PARENTING: 5 ways to get your child to LISTEN!

18 February 2016
Reading time1 min

Does your child have selective hearing? Join the club! Selective hearing appears to be an epidemic among children, so how can we fix it?

Selective hearing can be defined as the tendency of some children to select what they hear, and either tune in or out of what is being said to them.

Selective hearing does not necessarily involve whether a child can hear or not, in fact many children with selective hearing have perfect hearing levels. Selective hearing often has to do with the processing part of the auditory system – the part where the sound information reaches the brain.

If you suspect your child has challenges around any aspect of auditory processing or attention, contact either your doctor, a speech pathologist, audiologist or occupational therapist.

For everyday cases of selective hearing however, here are some top tips on how to re-gain your child’s attention:

1. Look at me

Ensure your child has time to stop what they are doing, turn and face you, and make eye contact.

2. Clarify

Ask your child to repeat back or summarise what you just said, to check their understanding.

3. Make it visual

If you’re asking your child to do something as part of a routine, print out some pictures so they have a handy reminder visually of what is required. Stick them on the fridge or somewhere communal for easy access.

4. Positive reinforcement

When your child starts to become successful at listening (and less selective), reward them with verbal praise or a small treat for their good listening skills.

5. Reverse the roles

If your child asks you to do something, try to get your child to impress any of the above four tips back on you as a parent!

What do you do when your child does not hear you?

For more info on identifying hearing problems and the signs to look out for, click here. For speech and language difficulties, click here.

Written by

Aimee York

Aimee York is the Director and Principal OT of KinderCloud. She is experienced in the assessment and intervention of children and adolescents. In particular, Aimee has a special interest area of working with children and adolescents who experience difficulties with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Global Developmental Delays, attention and behavioural difficulties, social skills, functional skills (including toileting and feeding), School Readiness and pre-school academic skills, gross motor skills, fine motor skills and sensory processing.

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