks them again in one minute because he didn't stick around to hear the answer. DH does the same, except his non-hearing of my requests is less targeted - he just doesn't listen pretty much all the time, whether I say, "Can you please change DD's nappy?" or "Shall we all have icecream?" (whereas DS will at least hear the second!)

So my question: how do you get people to listen to you?

With DH I have sarcastically taken to smsing him with all instructions, and then pointedly presenting him his phone. But this is not always practical. With DS the obvious answer is to gently take his face in my hands and turn it towards me and make sure he is looking at me and then demand that he repeats everything back to me afterwards, but a) this is not always practical and b) getting him to repeat things back is an instruction he will conveniently ignore even when I'm holding his face and c) as eluded to in b) he can still ignore me even when I'm holding his face and trying to make sure he looks at me, if he wants to. Basically it is just passive-aggressive bullsh*t and I am fed the **** up with it.

I am not sure how to deal with the not-listening-to-answers as FFS they asked the damned questions. If it's not important to me I will simply refuse to answer the question twice but then we have to go through the complaints over that, and sometimes it does affect me whether they know the answer.

I mean, I'll let DH off a little because he's basically zoning out from tiredness and he's not usually this bad. I don't know how to fix the tiredness. He is tired because he will spend ages putting the kids back to bed multiple times a night when he should really just give up and go sleep on the guest bed. It's a nice bed! I can't swap jobs with him because I don't wake up when the kids come in - I just keep sleeping. I don't see why he can't just... leave once, and then everyone sleeps soundly the rest of the night. But he won't agree with me, so he puts one or the other back to bed at 1am, 2am, 4am, 5am...

DS 4yo needs help with focus. He gets distracted easily by things that are interesting to him and he gets stuck on things that are interesting to him. And he doesn't transition well. I mean, I'd say he's probably (significantly) worse than average on the normal spectrum for these things in a 4yo. And maybe he's also a bit tired, being the end of the school year and he does wake up a couple of times a night.

I guess I'm feeling a little frustrated today and I just wondered what everyone else is doing.

#2 CallMeFeral

Posted 02 November 2012 - 12:35 AM

No help here, but it certainly sounds just like the day I've had!

#3 IShallWearMidnight

Posted 02 November 2012 - 01:30 AM

my toddler suffers from selective hearing too. We are still trying ways to deal with it

#4 DbdB

Posted 02 November 2012 - 01:49 AM

My mum could have written that post about me when I was little! There is a good chance that ds will grow out of it in time. Good luck!

#5 beabea

Posted 02 November 2012 - 02:23 AM

There is a good chance that ds will grow out of it in time.
Are you sure? Even with DH in the equation (genetically and environmentally)?  rolleyes.gif

Thanks everyone. I have calmed down a bit now, and I'm at work tomorrow, so I might be ready again by the weekend... not that I've lost hope of someone posting a magic answer (or at least a few good suggestions).

#6 kadoodle

Posted 03 November 2012 - 09:15 PM

I find blowing a whistle helps.

#7 babychacha

Posted 03 November 2012 - 09:32 PM

My DS is 5.5 and is exactly the same....exactly. I also do the same, either turn his face so he is looking at me or make sure he is focussed and then also ask him to repeat it back to me. Especially if I have already given him the answer and the still says why.....does my head in.

After seeing a specialist peadiatrican he is "at risk of ADHD" (they term it that way as apparently you can't truly diagnose in preschool children) and seems to exhibit most of the signs....according to the print out of information I was given.

He does have trouble focussing, its like he can't hear me but his hearing has been checked several times and its fine.

He currently goes to a school readiness class once a week which has four kids in total and I know he misses the teachers instructions most of the time and looks to the other children to see what they are doing.

My plan for now, is to keep helping/guiding him to focus.

He had a new swimming teacher and new class today....ie; he went up a level and is in a group of four and I watched from a distance. I know he tried to stay focussed but was the only kid who couldn't keep still and needed to constantly be doing something ie; splashing the water, checking out the pool equipment, looking all around and the list goes on.

He starts school next year.

I dont' have a magic answer....wish I did. If I need him to get dressed or tidy his toys away, I turn off the tv and then ask him to do it.

Have plans to google it.....someone must have been through this before and have more practical suggestions.....hopefully.

#8 DbdB

Posted 04 November 2012 - 02:06 AM

[quote name='beabea' date='02/11/2012, 12:23 AM' post='15043474']
Are you sure?

Ok, it may have taken many years for me to grow out of it....


Posted 04 November 2012 - 02:50 AM

My 4 year old is the same, as is my 2 year old. When they are particularly bad, I'll just burst into tears. I can't say it works in the long run, but it sure snaps my 2 out of it for about 10 minutes.

#10 beabea

Posted 04 November 2012 - 03:34 AM

I find blowing a whistle helps.
Oh my goodness I am so ready to try that. I mean, it worked for Captain Von Trapp...

...or should I just start to deliver my instructions in folk song, accompanied by a guitar?

After seeing a specialist peadiatrican he is "at risk of ADHD" (they term it that way as apparently you can't truly diagnose in preschool children) and seems to exhibit most of the signs....according to the print out of information I was given.

Yes, I've thought that once or twice when I hear about ADHD, but I really think he's more normal than anything. I mean, most 3-5yo's seem a little "ADH" to me (like most 1-3yo's seem a little "OC" to me - you know how you get to leave off the "D" until they fail to grow out of it like the other kids). I guess you have to keep keeping an eye on them to make sure they continue to develop along a normal curve. It would be simpler if these things were clearly yes/no.

He does have trouble focussing, its like he can't hear me but his hearing has been checked several times and its fine.

OMG, right? But then I sympathise as well because I know I'm prone to the same thing when I'm thinking or concentrating (that's without ADHD).

Ok, it may have taken many years for me to grow out of it....
But DH is in his mid-thirties now... that's an awfully long time with no end in sight original.gif

Okay so the update is that DS has come down with a cough. So although we do have this problem normally at some level, it was probably driving me especially crazy last week because it was especially bad. I have noticed that DS sometimes shows a profound lack of focus and willpower for several days before he starts up with some recognisable illness. Which means he should improve again once the illness is over, which is really good because he was absolutely atrocious today.

#11 hamiriver

Posted 21 December 2012 - 12:22 AM

I used to make excuses for my kids being tired.
Now, I just expect the same basic behaviour when they are and aren't tired as I was sick of making adjustments all the time for all of the three at one point.

When your son asks you a question, make sure that you ask him to stop and listen. Say someone like put your listening ears on etc.  make him look at you, short answers and then let him go.

It has worked for us well. We also stopped yelling instructions at people across the house , all that type of stuff. So if something has to be asked, found etc, we go right up to that person and ask .

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