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I need help getting my child to follow directions. I have to repeat myself many times and he still doesn't listen.


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Anonymous December 12, 2007


I have a problem with my 8-year-old. I have to consistently repeat myself for him to do what I ask of him, whether it's getting in the shower, picking up his clothes, cleaning his room, turning off the TV, getting ready in the morning for school or getting ready for bed.

I've tried a lot of approaches. I've sat him down, talked to him face to face and asked him if he would rather wait for me to yell at him to do what I ask him. He'll say he doesn't want me to yell. I've gone as far as listing out the order of things that I need him to accomplish while we are driving home. I tell him, "We are going to go inside and the first thing I need you to do is take a shower, then after dinner, I need you to get a book so we can read.", just so there are no surprises and that I'm not repeating myself a million times.

I've stopped yelling and just started talking in a lower voice. At times I just turn off the TV to get his eyes off of it and if it's time for a shower and he doesn't get up to do it, I've changed channels to news or something else to get his attention. Sometimes I turn off the TV, and I find him turning it back on as soon as I turn my back.

How do I work with him on this problem?

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qsxoxFL April 18, 2008


Definitely turn off the TV... that's the reward for getting everything done in a timely manner. The kids turned my routine instructions into a hip/hop jingle and we repeat it every day... ask them what my three favorite words are and they will tell you: Laundry, dishes, trash. At times I go into "psycho MOM" and sound like a drill sergeant --- thank you USMC!!! We also do motivational goals ie: You want to eat? take out the trash. Now we're almost into Attaboy Jar. Doing what you are expected to do, without being told - 1 Attaboy (use scrap paper). 10 Attaboys = 1 quarter. 1 AwShit wipes out 10 Attaboys or one quarter. They get the idea before you go broke... hopefully.... good luck!

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qsxoxFL April 18, 2008


One more thing.... Issue one instruction with "return to me".... kids can't handle a verbal list. If you have to make a check list but accomplish one at a time, then two at a time, no more than three at a time... frustration comes from not attaining expectations. Its frustrating for the kids too.

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Jewell17 August 28, 2008


When he goes to school take all his stuff out of his room but bed and dresser. Tell him when he starts to listen he will earn one thing back at a time. Even if you have to take all T.V. out of your house make him earn the least thing he likes first . When he see you are not going to put up with his behavior he will come around.
Another thing is have you had him tested through your school district speical services for any disablity? How well does he do in school? Make sure he don't have a learning problem. My son done the same thing and he has pervassive development disorder. Who I took to a neurologist and this was what i was told to do. It sounded curel but it worked.

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AllReading August 28, 2008


Your child may have a processing disorder that makes it difficult for him to recognize and understand that you have spoken to him, or that makes it difficult for him to respond in a timely fashion. My older son, who has Asperger's Syndrome, often would not hear me call his name, even repeatedly. I would be angry by the time he responded, and he would be puzzled, since he responded as soon as he recognized that he was being called. I have learned to walk where he is, put my hand on his shoulder, pause, and then say his name. It ends my frustration and his.

Consider an evaluation with a neuropsychologist or school psychologist if the problem persists.

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jbweikel December 30, 2008


Our 3 1/2 year old son has had a hard time with multiple task directions and has complete meltdowns at his preschool during noisy times of transition. It has been very disruptive at school and we finally had him assessed to make sure he didn't have aspbergers. It turns out that he most likely has a sensory disorder and an auditory processing disorder. I feel really badly for all the times I got angry with him because it seemed like he just wasn't listening. When it turns out he just isn't processing what I am saying. Anyway, your story might not be one of you son just tuning you out. I would talk to a therapist and see if it's a possibility that he has something similar. Good luck! You seem like a great parent who cares a lot and is willing to try anything it takes.

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Kay717 June 12, 2009


Making the chart list sounds like a great idea, now we will have to just remind them to look at the chart and follow threw. I have the same issue with my child, who is treated for adhd, ptsd. She also has dyslexic and our eye Dr. told us she herself is hearing dyslexic, so Im thinking this may also be part of the problem that we have to repeat our self.

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yvonnenye June 25, 2009


I'm going through that process with my almost 3 yr old right now. When we ask her to do some ting in a nice manner and if she still doesn't listen we would have to yell at least a few times in order for her to listen. Sometimes that doesn't even work. Whenever she is watching her favorite shows with her little 18 mos old brother and tries to play with him and they start getting loud I would also would threaten to change the channel when I know that she is not even watching it. Whenever I tell her that she'll say, "No, I'm watching it!" It gets real frustrating, but now I just change the channel without even tell her that I'm making that threat.
There are even times when I ask her to clean up the toys in the living room or playing outside she'll even tell me no or I don't want to. I would give her at least three warnings before I start to put her in time out. If she doesn't listen to her last warning, then I put her in time out.Sometimes you have to speak clearly with children in a way for them to understand the parent. I would enunciate for her to understand what I'm saying to her too. It seems to work so far.

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Kay717 June 27, 2009


yvonnenye,
If she is not 3 yet she may be more imature than most 3 year olds if she had older siblings to learn from that would be different. My 11 year old does the same thing with the tv and she plays the ds at the same time, some how my child has the ability to multie task visual. I found several new disorders online that my child has a few of each that makes it real hard for them if they have more than one disorder. My child is adopted and had seveir abuse so she has flash backs so that distracts her from hearing me and others. Give her some time to mature and be around older kids they learn best by older kids.

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Kay717 June 27, 2009


sounds like he is add. For the tv unplug it or disconnect the cable.



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