Children’s listening skills take time to develop. Listening is not just about hearing (but a child’s hearing may also need to be checked). It’s also about how the brain interprets information. Children also need to be able to follow instructions and co-operate with others. It’s important to be realistic. Young children often find it hard to follow an instruction, especially if it’s new or something they would rather not do (like tidy up their toys). They also need to be able to communicate their own emotions and ideas in socially appropriate ways. There are positive ways to help your child become better at listening, communicating, and co-operating.
Being able to pay attention and get along well with others are important skills
for children to learn. If kids find it hard to listen and follow instructions,
and be co-operative, it can make school, friendships and life in general more
difficult. But with loving, caring, positive support and a consistent approach,
children and teenagers can get better at listening, following instructions, and
developing the skills they need to succeed.
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Listening and co-operation are skills that take time to develop
Most children need a lot of practice and encouragement to listen, pay attention,
and follow instructions, and to learn new behaviours. Children may simply be
tired, hungry or feeling unwell. They may also be trying to figure out what
happens when they do or say something in a new way. Or they may be reacting a
certain way because of something that happened previously. Maybe they just need
more time to process what you’ve said. The timing of instructions is also
Most toddlers and young children are defiant at times. This is only a problem when it happens regularly—for example, if your child follows less than half the instructions you give them, especially if they are also doing the opposite of what you’ve asked, arguing, or demanding.
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