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How do I teach my spirited child to listen.

Here is a normal day for us..He wakes up and I have to automatically remind him that he shouldn't touch the fan. Then I tell him to not walk into the shower. Then we head down stairs. While I am cooking breakfast I have to tell him to stay away from the stove. At least twice. I tell him to sit in his seat while he eats but I have to tell remind him to plant his but at least three times b/4 breakfast is over. In the first hour of his mornings I put him in time out or verbally get on to him at least four times. He's four. How do I correct this behavior that has been going on since he was one. My other son doesn't act this way. His doctor says he doesn't have adhd..So what do I do to make my lil guy a good listener?


Asked by Darlinree at 4:06 PM on Aug. 19, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 7 (193 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (3)
  • "Spirited?" lol Good way of putting it! I second the advice about getting on his level. Place your hands on your child and guide him, not abusively, but sternly. I hate when I see children turning away from a lecturing parent. Disrespectful.
    I used to give my daughter incentives also at that age. I would draw a star on the dry earase board for good deeds. Ten stars and she got a surprise. Be weary of those squiggly little stars that may be drawn by your son while your back is turned. As she got older, the stars were not cutting it. I started drawing big fat red stars for her bad behavior. Three stars meant NO play dates or sleepovers.
    I also make my children repeat my instructions.
    Say what you mean and mean what you say. (Dr.Phil)

    Answer by 3gigglemonsters at 4:49 PM on Aug. 19, 2009

  • Sounds like he needs consequences and incentives. Natural consequences are your friend here. Let him feel a little pain, get bumped and jostled (of course, avoiding real dangers), and he'll learn a whole lot quicker than if you lovingly remind him every day. I can tell my son not to stand on his bike until I'm blue in the face, but if I let him fall (in a controlled way) so he gets scared, he learns real darn quick. Another option is to make your reminders very unpleasant for him in some way (be more stern and less friendly about it - get down on his level, hold his shoulder firmly, make eye contact, and state the rule loudly and sternly). Additionally, give him a positive for getting it right. If he can remember on his own, he gets an appropriate reward for being such a big boy, like a big boy "priviledge".

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:15 PM on Aug. 19, 2009

  • Thanks anon and 3 giggle. Those are all wonderful tips. I have a listening board. Every time he shows good listening skills he moves up the board...trouble is even though he claims he wants the prize he rarely makes it up the board. And well..sometimes I feel like I am too stern.

    3 giggle: I will def try the repeating instructions.

    Answer by Darlinree at 7:05 PM on Aug. 19, 2009