May 21, 2008,
T.H. asks from Portland, OR on May 20, 2008
10 Year Old That Does Not Listen
HELP! My ten year old is phenomenol. She is smart and does stage plays in the Portland area (good memory) when asking her to do something at home she will say OK before my sentence is even finished then does not do it. At first we thought she was being rebellious but now we know she is just not listening to us. This morning I told her to "FINISH making her bed". She rolled her eyes and said "OK I will redo it". Hearing her words I said "REDO IT?" and she said "YEAH I will redo it". I replied "What do you mean by redo it? I said finish it." she said I will "Start all over" I then asked her to repeat what I said to her. She said " You said to redo my bed" This made me upset because I clearly told her to FINISH making her bed (there were no other distractions around so that can't be the reason). This has been a problem with her for the last few months . I cannot get her to listen. We have taken the TV away, weekend visits to grandma's but it does not matter to her. When discussing this with her. She says "OK, I will work on it" then walks away as if there is no problem. Her little brother even notices it. He says she has a blank look all of the time. She goes to bed at 8 every night wakes up at 6:45 every morning so she is getting enough rest. She is a 4.0 student and part of the leadaership at her school. Per her teacher she is the only child that follows direction in class. So what changes when she gets home? We have even written down a step by step schedule of things that need to be done thinking this will help. I found it under her bed. What do I do?? Is this just the beginning of her being a teenager or what? I have even had her hearing tested. IT IS 100% I am at a lost for words and solutions.
So What Happened?™
OK... I first want to Thank everyone who took the time to respond. Second of all I want to thank everyone who actually read what I wrote!! I have had her hearing tested due to my hearing loss this is done once a year with my children, she is fine in that dept. I think when parents jump on the ADD ship it is scarey. She does not have ADD. Come to find out she just does not care!! When I told her to finish making her bed it was regarding her stuffed animals and she knew this her mind was on the play she had yesterday, but no matter what school and home is priority anything after that is extra (she knows this). After the play we took her to dinner and we talked about it. Her schedule is hectic however all of these activities she is signing up for she wants to do. We have tried editing her schedule but she becomes upset and so does th teachers and instructors that are conducting them :) I have come to the conclusion she is just a TEEN and thank God the year is coming to an end so she can rest. Often times she is recruited for things without us knowing until a day before performance. Yesterday after her play she received three awards for her accomplishments and we received one for our parenting. How great and gratifying was this!! All I can say to the other parents is hang in there!!! Talk with your TEEN and PRAY!!!Also... she is overly excited and can't wait for her brother to come. This is no threat due to her still being the only and oldest girl. She still thinks and knows she is mommy and daddies little girl!!! Take care
B.B. answers from Portland on May 21, 2008
Everyone has different ways of communicating/listening. You said "finish" she heard "redo" - probably because she felt she was done already and knew she would have to redo it to meet your standards of finishing making her bed. Encourage her to repeat what she hears you say and also do the same for her. "I hear you say..." does not mean that is what you said, it means that is what was heard.
Teens aren't the best listeners/communicators with their parents, she is getting to those years where hormones are starting to take over. She may also be having different feelings about the upcoming arrival of a brother/sister and wants to have your attention and so is becoming more argumentative.
R.S. answers from Portland on May 21, 2008
I think there are several possibilities here. First I would get her hearing tested. My Mother has sever hearing loss and if she isn't directly looking at you she can't read your lips which she has done since I was a child. At school your daughter may hear well because she's looking directly at the teacher and trying real hard. At home she might just hear a snippet in passing or act like it. My mom found it easier to act like she understood what you're saying at times rather than say huh? what did you say? constantly. Anyway I'd work on ruling out hearing at first.
Another possibility is that it's a behavioral problem although you seemed to explore it already. The next time you tell her to do something if she tries to finish what you're saying first, stop her and face her and say please listen to what I'm saying and repeat it and don't let her walk away. How does she feel about the coming baby? Does she need to talk to someone about her feelings?
Any way I'd work on the physical aspect first.
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J.V. answers from Portland on May 21, 2008
I don't know that I have any helpful advice. My 6 year old is about to have his hearing tested because I have a similar situation. He has a great attitude and is very obedient, except I have to work hard to get his attention. I'm not sure about your daughter but I can say this sounds very similar to how I was as a child. As in, I was the child that would say "ok" and not even recall hearing what my mom told me to do. Apparently I still get the "blank" look, but I'm trying. As an adult, I've researched ADD and I fit the mold perfectly. I would say I have adult ADD. Maybe your daughter does not have ADD, but it's a thought. I get distracted in my head very easily but I could sit still and look like I was listening. Even now, I do not intentionally ignore what someone is saying, but I have to actively try to focus as thoughts or daydreaming jumps around. Small background sounds (i.e. bird chirping, croaking frog, people talking) are distracting to my attention. So anyhow, this may not be helpful to you as there are other possibilities to your situation. It just sounds familiar to me. God bless you & your family!
T.R. answers from Portland on May 21, 2008
I'm going to make a suggestion based on your request and your bio. I hope it will help! I would recommend to you a book called "Children of Paradise - Successful Parenting for Prosperous Families" by Dr. Lee Hausner . It contains excellent parenting information on raising a child to ensure high self esteem, which is the anchor of a happy child and adult. It talks about making sure their goals are internal and not external, how we communicate with our children, encouragement talk vs. praise, etc. From your post, I see specific similarities to issues she addresses in the book.
It's possible that if your daughter put effort into already making her bed, she thought it was complete, and you telling her to "finish" it made her feel like she had to "re-do" it in order to complete it to your satisfaction. If listening is becoming an issue, it could be a cry for help. She may feel that there is too much pressure on her and the "not listening" could be a symptom of that (or it could be a slew of other things, but the book covers much of this).
It's an excellent read and I hope you get a lot out of it too!
P.S. answers from Portland on May 21, 2008
You mentioned that you are silly and crazy in your "about me" section...are you this way with your daughter? I find changing tone and attitude with kids can get their attention. A little silliness might get it. They tune out to the regular do this do that remarks. Plus, sounds like she might have a lot of other things on her mind. Consider that she may have too much on her plate and home is the only place she's letting go of, just to get a break. Also, pre-teens like to ignore there parents as much as teens. :) You have to get creative to reach them sometimes.