My 6 year old son does not sit still or listen the first time he is asked to do something, at home, school or TKD. Peds thinks he is just fine. Any suggestions? We have tried it all....

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Dana - posted on 11/04/2008

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Try to tell him one time and when he doesn't immediately respond you immediately take something away. No yelling, no arguing, just take it away. Or tell him "no going to the park later. It was choice to make and you chose not to listen." If you really stick to guns and don't give in and have some consequence every single time, hopefully you may notice some turn around. There is no going back, once it is lost, it is lost for the day. Over encourage with positive words every time he does something good even if it is very small.

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My son is 9 and has similar problems sitting still. It makes homework time a nightmare! I've tried everything from punishments to yelling to walking away whenever he would throw a fit during homework time. I've discovered recently that he responds really well to rewards. So now I set a goal of 15-30 minutes of homework, and if he can do it without throwing a fit then we play a couple rounds of a card game. He gets my undivided attention in a positive way, and he gets a break from homework. We then go back to it for another round of homework and reward. Blessings!

Diane - posted on 11/04/2008

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These are all good suggestions. It's not a problem just with boys...I raised three girls, and they had to learn that I would ask only once before there were consequences, sometimes twice if I felt that perhaps they really did not hear me the first time and it wasn't just a case of ignoring me. When they were younger, and they did not do something I asked, I would sort of help them out and ask (gently, of course) "How many times do I have to ask you to do something before you are in trouble?" Their response was usually "Just once" and then they would do it. Sometimes all it takes is a reminder of consequences. Also, sometimes I would ask them to repeat back to me something I had just told them. That way they knew that I knew they had heard me. One of the most important things is consistency. That's also the hardest sometimes.

Raina - posted on 11/04/2008

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Try love and logic - They suggest something that looks about like this: Give him a choice like "its time to eat dinner do you want me to help you go sit at ther table or do you want to go sit down on you own?" and when he doesn't respond you say ok I will help yo uand you get him to the table. If he gets upset and trows a fit say, "Im sorry your upset but you chose to need help to get up to the table instead of doing it yourself. If he is still upset and can''t get it together than you say uh-oh and put him in time out. This will be a lot at first and then tapper off as he realizes that you mean bussiness and won't let him get away with not listening. You have to make his not listening directly effect him and then he gets it that it isn't fun to not listen. Don't get upset just put him in timeout and when he is done talk to him abut why he is there and that he needs to listen the first time he is asked and then ask him if understands and then go for it again.

Nicolene - posted on 11/03/2008

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Thank you all! I am ordering that magic book and I will stop by GNC after voting! A lot of these things we have tried and it works on and off. The excersize helps - I jog 5 miles 3 times a week and he will ride his bike with me the whole way! The problem is when this time falls during school and not on the weekends. We have him in Tae Kwon Do and it has taken 3 months, but we see small victories. He is an amazing kid,but so much energy. Thanks again!

Sandy - posted on 11/03/2008

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Try holding both his hands and telling him to look at you, then have him repeat what you just said. This will get his attention, and help him understand you mean business. Also, when he speaks to you, make sure you give him your undivided attention as well. Model the behavior, and raise your expectations for him. Then be firm and consistent. And remember that he is 6! It will take a little time to train him to listen.

Joan - posted on 11/03/2008

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I was going to recommend the book "1-2-3 Magic" by Thomas Phelan, and I see that someone else has already done so. So I will just add to that. It is an easy read and pretty inexpensive. I have two boys, aged 2 and 3, and it worked for them. I also used to teach third grade, and I applied the strategies from that book in my classroom. It worked there too! It doesn't take long to read and it's real easy to do! Good luck!

BreAnna - posted on 11/03/2008

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I agree with Christi. I read a story by a homeschooling mom that talked about having mandatory outside play for her boys. If they seemed exceptionally fidgety, she would send them outside to run or jump on the trampoline for 20 minutes. She said they would always focus better after that. I have a six year old boy also and the part I struggle with is remembering he is six and full of immeasurable energy and allowing him to be just that. I am trying to be more careful of picking my battles with him. You sound like a conscientous mom who really cares about her son. So, choose wisely, be consistent and keep loving that great kid!

Christi - posted on 11/03/2008

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Here is a couple of suggestions: First there is a really great book about discipline called "1-2-3 Magic" I wish we had read it a long time ago. We have 3 energetic boys and a baby girl. When the boys get out of hand the first thing we do is run or play it out of them. Studies show that when boys have an overload of testosterone they need to burn it off - and this is constant not just during puberty. My boys are better students, team members and family members whne they get a ton of activity - sports, outside play, climbing, wrestling etc. Sometimes they just can't sit still. I remember doing projects with my middle son when he was in kindergarten & 1st grade and he would be standing the whole time - and usually not completely still. But he did a better job when he had the freedom to stand and move around. Hope this helps!

Mandy - posted on 11/03/2008

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Do you give warnings followed by consequences? My 8 yr old sometimes does that but once we worked out a system he now knows he would rather listen then be in trouble.

Mary - posted on 11/03/2008

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My husband works in the nutrition industry, and I know he's seen a lot of parents have great results with a product called "Attentive Child." If your local GNC or other nutrition store doesn't have it in stock, they should be able to order it.

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