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My 3 1/2 yr. old grandson is not listening lately. We never…

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my 3 1/2 yr. old...
my 3 1/2 yr. old grandson is not listening lately. We never seemed to have the problem with him before. My daughter and son-in-law are becoming frustrated with his new developments. He is not a very good eater, he is very very picky. Yogurt, rice, crackers, watermelon and bananas are about all he will eat. He will not even try new foods. Sometimes I wonder if he just does not get the right foods throughout the day.They are willing to try anything at this point. He goes to pre-school and does well there. He has lots of friends and is liked by his teachers. What can we do?
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Mental Health
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Answered in 17 minutes by:
6/21/2010
Mental Health Professional: Carol Kryder LMFT, Mental Health Professional replied 8 years ago
Carol Kryder LMFT
Carol Kryder LMFT, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 808
Experience: APA Board Certified, Diplomate,Substance Abuse Professional, 20 years family therapy experience
Verified
Hello:
You say your grandson is not listening and his parents are frustrated with his "new developments." When a preschool aged child's behavior changes I always want to know what has happened in his life. Has he changed schools, has there been any trauma, are his parents happy together, has he been frightened by anything?

If all of that is "no" then I would try a reward system. Create a sticker chart and award him a sticker for the desired behavior. If it is listening, and he listens he gets a sticker. Same with trying new foods. All he has to do is take one bite and if he doesn't like it he doesn't need any more. He gets a sticker for each bite he takes.

Once he has a full week of at least one sticker each day, take him to the Dollar Store and let him pick out one toy. If he has a number of stickers, you can increase the reward. For example if he earns three stickers each day, he gets three toys.

The idea is to reward the good behavior while not punishing the undesired behavior. Let him know that good listeners make you very happy and that good listeners get to do fun things like go to Chucky Cheese or to get ice cream, etc.

This should work within a couple of weeks, unless there has been some trauma you are not aware of. If the behavior continues, I would check with his pediatrician to make sure he doesn't have a hearing problem.

Good luck to you and your family.
Warmest regards,
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
My daughter has tried the reward system. She keeps small toys on top of the refig. in a bucket and rewards him when needed. His father just was hired for a full time job where he is not able to spend quite as much time with him. They always try to do as much as then can together as a family, but it is not as easy now. Also when you ask him to wait for a min. or two while you are doing something else he does not want to wait. I realize this is somewhat normal but we are worried that this will get out of hand if not taken care of now. Thank-you
Mental Health Professional: Carol Kryder LMFT, Mental Health Professional replied 8 years ago
OK, I will opt out and give another expert a chance to help you.
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