Octopus Mom

Life as a mom who has her hands full

Boys Not Listening

Is your 3 year old boy or 4 year old boy not listening? Do you often wonder if it is a matter of hearing or wills that you are battling? Well chances are, you are not alone. Boys are notorious for being selective listeners. They will often “not hear” you tell them to pick up their socks, but mention the word “Chucky Cheese” while in the next room and he will come barreling in wondering when they are going! If you have had your child’s hearing tested and his pediatrician has given him a good bill of health, then you are probably dealing with a stubborn male! Good Luck! Now as his mother you will have to figure out if he is not listening like most average boys his age, or if his lack of attention is something you need to actually work on. That is where it gets tricky. DO NOT COMPARE HIM TO HIS SISTER or to your friends daughter. Little boys will never be like the little girls….and good thing to. We need them to be little boys will all of their machoism and testosterone. We need them to fight and tumble, kick and bounce off the walls at times. We need them to be BOYS because in the end we need them to grow up to become MEN. Little girls are notorious for sitting still, paying attention, sharing, and playing nice….they are after all little girls who will one day grow up to be independent women who may even become mothers of their own. But little boys are genetically wired, programed from years of Neanderthal evolution to be fighters, adventurers, risk takers. And in the end, that trait will produce some of the greatest minds of their generation.  Be careful to encourage discipline without squashing the intrinsic qualities we need to encourage in our little boys.

That being said, you will have to find a way to get your child to listen…just don’t expect miracles overnight and don’t beat yourself up if it takes longer than expected. Remember to be consistant in what you demand of him. If you need him to get dressed for bed, make sure you have clearly defined rules about how fast they are supposed to respond and what the consequences are if they don’t. Always make it known to them and FOLLOW THROUGH. If they sense that you are not serious about what you say, then they will not listen to you…no respect. Also, find a consequence that fits the child’s personality. If “time out” doesn’t seem to phase them, then try something else. Take away a sticker on an incentive chart, try taking away a favorite toy, or taking away video game or TV time. JUST make it a consequence you can follow as well.

Another friend of mine suggested that little boys who are chronically constipated have more trouble listening and getting involved in the world around them. If your little boy suffers from constipation or if you are uncertain of it, try introducing more water and fiber into their diet and/or talking with your pediatrician about getting your child on Miralax. Any child who is fighting something chronically will use all of their internal energy on the problem and so listening will come secondary. Just remember how hard it is to pay attention to a lecture or in a meeting at work when you have a bad headache..all you can think about is how it feels.

Little boys will be little boys….time and love are what they truely need.  Give them rules, structure, and independence and chances are your little boy will be listening in no time.

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5 comments on “Boys Not Listening

  1. Pingback: Boys Not Listening

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  3. Maren
    February 10, 2009

    Thank you. I have two boys. My first was diagnosed with sensory integration disorder at age 2. I could never fully separate “symptoms” outlined by his preschool from “boyhood”–especially because this was my first child. Regardless, he’s outgrown the behaviors and the label. I have not had those same concerns about his younger brother. He started preschool at age 3 and excelled. Now, in his second year (at a different school), I am confronted each day, very publicly, by teachers who say he won’t listen. He is a happy kid. He’s nice to his peers, although–admittedly–he hears what he wants to. Unless he becomes suddenly mean-spirited, or unhealthy in some way, I need the teachers to cut us some slack. This is a class of 3 and young 4 year olds. I find myself nervous about next week’s mid-year conference. I don’t know what their reaction will be, but I need to have a conversation about reevaluating expectations. I relate to your article 100% and find it a comfort.

  4. Nurse Scrubs
    May 27, 2009

    It’s always good to find like-minded people. Thanx and I’m going to add you to my RSS feed.

  5. Sandy
    August 30, 2009

    How did it cost to start up this blog…I want to start my own.

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This entry was posted on September 17, 2008 by in Parenting Tips and tagged , , , , , , , .

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