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A little advice for a mind wanderfing 4 year old

(7 Posts)
themightyskim Tue 20-Sep-11 23:21:32

My step daughter has the concentration span of a gnat, she takes over an hour to eat a simple meal because she cant sit still and be quiet, if shes naughty you cant tell her off shes too busy singing and talking and messing, she talks over people all the time and its getting really difficult to manage

She gets shouted at within reason, she always has reasons explained to her, we have a naughty step that we use from time to time but nothing, and I mean nothing seems to get through to her - think Im most frustrated with the fact that we dont seem to be able to communicate with her that she is being naughty - any ideas for things we can try?

Please dont suggest smaking, while im not averse to the idea she isnt my child and I dont think it appropriate for me to discipline her in this way

Homelybird Tue 20-Sep-11 23:50:34

I have a 3 year old much the same. I'm in no position to advice as she us my first child however I would say what works well for us, is telling her how good she is being when she is doing really normal things.

When we see children out who are misbehaving she always points them out and says mummy I'm not naughty and I say no your a good girl and she seems to puff her chest out and seems proud to be good and then acts that way (although many times she is-that naughty child blush).

As I say I'm in no position to advice but keep praising the positive. I find if I spend all day nagging shouting and telling off, she plays up something rotten but if I compliment the good she is much better, doesn't always work.

Oh another piece of advice I had which has been working a treat for us is, we have a jar and we fill it with bouncy balls she gets a bouncy ball for anything good. Eating all her dinner, helping lay the table, being polite kind to her sister etc and then once the jar is full she gets a small present it takes about 2 weeks to a month for her to fill the whole jar but on the flip side if she misbehaves we can take them away also. It didn't work that well the first time, but once she got these crappy mermaid dolls i got from the pound shop!! She was so proud to earn them. She now gets very excited about earning the bouncy balls.

Hope my waffle has helped grin

themightyskim Wed 21-Sep-11 11:55:29

we do praise her already so thats in progress but the jar is a good idea I think we will try that, would be worried about her loosing every ball at the moment thought lol! cheers for the inspiration

BlueChampagne Thu 22-Sep-11 16:11:28

Have you got "how to talk so kids will listen"? I'm not a big one for parenting books but it has got some good ideas and is making a difference.

We have also done stars in a book, and when so many stars are won then a treat is forthcoming - just like the balls idea.

themightyskim Fri 23-Sep-11 11:24:54

No ive not heard of that before Ill have alook for it on Amazon now - I drew up a chart yesterday she helped me to colour it in and I let her choose a packet of stickers for when she is good, also got some sad faces for when we are having 'one of those days' so hopefully we might make some progress

WhoseGotMyEyebrows Tue 27-Sep-11 12:47:57

we dont seem to be able to communicate with her that she is being naughty

I found that taking away something she loves really makes mine stop and listen. For us it's bedtime story or dr who. Not much else has an impact.

She sounds a lot like mine, when I try to get her to concentrate on something she's usually staring at the ceiling or singing or something. smile

christmasmum Wed 28-Sep-11 11:51:21

I think we have the same DD! Mine is exactly the same. I just read something that I'm about to start trying which is to download an audio book of nursery stories, each one about 15 minutes long. Get her to listen in a quiet room on her own and if she can tell you what the story was about when it's finished then she gets a treat. Supposed to help them develop attention span and ability to concentrate.

To stress, I have NO idea if this will work or not, but made sense to me!

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