One of the things we’ve been doing with Bethel (28 months) has been to teach her to look and respond to mom when her name is called. I don’t know if David learned this on his own, but Bethel hasn’t, so we’ve been teaching it.
Right now, we’re still in the teaching stage (no consequences when she doesn’t do it). Here’s what we’re doing:
When I want Bethel to do something, I say first, Bethel [short pause to see if she looks]. Look at Mommy. [request here after she looks and responds]
What I want is that responsive look to Mommy to become so much a habit that it happens every time I call her name. It doesn’t yet. If she’s focussed on something, she might simply respond, “what?” without looking up. I correct the “what” first, because it sounds disrespectful. I say, Do not say “what”Â when Mommy calls you. You can say, “yes, ma’am.” Then I say, When Mommy calls your name, you must look at me.Â
I’m sure that sometimes she’s deliberately not looking because she doesn’t want to be interrupted. But knowing her personality, I’m also certain that she often isn’t fully listening to what I am saying. Knowing my personality, deliberately asking her to look seems to help me follow through better. Bethel in particular seems to know when I’m distracted, and when she can disobey without me being aware of it.