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Advice for Moms Advice for Moms

My 4 year old won't listen

Posted by on Aug. 13, 2013 at 11:56 AM
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Lately my 4 year old won't listen to either of us (mom or dad)... actually, he's never been skilled in the listening department, but now that he's 4 I'm expecting some improvement. I ask him to put on his shoes in the morning and it seems it can't hear me, so I touch his arm and ask again, then he gets side-tracked by something, like a toy or he decides to put on his jacket first. Then after he finished with that, he's forgotten all about putting his shoes on. So I ask him in a, not yelling, but a raised voice,  "can you hear me, what did I ask you to do?" ... he will then mumble, "put on my shoes." It seems I have to ask him again and again and again and again to do something. I don't believe he's hard of hearing. And here's the mystery, when I ask him to do something and  leave him alone he's just seems to do it.... but it's hit and miss. I'm also trying to get him to respond when I ask him a question, for example.... Me - Can you please turn off the TV? Him - Yes mom... or dad. This is also important when I'm trying to get a important message across... i.e. touching something dangerous or rough play. I just need him to say, yes mom. Just so I know he hears me and understands. I even say to him, "this is where you say, ok mom" after asking him a question. Mom's can you tell me if this is the norm for a four year old... and if not, do you have any suggestions. thx a bunch!

by on Aug. 13, 2013 at 11:56 AM
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Replies (1-7):
Saharra
by Bronze Member on Aug. 13, 2013 at 12:32 PM
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Wow, this sounds so much like my 4yr old little guy! I wonder if it is an age thing from the '09 year?!? :) whatever you choose to do, just be consistant. He will get it.
2mother
by on Aug. 13, 2013 at 12:32 PM
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 It's normal for a 4 year old to be stubborn. sticking out tongueBut if you think he will get hurt by not listening to you, then sit down and talk with him. Try either taking him to the toy store once a month if he listens to you, or try taking a toy away every time he doesn't listen to you. Hope that helps!

blowing kissesJENNIFER

Caera
by on Aug. 13, 2013 at 1:06 PM
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It's normal. He's being a four-year-old.

Avi2111
by New Member on Aug. 13, 2013 at 1:10 PM
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Yes this is normal for a 4 years old. I have a 4 1/2 years old girl and she is more than a handful. I say just make sure he knows that you're the boss and he isn't disrespectful because this small issue can turn into something huge.
SamMom912
by Silver Member on Aug. 13, 2013 at 1:23 PM
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Im one for thinking outside the box.. If you dont think there is anything wrong with his hearing.. do you suspect that he may have attentional issues? Could it be that his focus is simply elsewhere and sometimes he can focus on what youre asking, and other times he cant cause there are other things that are occupying his mind. Remember, men are focusers by nature, women are multi taskers... he may just not have "room" in his head for your request... but touching him (maybe gently on his arm), breaking his focus (on whatever it is he is thinking or focusing on), asking him to focus on you (Hey Buddy, could you please go and put your shoes on now?) and your request nicely-- will get you everywhere...

I disagree respectfully with Avi above. I think our children KNOW we are the boss.. there is no need to "enforce or bully or such archaic parenting"
Have you asked him why he doesnt do what you ask?  Next time he does it-- ask him.. He's 4.. "He bud, I noticed I asked you to put on your shoes and you put on your coat.. whats up?" See if he tells you he forgets.. or some other answer... see what his response is.

Our children want to please us. They know we are in charge. They want to be treated lovingly and with care, concern and respect.. not bossed around. No need to yell... Matter of fact.. I IGNORE people who yell at me all the time.. I think its disrespectful to me as a person. I MUCH prefer to be asked nicely to do things..and when my son doesnt acknowledge my first request, I go, touch his arm and I whisper.. "hey mister, we are heading out and youll need your shoes, can you please go put them on?" and ask my son nicely to do things as well. When we are treated with respect and concern we act accordingly.

Im doubting that your son is doing anything to piss you off.. (who on earth wants to piss people off on purpose? OK, maybe some crazy moms here on CM) but inherently, our children want to do their best. If he isnt doing what he is asked, something is getting in his way. Only he knows the answer... ask him.

FlyingMommy747
by Silver Member on Aug. 13, 2013 at 1:36 PM
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This sounds like my 4 1/2 year old DD.  But she is getting better by giving her consequences for not listening, and some other tricks.

1. Getting ready for bed, we "race" who can get ready first.

2. Keeping her room clean.  New rule is anything not put away goes to charity.

3. Getting ready to leave the house, if she is not ready we tell her we will leave without her or if it is somewhere she wants to go we tell her we won't go because she is not ready.

4. Stop running in the house, we are still working on that one.

ouchkabibble
by on Aug. 13, 2013 at 1:55 PM
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Thank you all for your replies and great suggestions. It's so nice knowing I'm not, or my son is not, the only one who is going through this "phase".... and I'm sure/positive there are many, many more interesting and annoying phases to come. SamMom I really liked what you had to say about "maybe not having room for my request". I do have to occasionaly remind myself, he's four.... he's exploring and learning about the world and I'm sure he will understand the concept of paying attention to tasks, and responding when being asked a question, soon enough. Happy mothering CafeMom's and thanks again!

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