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When do children start listening?

(7 Posts)
KellyHall Mon 20-Apr-20 08:10:34

My 3yo dd won't follow the most basic instructions 99% of the time and gives up so easily, mainly because she hasn't listened so doesn't know what she's supposed to be doing then gets upset because she doesn't know what to do 🙄. Is it just age? Or is there something I can do to help her listen?

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SomeoneElseEntirelyNow Mon 20-Apr-20 14:04:21

Are you possibly making the instructions too longwinded/complex, or trying to get her to focus while she's in the middle of doing something else? Id go for making sure she has your full attention, cutting down to 3 or 4 simple words and giving HEAPS of praise if she makes an effort, even if she doesn't manage the whole thing

JiltedJohnsJulie Mon 20-Apr-20 15:17:25

Can you give us a few examples? If for instance you said, DD, please pass me the cup from the table, would she be able to do it?

KellyHall Mon 20-Apr-20 18:13:43

Thank you for your replies.

It's definitely an attention thing rather than a capability thing and after reading your replies, it's reminding me of when I've had to study something I thought was crap and boring and my brain disengaged. So it's probably hereditary, i.e. my fault!

It's always when she's busy doing something she seems to think is more important than listening to what I'm saying. Even if what she's doing is staring in to space.


Dd jumping on my pillow, I say "you're jumping on my hair, please move away from my head", dd says (whilst still jumping) "eh?". I say it gently, strongly, quietly, loudly, until eventually I pick her up and move her and she sits down and cries.

Dd bends down to touch something on the ground, I ask "what are you doing", dd says nothing, I realise she's about to grab some discarded chewing gum on the pavement so say "that's dirty, don't touch it", dd says "what's this mummy?" and grabs it, dh and I both say "it's from someone's mouth, stop touching it", dd pokes it again and says "what's this mummy?" as if no-one has sais anything. I pick dd up and move her away from it, dd cries.

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KellyHall Mon 20-Apr-20 18:17:42

Sorry, I didn't answer your question! She can pick up a cup and pass it to me when asked to. Sometimes she acts like she doesn't know what I mean and because I'm certain she is capable of doing it, I'm also sure when she dithers around it's because she's not actually listening.

Another example:

I took her to a football club, she got up and walked off during each set of instructions then stood around looking lost because she didn't know how to join in like everyone else and as soon as her ball went out of her reach, she came over to me and asked to go home.

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JiltedJohnsJulie Mon 20-Apr-20 18:41:49

Ok, a small part of it might be how you are talking to her. If she's hurting you, try saying "DD stop now!".

I think you might be right to have sone concerns about her attention though. I'd do the m-chat test to see what her risk is of ASD.

I'd also self refer for a hearing test, just to rule it out.

Have a read up on inattentive ADHD too thanks

KellyHall Tue 21-Apr-20 07:15:13

Thank you. I've done the test and read up about Inattentive ADHD and she's low risk of both.

This was very reassuring:

I've tried this morning to get her attention before talking to her and it's definitely helping 👍

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