Monday, August 22, 2011

Oh, wait...what was I supposed to do?

That is the phrase I hear from Melody about 30 seconds after I tell her to do something.  That is if she even remembers I told her to do something.

Distraction.  All. The. Time.

Yes, I know she's absolutely adorable.  (Who can resist this sweet face?)

But cuteness can only take you so far.

And now something has to be done.

Here's the backstory:
For a while (read: the majority of her life to date) Melody has struggled with transitions.  Even when the transitions were in her favor (such as going to play a game with Mommy) there was a brief (but painful to the ears) high pitched whining sound, sometimes followed by a hand-to-the-forehead swoon or something equally dramatic, large tears rolling down her face as she proclaimed something to the effect of, "But whyyyyy must I play with you, Mommy, oh why oh why!"
You get the idea.
I spent a considerable about of time working on this with her. We practiced appropriate responses, I learned that she works best with (multiple) warnings of the pending change, etc.
And low and behold our transitional outburts are now few and far between!


it seems we've traded one issue in for another.

While Melody is now (mostly) happy to follow through with any command, she can only rememeber what it is she's supposed to do for about 2.5 seconds.  And forget multiple step directions.  She doesn't have a prayer there.

I know that we all have different parenting ideas as to what is a reasonable expectation, etc.  However, we believe it's reasonable to expect a 4.5 year old to follow through with simple tasks...such as flushing the toilet.  And taking off her clothes, putting in the hamper, and changing into her pajamas.  I frequently find the clothes on the floor while Melody is running around nekkid oblivious to the fact that there was a follow through necessary for the task at hand.

I would welcome any suggestions, tips, tricks, etc, that will help her to remember what it is she supposed to be doing.  Something that will encourage her and help her stay focused and on task.

Who am I kidding...I'm begging for suggestions! 

Seriously, if I leave the house one more time and realize that Melody has yet again forgotten her shoes, you might see me on the evening news.  I'm just sayin'.


Di said...

You (like that darling girl) are adorable. I (obviously) don't have a shred of advice, but I'll be giving thanks for you and your family, and keeping your dilemma in my prayers.

Bren said...

Well she is super cute that's for sure! I have zero advice for you unfortunately as we are still working on transitions (as in transitioning into the 4 year old room - and that started MONTHS ago!). Now that I think about it - I DO have an idea! My sister took pictures of her son completing every step of a process (lifting up toilet lid, using the bathroom - strictly G rated version here, putting DOWN lid, flushing, washing hands). She posted them right where the activity took place so he would see it EVERY TIME! Maybe that would help her start to remember?

Kelli said...

I have to make sure the TV and any distraction is completely off to give directions. I've also seen little charts with pictures of things the child is supposed to go on any given morning/night. Maybe if she can add a sticker after each task that she does without direction then after a certain number of stickers there's a prize.

He & Me + 3 said...

We have lists that they carry around with the on lanyards. They had pictures on them to remind the kids all the things they needed to do in the morning. It seemed to help and all I had to say was get your list. They flip the card when they complete each task. Maybe that might work :) i have one just like Melody.

Foursons said...

First off- that picture of Melody is GORGEOUS!

As far as advice- I'm afraid I'm going to disappoint you. I have no clue how to fix this. Maybe have her repeat back to you what you just said so you can be sure she heard you?

Kat said...

Oh sheesh. I have zero advice for you. I am living with three "distracted" boys who are all old enough to concentrate and yet still have trouble following my instructions. Patience, on my part, is the only thing I've come up with so far. If you find something that works, I'd love to hear it! ;)
Good luck!

Brandi said...

Okay, so my almost 11 year old and almost 7 year old come in from playing outside, start stripping as the are chatting and alking down the hallway, clothes are dropped in a pile on the floor in the kitchen (a mere 2 ft from the hamper next to the bathroom), and then I find the almost 11 year old standing nekkid with the fridge wide open, looking for something to drink, while his nekkid almmost 7 year old brother has stopped off in the living room to check his Xbox Live messages. This is my life. LOL.

Melody is beautiful! :)

Emmy said...

Love love that picture- and I like the advice that Kelli and He and Me... gave as yea, I have no clue otherwise

Holly said...

I can relate. My almost-five-year-old son needs warnings before transitions too. And multi-step directions, nope. I think some kids at this age are still processing information like this at a slower rate than some other kids. I like one commenter's tip about visual reminders -- we have tried that too. Our pediatrician suggested that we have our son's hearing tested and check him for a possible auditory processing condition, which we have an appointment for in a couple weeks. Just to check or even rule it out.

Angie said...

I have the same problem with my kiddos. Sheesh! I just tweeted tonight about needing to record myself and put it on replay. I am constantly trying to keep the kids from getting sidetracked yet again. If you get any great suggestions send them my way!

Krystyn said...

as evidenced by me picking up clothes when you brought up dinner...we have the same issues. at one point we had a card with all of the steps, and seh mastered those, but now with the increased expectations, it seems to be harder to get them all done.