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How can i get dd to listen?

(5 Posts)
mrsshears Sat 13-Oct-12 20:04:47

Dd2 is 6 and in y2 recently her listening skills have become virtually non existent, this includes all aspects of listening such as to instructions and when in conversation.
Dd also talks non stop which is a big factor, i'm getting very concerned about the not listening especially as it is going to have an effect on her schoolwork.
Any advice or tips greatfully received.

Nagoo Sat 13-Oct-12 20:12:01

Check her ears first. DS had some hideous earwax and was deaf blush

I have got in the habit of saying DS's name before I start talking and make sure he can hear me.

Have you tried the counting thing when she is ignoring you? So you explain you've said it once nicely, again a bit rarrr and then just count until she shushes and listens?

gag her

Bumpstart Sat 13-Oct-12 22:04:25

Play games with blindfolds where she has to listen to guess what you are doing,or where something is.

The chattiness problem. Try to take her places where you need to be quiet, so she has more experience of holding her tongue, and knows she can do it when asked.

PastSellByDate Sun 14-Oct-12 07:34:45

Hi mrshears

Nagoo is correct in that the first thing to do is check your DDs' hearing. If that turns out to be o.k. then it is that she's inattentive, which like any skill needs to be learned.

My DD2 had this problem badly in reception - so badly the teacher asked us to take her for a hearing test. Several issues here. Reception, like nursery, was largely a free-play place and as the teacher started to ask for more structured learning time, it took my DD2 a while to get used to this.

Solution: The reception teacher had a sing-song way of calling my DD2 to attention by saying her name, which she could hear over the chatter and would instantly respond to.

However, this is a problem which still continues (DD2 now year 3) and is partly amplified because DD2 lives in a world of her own. She's very unaware of things around her (cars, other people, telephone conversations, grown-up conversations) - it all has to work around her. We found this is partly about teaching our DD that hey there are other people in the world and they have things to say or do too.

We've found several things have helped:

listening to audio books (great for in the car or at bed time) - trains her to really listen. In the car, I pretend that I wasn't listening to the story at that last intersection/ roundabout or when I was parking and ask her what's been happening.

With at home reading (which you may be primarily doing the bulk of) - ask her some questions about what you've just read. It's a bit tricky - but try and find questions she could only answer if she was listening. What was that funny word the wolf would say? What was the magic spell the little girl said? After Red Riding Hood went off picking flowers, do you remember where the wolf went?

Learn a musical instrument - a lot of this is about hearing sounds and then playing them back - so it's good practice for attentive listening.

Try and reduce the background noise at home. So if you always have a tv or radio on, whilst you're doing other things - this may be too much input for your DD so she's concentrating very hard on what she's doing to block out the noise.

Try to encourage listening to nature. Listen to the hum of insects. If you're in the woods and see a wood ant hive have her listen to the hum. Have her listen to the hum of electrical sub-stations or high volt wires.

Have her listen for bird song in the morning/ evening - and learn to recognise some (black birds or pigeons are easy to start with). A nice thing we do with our DDs is sit quietly in the garden and wait for birds to come to the feeder - sitting still, watching patiently and listening skills are all being worked on. Also works for watching squirrels in your garden or in a park.

Have her listen to the difference in sounds around where you live on foggy mornings or unusually quiet mornings, like Christmas morning.

Can you hear trains where you live? Everyday or just on certain days?

Have her listen out for clock chimes or church bells near you. When does she hear them best? Is it related to the weather?

Encourage your DD to talk to her grandparents on the telephone - and prime your grandparents to ask questions that require more than a yes or no answer. What's your favourite game at the moment? We heard you won a prize at school - what was that for?

I can't swear that I have a good listenener now - but DD2 is better. I've also learned along the way to make eye contact when giving important instructions - a good trick is to bring a finger up to your nose - because the child will focus on that - whilst you are talking.

Like any skill - being a good listener requires training and practice. One of the things to point out once your DD is old enough to understand, is that just as she enjoys people listening to her, other people enjoy being listened to - it shows you are interested in them and care. Many of my DD2s' friends couldn't get a word in edgeways - and I've really worked on reminding her that if she's a good friend she should show interest in them and what they've been doing as well and not just talk about what she's been doing. Amazingly it has worked this year - and she started Y3 by asking her good friends about their summers and listening attentively to all their news.

One very useful expression I picked up from CBeebies of all places - is to say to your DD if she's chattering too much - You have two of these (point to eyes) and two of these (point to ears) and only one of these (point to mouth) - you should be using your eyes and ears 4 times more than your mouth.

I kind of think of listening now as something akin to eye-hand coordination. In today's world where you hear lots of sounds, but usually it's background noise (at least in a big city) and at home tvs or radios often are on/ other family members chattering away - it can lead to a habit of ignoring sounds that don't concern you and what you're doing. Absolute quiet is actually really startling - when we have weekend breaks out in Wales and stay at a very isolated B&B - we don't just enjoy a sky full of stars (because of all the light polution we rarely see them in our city) but the children are always startled by how quiet it all is.

mrsshears Sun 14-Oct-12 08:17:23

Thanks everyone.
Thanks so much pastsellbydate that post is fantastic! really really helpful.

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