How to improve listening skills?

Discussion in 'Childhood and Beyond (4+)' started by melissao, Apr 3, 2009.

  1. melissao

    melissao Well-Known Member

    Andrew will be 5 in October. He really has trouble listening and I'm trying to think of some ways to encourage better listening from him. I feel like I have to ask him to do everything 10 times! He'll ignore me and just keep doing whatever he is doing or move onto what he wants to do instead of what I'm asking him to do. I was thinking about making a sticker chart and asking his preschool teacher to tell me when he does a good job listening and following the rules at school. Has anyone done anything like this? I would love some suggestions! Thanks :)
     
  2. sullivanre

    sullivanre Well-Known Member

    Melissa, is it a problem with listening, comprehending, and/or obeying? With my step son, he often doesn't comprehend or pay attention. One trick I use is to have him repeat back to me what I said, but that obviously won't help much if a child's just deliberately ignoring you. It works well when the child doesn't pay attention or understand what you are saying.
     
  3. melissao

    melissao Well-Known Member

    I do think he hears me, but he acts like he is in his own world and just goes on with whatever he is doing. It's really frustrating! Getting out the door to go anywhere in the morning takes forever! I'll ask him to get his shoes, jacket and backpack and I spend 15 minutes getting him to do those 3 things. Time outs don't seem to affect the behavior (I'll count to 5 and ask him to put his shoes on, etc. before time out), so I'm thinking I need some kind of positive reinforcement to encourage his to listen. I'm just not sure how to approach it!
     
  4. sharongl

    sharongl Well-Known Member

    Have you tried giving him a warning. Like, "in 10 min. you will have to get your shoes on so we can go", then issue the warning again in 5 min, then say, "time to get your shoes on". It may not be that he isn't listening, although I would check that first, but that he is having trouble transitioning. Also, the behavior you are describing isn't uncommon for this age. If you haven't tried giving warnings, I would start there.
     
  5. twoplustwo

    twoplustwo Well-Known Member

    what, di dy ou say something....?

    No really that is my ds Ryan. He got worse when he went to kinder I think. His class has lotso f really poorly behaved kids so it is very distracting. He's been with the same kids for 3 years now and the kids have not gotten much better but I am seeing improvements with him.

    At 5 y/o I know my kids would not have respnded to a sticker chart. they've never been into stickers so much. Our school s do have behavior plans but those are only for the most porly behaved kids. TBH what your describing sounds pretty normal to me.
     
  6. Julie L

    Julie L Well-Known Member

    DH gets all three kids off to school in the morning. Once breakfast is done, he sets the timer on the oven and they know they have that much time to get dressed and meet him in the bathroom to brush their teeth. If they do not beat the timer, the lose a priviledge (toy, video games, etc.) He's been doing this since I went back to work when Cassie and Ethan were 3. It's so ingrained now that when he starts setting the timer they all take off for their rooms to get dressed.

    When C & E were in preschool, I had a picture list on the door to the garage to help remind them of everything they needed for school. Their job was to remind daddy of everything they needed to take so he could double check them.
     
  7. CCJN

    CCJN Well-Known Member

    When I saw your thread title my first reaction was :rotflmbo:

    I think at Andrew's age it is called "selective listening" If you said "Andrew go in the kitchen and get your shoes on" he probably would keep doing what he was doing, but if you said "Andrew go in the kitchen and get the new toy I got you on the kitchen table" he may get right up and go. I think like PP's have said pretty common for that age. I do a couple of the ideas mentioned above with boys. With Jacob I will frequently do the "repeat back to me what I just said/asked" to be sure he heard me. I also do what Sharon suggested with the time warnings. I call my van the "mommy bus" because we ride in that to babysitters in a.m. before going to school so they will get the warning. "Time to get your coats on because the mommy bus is leaving in ____ minutes" For my pokey guy Nathan I will sometimes make it a contest like I will wait to get dressed myself then I will say "ok you get a head start getting dressed and I will race you and I bet this old lady still beats you" (they find it humorous if I call my self an old lady) I'll add "you don't want to get beat by an old lady" this makes them get dressed in no time flat :)
     
  8. ehm

    ehm Banned

    Is he into time or clocks at all? We have a set thing that breakfast is at 7:45, get dressed at 8:00, off to the bus stop at 8:15 (just an example of a school morning). All I have to say now is "watch the time" if they are not moving along.

    I think I would probably address him by name and ask that he respond so you know he is listening, then give him whatever instructions you have. In other words, do not continue with what you are asking him to do until he has acknowledged that you are speaking to him. Also, I have found that going to the child and speaking to them is much more effective than anything else (I found that I would ask them to do things as I was walking by the room they were in or I would be getting things ready in the kitchen and they would be in the living room so I would yell into them, not effective for us, going to them really only took a second more and was worth it in order to ensure they were listening).
     
  9. rissakaye

    rissakaye Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Both of mine are pretty good about being able to get out the door and stuff like that. But occasionally Timothy develops a case of selective listening. What tends to help break that is that when I need something, I go over and stop whatever he's doing. Then I get down to his level, hold his hands and make him look me in the face and calmly tell him what I need him to do. Then he has to repeat it back to me. I've found that since we've already stopped what he is doing, he'll go immeadiately to do what I need. And after being interrupted for a couple of days, he's more than willing to start listening again.

    We also do have the Melissa and Doug Chore Chart. It is magnetic. There are different magnets of things they can do and different smiley faces they can pick. Mine are responsible for brushing their teeth, making their beds and changing their clothes every morning without being nagged. They do respond well to the chart. Since the chart is publicly displayed in the kitchen, it means a lot that daddy or grandma can see at a glance how they've been acting.

    Marissa
     
  10. CCJN

    CCJN Well-Known Member

    QUOTE(rissakaye @ Apr 4 2009, 11:17 AM) [snapback]1258863[/snapback]
    We also do have the Melissa and Doug Chore Chart. It is magnetic. There are different magnets of things they can do and different smiley faces they can pick. Mine are responsible for brushing their teeth, making their beds and changing their clothes every morning without being nagged. They do respond well to the chart. Since the chart is publicly displayed in the kitchen, it means a lot that daddy or grandma can see at a glance how they've been acting.


    Melissa I have one of these we don't use if this sounds like something you may want to try let me know I can ship it to you :)
     
  11. melissao

    melissao Well-Known Member

    I do give them 15 and 10 minute time warnings on school mornings. Maybe I'll have to try setting the oven alarm. I'll also have to try the repeating my instructions back to me. We have not done that yet.

    QUOTE(rissakaye @ Apr 4 2009, 11:17 AM) [snapback]1258863[/snapback]
    We also do have the Melissa and Doug Chore Chart. It is magnetic. There are different magnets of things they can do and different smiley faces they can pick. Mine are responsible for brushing their teeth, making their beds and changing their clothes every morning without being nagged. They do respond well to the chart. Since the chart is publicly displayed in the kitchen, it means a lot that daddy or grandma can see at a glance how they've been acting.

    Marissa


    That is kind of what I was thinking of in the way of a sticker chart. I guess I was thinking that I'd set a number of days that he listened and completed his tasks to get ready/follow directions and then he would earn some sort of reward. Do you have a reward of any sort Marissa? Andrew loves stickers, so that's why I was thinking of that. Anything with superheros!




    QUOTE(CCJN @ Apr 4 2009, 01:56 PM) [snapback]1258982[/snapback]
    Melissa I have one of these we don't use if this sounds like something you may want to try let me know I can ship it to you :)


    That would be great Michelle. Thank you :) Does it accomodate multiple children? I could pay you for the shipping!
     
  12. rissakaye

    rissakaye Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    http://www.amazon.com/Melissa-Doug-Deluxe-...9610&sr=8-1

    That's a link to exactly what we have.

    No, we don't do any great reward or anything. They get to pick their smiley faces and tell daddy and grandma all about it and we go on with life. There are also some attitude ones, like stop teasing, that I pull out when teasing gets bad. Those we put the smiley's up for the week and if they won't stop teasing when asked, they have to go take down their smiley's. I put an "S" or a "T" with a washable marker by the lines for them. I also used a Sharpie and expanded the chart to the bottom section so we could have more room. I just have a ziploc with the smileys in it that they dig through. If nothing else works, perhaps Andrew will be like Timothy and take great joy in earning smileys, so that he can't try and pick all the pink and purple ones just so his sister will fuss.

    If Andrew loves stickers so much, maybe if he gets all his smiley's for getting ready for one week, he gets to go to the store and pick out a pack of superhero stickers that are just for him.

    Marissa
     
  13. KYsweetheart

    KYsweetheart Well-Known Member

    QUOTE(ehm @ Apr 4 2009, 08:15 AM) [snapback]1258771[/snapback]
    Is he into time or clocks at all? We have a set thing that breakfast is at 7:45, get dressed at 8:00, off to the bus stop at 8:15 (just an example of a school morning). All I have to say now is "watch the time" if they are not moving along.


    That is what we do on school mornings as well. They know to look at the clock and they know to be ready and watching for the bus by 8 AM.
     
  14. sharon_with_j_and_n

    sharon_with_j_and_n Well-Known Member

    I think the sticker chart will help and I have another idea for you. We developed a "going out the door" routine and a "coming in the door " routine. In the same order each time we leave or arrive the girls have set tasks that they know are their responsibility (eg. put boots/shoes on boot rack, hang up coats on hook in bedroom/put away backpacks etc). This worked wonders and now they do these things automatically (although mine are a little older ;). When I say "out the door", they know we're leaving within minutes. When they come in and haven't done one of their tasks, I just say "did you forget something?" and they do it automatically. If some of the situations where Andrew is having difficulty listening can become a series of tasks, that can eventually become routine and automatic, it may be even easier to implement a sticker or reward system around it. Our school mornings aren't too rushed (up at 7am-out the door by 8:30am), but there are certain "cues" I know which sort of let the girls know where they should be in their routine. The school bus for the Junior High school comes down the street at 8:15 and if they haven't brushed their teeth by then, they always rush to the bathroom. So maybe even shouting out "cues" so where he should be in the routine might help as well.

    Good luck!!!
     
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