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"Not listening" at 17 mths

(19 Posts)
spongebrainbigpants Wed 11-Nov-09 09:33:09

My DS is 17 mths old. He goes to nursery two days a week and has been there since the end of September (CM before that since June).

The nursery have raised concerns with us this morning about his behaviour - yesterday he was pushing children over and pulling their hair. This is the first time he's been like this at the nursery. He has gone through hair pulling at home before but I thought he'd grown out of it sad. I know it's obviously not acceptable and we do what we can to stop him, but it has to be immediate so it's going to be up to nursery staff to deal with this - we can't sit down and talk to him later can we? hmm

I know this is fairly normal toddler behaviour so I'm not too worried about it, what worries me more is that they said he doesn't appear to be listening to the nursery nurses or "doing as he's told". They're going to monitor this in case there is anything wrong with him sad. This has really upset and worried me - I don't have any great experience of toddlers so just thought this was fairly normal for his age too. I had five other toddlers round on Monday (NCT friends) and none of them seemed to be showing any huge signs of comprehension or doing as they're told sad.

Is there something wrong with him or are they worrying me unnecessarily?

I'm beside myself about this, but I also have a four week old baby so I'm only sleeping two hours at a stretch and could be blowing this out of all proportion blush.

Be gentle blush.

I'm popping out now but will be back later to check on replies. Thank you.

Tee2072 Wed 11-Nov-09 09:39:31

He's 17 months old, of course he doesn't do as he's told, Those nursery workers need some extra training in child development, I think.

Owlingate Wed 11-Nov-09 09:40:59

Erm, can't believe they expect a 17 mth old to do what they're told to be honest. I always had to firmly move mine away from the child / object they were intent on destroying whilst saying no rather than expecting them to move away by themselves!

Sounds like a normal 17 mth old to me, particularly one who is reacting to a new baby in the house. Do they actually think he's not hearing them? Is his hearing ok? God tell them to get stuffed otherwise.

ktpie Wed 11-Nov-09 10:03:05

Mine doesn't listen to me either Sponge. He just carries on with whatever he was doing. He does hear and does understand as once in a while he does what I say, but this is such a rare occurrence that it really surprises me when it happens! 99% of the time I am ignored.

PumpkinProject Wed 11-Nov-09 10:15:15

Does he show signs of understanding what you're saying and then ignores you or is there no sign that he has heard anything. The latter would worry me, the former is exactly the same as my 17 month old and pretty normal I think. (I hope!)

LoveBeingAMummy Wed 11-Nov-09 10:25:11

My 19mth has choosen not ot listen to me on many occassions so i would class as normal.

I know that when I was little, early primary school, I had some problems with my hearing, My mum thought it was me choosing not to listen hmm but i had lots of ear infections too, was fixed very simply by taking out my Adenoids and sealing a v small hole in my ear drum. Am completly fine and no problems as all now. but like i say I think its the first part of my post.

PumpkinProject Wed 11-Nov-09 11:44:10

Actually Sponge, can you ask the nursery exactly how they get the other 17 month olds to do as their told and post back. Because it would make my life sooooo much easier! grin

cyberseraphim Wed 11-Nov-09 11:49:41

I agree with PP - As long as there is some indication that he understands but is 'defying you' it is completely normal but if he is blanking simple instructions, it may need to be checked - Hope that hasn't worried you and hope that you get some more positive feedback from the nursery.

PiggyPenguin Wed 11-Nov-09 12:08:32

I would agree Sponge, if he is hearing them but but just ignoring them, tbh, this is pretty much par for the course at his age. If they think it is a hearing issues then I would get it checked out. I think you need to go back to them and ask them to be more clear about what the actual issue is.

DebInAustria Wed 11-Nov-09 14:14:58

Sponge, I'd see if someone can look after M for you and call into Nursery 10 minutes before pick up time, and see if you can have a word with them. Sounds like you need to be clear if it is just ignoring(normal)or not hearing(get him checked out)

doggiesayswoof Wed 11-Nov-09 14:31:23

How well qualified are the staff? No one who had a clue about development in children would expect a 17mo to do as he was told...

I remember going to a parents' night at DD's nursery when she was about 20mo and they had a checklist with example behaviours they would expect the children to display. Hitting, kicking, pushing, biting, possessiveness over toys, tantrums, ignoring requests etc were all on the "normal behaviour" checklist and they were almost triumphant when they told me that DD had ticked all the boxes grin

Hope you get some sleep soon OP.

mellymell Wed 11-Nov-09 15:02:24

Hiya all - just checking in (for the first time in 6 months or so), but saw DebInAustria's post about 17 month old children not listening and not doing what they're told.

Tom is understanding more and more what I say, and am getting increasingly frustrated. Ask him to come towards you, and he will automatically turn in the opposite direction and run away. The other day, a neighbour knocked on the door with Tom under his arm and asked whether he belonged to me blush. So embarrassing - the garden door had come unlatched and he'd gone for a wander in the road - thank god he wasn't run over.

In response to the post, I don't think there's anything one can do with a determined toddler desperate for --world domination-- independence apart from locking them in a cupboard (only joking hmm)!!

Any other thoughts? How are your little devils darlings getting on?

spongebrainbigpants Wed 11-Nov-09 17:02:10

Thank you for all your reassurance. I don't think they're suggesting problems with hearing, I think they mean ignoring or not understanding. Tbh, I'm not really sure how good his understanding is - e.g. if I asked him to go and get his shoes he wouldn't have a clue what I was talking about sad. Is this normal too? He does understand some things I think, but I'm never sure whether it's luck or understanding.

I just can't bear the thought of him being 'labelled' at the age of 17 mths sad. I have spoken to a friend today who's girl also goes to this nursery and she's said the particular woman who spoke to me does tend to be quite 'strict' and is more used to dealing with older children, which could be part of the problem.

Will try and speak to nursery if I can get someone to look after DS2.

Hoping this is all just a phase and the nursery aren't opening an 'behavioural' file on him as we speak sad.

cyberseraphim Wed 11-Nov-09 17:55:13

You can judge his level of understanding better than anyone in nursery. Maybe you can try some simple tests such as asking him to give you an object ? He won't be 'labelled' at such a young age but it won't do any harm to keep an eye on his communication development so that you can help him. How does he let you know what he needs?

spongebrainbigpants Wed 11-Nov-09 20:11:46

cyber, I have tried asking for objects but he doesn't understand what I'm asking for unless I point at it too. He doesn't really have any way of letting me know what he needs at the moment, he just gets frustrated and I play a game of guesswork until I get it right blush.

cyberseraphim Wed 11-Nov-09 20:32:13

It is still a young age so I think the important thing is not to panic but also just to keep an eye on things. I don't think it's a bad idea to listen to the nursery - outsiders will tend to take a more negative view but nonetheless it can be a useful perspective. It's good that he follows your point when you ask for objects so that is something to build on. Although he is young some form of communication to get his needs met is essential - will he use gestures and pointing to get the message across?

spongebrainbigpants Wed 11-Nov-09 20:39:15

Yes, he will use gestures and pointing - if he wants to be read to he will hand me his book and lift his arms up to sit on my lap, if he wants to tell me he's finished his dinner he will put his cutlery on his plate and hand me the plate, if he wants to go outside he will get his shoes and take them to the front door, etc.

But he leads all this communication, not me.

harimosmummy Wed 11-Nov-09 20:40:39

If my DS (also 17 months) does listen to me, he usually does the total opposite of what I'm asking...

So... When I say 'come here' he usually dashes off to the other side of the house!!! But (IMHO) it's non verbal signs he's really raecting too, not just the verbal ones.. Shoes, coats etc., coming out mean we are going out of the house.

Plus, I have a Ddog who is brilliant at picking up what's going on, so that's a big marker for us too.

But, when DS wants something, his prefered method of getting attention is to holler at the top of his voice!!

cyberseraphim Thu 12-Nov-09 09:57:42

The things you describe in the home setting all sound normal so that's encouraging. Why not just call in at the nursery to ask what they see the issues as being ? It might be more of an opportunity than a threat.

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