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4 year old not following instructions at Preschool

(31 Posts)
Maia290 Wed 04-Feb-15 22:01:46

My son's teacher has told me that my boy doesn't follow instructions at Preschool deliberately, such as, he was told to paint something in yellow and he used a different colour instead, deliberately as he knows the colours, and many more examples.
I am worried about this. At home he often doesn't want to do what he has been told either, such as getting dressed, having a bath, and so on.
What can I do so he follows instructions at Preschool? The teacher makes him repeat the activity until he does it properly, but I will like to motivate him somehow, so he does it properly the first time round, as we think he knows the stuff.
Has anybody got the same problem? What do you do?

TheFirstOfHerName Wed 04-Feb-15 22:02:37

Is his hearing OK?

DeanKoontz Wed 04-Feb-15 22:05:54

How is he at home?

Maia290 Wed 04-Feb-15 22:08:47

Yes he can hear properly, and he understands the concept, but it seems he deliberately does the wrong thing. This is strange, isn't?

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Wed 04-Feb-15 22:12:23

Double check his hearing. My nephew has total hearing loss in one ear and was labelled naughty when he simply couldn't hear.

Small children develop amazing coping mechanisms to disguise / get around the problem, we were amazed that it took so long to find out he had hearing loss.

Maia290 Wed 04-Feb-15 22:12:45

At home, I have tried today an activity they did at Preschool, he had to put stickers in a serie red, blue, red, blue and so on. He wanted to put other colours instead, but I explained this is a serie after red is blue, then red again. To me it seemed he understood but he wanted to do it differently by putting green and yellow. But I removed the green and yellow and make him do it properly again.

neolara Wed 04-Feb-15 22:13:19

Blimey. Does it matter if he paints a flower yellow or another colour. I thought most of nursery was about letting kids lead their own learning.

Maia290 Wed 04-Feb-15 22:16:06

Sometimes is free painting, but they often need to follow the instructions they are being told to do.

angryangryyoungwoman Wed 04-Feb-15 22:17:06

Could he be colour blind?

DeanKoontz Wed 04-Feb-15 22:18:18

Sounds very normal to me. my dd used to love sticker books when she was that age, but she refused to ever stick the stickers in the 'right' place.

He's using his creativity. Something to encourage rather than stifle?

meglet Wed 04-Feb-15 22:18:33

what neo said.

The nursery staff need to chill out a bit. let him be creative.

Maia290 Wed 04-Feb-15 22:19:53

No, he can distinguish colours. At the end I was getting crossed with him he was doing it properly.

DeanKoontz Wed 04-Feb-15 22:21:48

He probably understands what you want quite well, but cant see the point.

Don't get cross with him. He's learning all the time. Is he your first?

iknowimcoming Wed 04-Feb-15 22:22:53

I agree with neo, dean and meg! He's 4, it's preschool not prison, let his imagination be encouraged not killed!

Nationalmust Wed 04-Feb-15 22:23:36

There is no proper place to stick a sticker at 4! Nursery sound limited and likely to fuck up any love of learning. Don't follow their lead.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 04-Feb-15 22:23:55

He sounds great OP, using his imagination and creative ability.
Pre school is before school starts he shouldn't have to follow instructions about colour at his age.
This time is about play, not doing what a teacher says.
Since when did pre school have teachers.
I remember why mine didn't go now.

OP there is nothing wrong with him, he sounds delightful if you can't be a bit defiant at his age when can you.
He is learning all the time and pushing him to conform may well have an undesired effect.
You could try getting it wrong yourself and let him correct you.

catkind Wed 04-Feb-15 22:28:50

Seems a bit young to be forcing learning activities on them. So what if he wants to do yellow/green? He's still learning about sequences. I'd give him a pile of stickers and see what he makes. Maybe when he's finished his own exploration he might want to play your game - or maybe he'd prefer you join in his game.

Still worth practicing following instructions with the everyday stuff like getting dressed, or preschool equivalents like learning to sit quietly at circle time. How do you currently deal with it if he doesn't cooperate with getting dressed? Are you following through?

Maia290 Wed 04-Feb-15 22:29:16

Thanks for your messages. I also thought he is using his imagination.
It is a great idea, I can make a serie (with something wrong in it) and he has to correct me.

SunsetInToulouse Wed 04-Feb-15 22:30:19

I have a 3 year old who also often does not follow instructions. She's very determined, and independent minded, and what's important to me is not necessarily important to her.

What do I do? Well I choose my battles (not always successfully). If she chooses to paint in a different colour - well to me that's ok. Why should she have to paint in the colour I said? I want her to have opinions, to make choices about things she likes.

Sometimes she doesn't want to get in the bath, or wants to play, or wants to mess about or whatever. And the reason for it is not always the same. Sometimes she's curious about something she has seen (and that's ok, I want her to be curious about the world around her. Today we delayed bedtime by 5 mins while I took the top of the toilet cistern and showed her what was in it and what happens when you flush!).

Sometimes she's just delaying bedtime, or deliberately being contrary. I tried various things, but mostly what has worked is:
- giving her a reason to want to do something (e.g. when you get straight into your pyjamas, we have time for a story)
- explaining why she needs to do something - what the consequences of doing / not doing it are (e.g. if you don't clean your teeth they will fall out, then you will only be able to eat soup. Do you like soup? (she doesn't).
- following up on the consequences. I've only had to do this once or twice (e.g. no story).
- having rules/boundaries, and sticking to them.

Not sure how I would get her to follow a teachers instructions first time round - surely the teacher should have a few ideas about what would be appropriate motivation.

DeanKoontz Wed 04-Feb-15 22:31:54

hmmm, he could.

Or maybe you could just put lots of art and craft stuff out and see what he comes up with.

And then pin it up on the wall.


catkind Wed 04-Feb-15 22:32:51

By the way it's called a series - the singular still has the s. Just in case it's useful to know...

Maia290 Wed 04-Feb-15 22:33:26

About getting him dressed, having a bath... We are still struggling. I used to be very angry with him, he used to be on time out very often. Recently we have spent time together playing a lot, and he seems slightly better on getting things done. I do have to tell him several times though.

Maia290 Wed 04-Feb-15 22:35:22

Thanks catkind, English is not my first language, so I wasn't sure. (series) noted!

Frecklefeatures Wed 04-Feb-15 22:37:30

He will soon be at school and have to follow instructions. It would be in both your interests to encourage him to do this, or he will quickly find himself getting into trouble. It's great letting kids be 'free spirits' and creative, but nursery are trying to prepare your son for more formal learning by giving some 'set' tasks. If he's being deliberately oppositional at this age, I think you should encourage him not to through praise/sticker chart/reward for 'first time listening'.

Defiance is not a good quality to encourage, creativity is, but not at the expense of good behaviour. A whole class of pupils doing the opposite of what they're asked is not lovely or cute!

BertieBotts Wed 04-Feb-15 22:41:42

Are you outside of the UK? We are in Germany and although most of the time the children can play/create freely, sometimes they are asked to follow instructions like this and graded on it, and other things which seem strange to me - one of the criteria for DS' school readiness examination was whether he kept the same best friend for more than two weeks! confused

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