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My four year old daughter never listens to me!

Everytime that I start talking to her about something that she has done or not to act a certain way she completely zones out and does not listen to me. She stares at me and just says yes yes to everything that I say but when I ask her to repeat what I just said she says she doesn't know she doesn't remember. Its so bad that she will get in trouble for not listening and say sorry and then when I start talking again and ask her to tell me what I said she still says she doesn't know because she wasn't listening. Is this normal behaviour??

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Asked by Nik24561 at 1:51 AM on May. 8, 2013 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 1 (2 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • My 4 year old nephew is the same, my 6 yr old was the same at 4, I think this is pretty normal.

    Answer by cassie_kellison at 1:57 AM on May. 8, 2013

  • I have a five-year-old, and sometimes I think I must speak a different language than she does. One trick I've found that helped is to keep things short and sweet. Little kids zone out if there are too many words, especially rapid fire words or emotional ones.

    Answer by Ballad at 2:05 AM on May. 8, 2013

  • It just feels like im talking to a brick wall. It does seem to happen only when I am confronting her about something.

    Comment by Nik24561 (original poster) at 2:08 AM on May. 8, 2013

  • When my 6 year old was 4 she did the same thing. Occasionally she still does it. My dd who is 4 now is not as bad about it, but she still does it some.

    Answer by MooNFaeRie30 at 5:39 AM on May. 8, 2013

  • I'm relieved to see others experiencing the same as me! I've learned to keep it very short and to the point with a 4 year old(I'm on my 4th four year old, btw). It also helps to keep one's frustration in check, even if you want to tear your own hair out and scream. lol She'll grow out of it, I promise!

    Answer by lovingmy4babies at 8:20 AM on May. 8, 2013

  • Perhaps you are not doing what it takes to get her attention. I don't think you can just write this off as being typical behavior of a 4-year old. I have a grandson who will be 5 next month, and he is an excellent listener because he has been trained to listen. I also don't think it's something that you can expect her to just outgrow so you might want to explore some other avenues of approach to this problem. I also have a grandson who is about to turn 2 and one who will be 3 in August--both of whom are excellent listeners. I have a 3-year old granddaughter who has not been trained to listen, and she is much more difficult to be around than the boys who have been trained to listen. Children aren't born knowing how to pay attention even to their parents; they have to be taught it and you can't just talk them into it--unfortunately.

    Answer by NannyB. at 9:29 AM on May. 8, 2013

  • You need to tell her to look you in the eyes when you talk, make sure there are no distractions when you do, then ask her if she knows what you said....

    Answer by older at 9:29 AM on May. 8, 2013

  • agree with older but keep it short and to the point. If she was running simply say "No running in the house" & have her repeat.

    Don't go into "you shouldn't run in the house because you could fall into something and break it or hurt someone and I can't hear when I'm talking on the phone because all I'm hearing is your foot stomps thru the ceiling as you're running across the room over my head and I've told you a million times not to run in the house and you should know better and you should be more like your sibling who doesn't run in the house and look at me when I'm talking to you and I don't want to tell you anymore to stop running in the house...............and she' zoned out.

    Answer by baconbits at 11:11 AM on May. 8, 2013

  • I think it reflects the confrontational aspect of the situation.
    Think of it this way: it's something she doesn't want to hear, or something that is hard (emotionally) to hear.
    That's why it seems to happen only when you're confronting her about something.
    Maybe reflect on your typical patterns of communication (from her perspective) & guess at what feelings might be aroused in her. (Think in terms of shame, hopelessness, frustration, alienation, anxiety, fear, dread, anger.)
    I think the way we talk to children (to people, in general) influences their feelings & impacts how open they are, or how "well" they hear.
    Someone who feels psyched out or feels like a situation is hopeless can go into "survival mode" & just get through it.
    Try adjusting your communication in order to address the reasons you suspect, even if you feel there's no "cause" for her to feel that (fear, intimidation, shame, etc.) in response to the stimulus.

    Answer by girlwithC at 11:35 AM on May. 8, 2013

  • How much are you talking? I shorten my point into just a few words, and then make him repeat it. It usually works. 4 year old don't have much of an attention span, they will not pay attention to a lecture.

    Answer by maecntpntz219 at 12:38 PM on May. 8, 2013

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