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The Case of the Selective Hearing

July 10, 2011

Tonight I’m sitting on the couch, eating a whole bunch of random crap (albeit, mostly healthy crap), wondering how in the world to get my daughter to listen to me.

SJ is 4 1/2. She’s really a great, sweet, relatively well behaved kid. We don’t get tantrums, no crying and begging for things when we go shopping, she (generally) doesn’t hit anyone, but when it comes to listening to what we tell her she has some sort of magic ‘off’ switch. Almost anything we tell her to do has to be repeated at least 3 times. Whether it’s putting her shoes on, buckling up before we leave in the car, going to the bathroom, or just ‘come here’. She just will not listen. Even if I’m just asking her what kind of juice she wants to drink!

Tonight we were at a friend’s house watching a movie and I told her at least 4 times that if she wouldn’t stay in one place we were leaving. She was climbing on the couch, coloring in the kitchen, laid on the bed for all of 15 seconds.. After her final warning (which I told her very clearly was her final warning) we told her it was time to go and she started crying because she didn’t want to leave. I know, she’s only four, but is it really too much to ask that she should be able to remember what I say for more than 10 seconds.

I just don’t know what to do with this kid some times. I get so frustrated! I had to tell her 4 times to put her nightie on, and 3 times to brush her teeth. Two of those times she was supposed to be brushing her teeth she went into her room and started playing with her toys… Immediately after I’d sent her to brush her teeth.

I know it’s not that big of a deal in most cases, and shouldn’t bother me so much, but it does. Especially when it comes to things like telling her to come to me when she’s playing outside. I get worried that she’ll be headed for or playing with something dangerous and when I tell her to come or put it down she’ll just ignore me.

It’s not her hearing, because if she’s not distracted I can whisper her name from across the room and she’ll look at me. I just have to come up with some way of getting her to listen when I talk. I’ve tried sitting down with her at a calm time and talking to her, but she just won’t listen long enough to answer me about anything. (She can make mud pies in the back yard for half an hour straight, but she can’t talk or listen to me for a solid 30 seconds..)

Evidently she told Hubby today that she loves Grammy 1,000 times better because she doesn’t yell at her… It gets hard to keep cool by the 3rd or 4th time I say something to her. I suppose I’ll try again tomorrow. Hopefully we can figure something out that will make life a little easier on all of us.

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