What can I do to get 5 year old to focus and listen? Help!
I could use your help brainstorming ideas on how to get my daughter to listen. Her listening skills are decent at home. The problem we are having is our 5 year old daughter has a hard time listening at ballet lessons, gymnastics, montessori school (not yet in kindergarten), and at swim lessons.
We pulled her out of swim lessons after she was frequently put into time outs for not listening to her teacher. We told her she could not take swim lessons until she could show mommy and daddy that she can listen to her teacher.
At school, my daughter's main problem with listening is that she does not want to sit during circle time. She attends school from 8:30-3:30 and they have 4 circle times throughout the day, so I can understand that she might get tired of circle time, but she just will not sit and listen to her teachers. It is better when a teacher sits next to her, but for the most part she gets up and wanders around the room at circle time. Her teachers are pretty good about getting her back to circle, but they have other kids to watch too. I will say she is not the only one who doesn't listen during circle time, but she is starting kindergarten next year and I need her to become a better listener.
I help out at her school by volunteering in the morning and during lunch. What I see is a child who prefers to listen only when its abotu something she wants to do. The biggest trouble I have is getting dd to line up nicely for recess and walk quietly in the hall. =/
We disenrolled her from gymnastics for a few months when she was having trouble listening and we recently started lessons again. Some days are good and others are not so good. I can view her class from a viewing balcony and I watch her for listening. At the end of gymnastics the kids are given stamps as a reward for good listening. It might be a good idea if the gymnastics teachers didn't always give stamps to everyone, whether they listened or not. I will praise my daughter if she was a good listener and I will talk to her after class if she was not a good listener. Usually I will say something like, "I saw that you were not listening to your teacher today..." and dd basically has this attitude where she might say sorry for not listening, but I don't know that she really is.
Dd's ballet lessons are probably the worst when it comes to dd's listening. I picked dd up from ballet class today and her teacher pulled me aside and said today dd had a hard time listening. Time outs are not working at ballet. Basically, my dd becomes VERY emotional when she learns she will have a time out. She will wine or cry and it will distract the entire class. Today, dd's ballet teacher and I were brainstorming ideas on what might work with dd. Normally, the ballet teacher hands out stickers at the end of class to reward the kids, but today the teacher did something special and bought crowns for the girls. DD didn't get one because she didn't listen. Maybe that will help with listening next week, but .... who knows. I said I could sit in the studio (normally parents are not allowed in the studio) and take her out of class if she doesn't listen. I also mentioned how we count "1.....2.....3...ok time out" at home. Her ballet teacher basically said it wasn't working with my dd. My dd doesn't learn that she is distracting the class or that she needs to listen.
I've had dd evaluated for hearing and her hearing is fine. I also recently had her evaluated by a physical therapist, speech therapist, behavioral specialist, and a psychologist as a part of our community's child find program. I mentioned my concerns about her listening skills, brought up.. "Does she have ADD or ADHD?" and other concerns. The entire group of specialists said they had no concerns about her, especially because she is smart and her behavior isn't getting in teh way of learning at school. I also spoke with dd's doctor and her doctor says that she is perfectly healthy, both mentally and physically.
Here I am with a strong willed child and I need ideas on how to get her to focus and listen. Obviously, taking her out of her extracurriculars didn't work. Sticker and stamp rewards don't seem to be working. Time outs during ballet lessons or sitting in the "Think It Out Chair" at school are not working. I'm sort of at a loss.
In the past, sticker rewards worked great! We still use a sticker reward chart to get dd to keep her art area clean at home. Otherwise, at home time outs still work very well! or dd will lose a priviledge like dessert or a movie (ect).
What can I do about her behavior outside of the home?
THANK you for reading all of this and replying =)