Sometimes it really feels that way. I know that my husband and I both feel like we have to say something about 5 times before our children will really listen to us. They might hear us the first time, but they don't always listen.
Right now, we are really struggling with Julia. Julia hasn't been listening much at all (and she's also been flipping on the whine a lot too). It is extremely frustrating.
Recently Julia disappeared out of the house and went three houses down to a friend's house. At 8:10 pm when Blake came in from working outside with Tyler, I asked him if Julia was coming in too. Blake said Julia wasn't out there, and that the last he'd seen her, she was at his friend's house. While I checked all over the house, Tyler went for a walk. Sure enough, Blake's friend's house is exactly where she was. Julia was immediately sent to bed. She has been told repeatedly to stay in the yard and to stay on the sidewalk, and we both feel she understands the rule but is disregarding it anyway.
Then yesterday while Tyler and Blake went to get rid of some yard clippings, Julia was playing outside while I was trying to get Chase down for a nap. Julia came inside while I was doing this, and I told her she could stay inside and watch TV (so that I'd know where she was). Very shortly after the doorbell rang. It was the neighbor coming to tell me about a problem they've been having with her. She has been going into their house without waiting for anyone to answer the door. He said they've talked to her about it 10-20 times already, and they weren't going to tell us about it, but today she'd walked in while they were napping and it was just enough.
The whine factor is another recently flaired issue. I have a new method with this, though, and it has so far been working. I point out to Julia that I don't like the way she is talking. (Recently I gave her a job of washing the dining room walls when she was particularly whiny/having a fit. I told her I'd find her a job to do each time she gets whiny.) She changes her words/tone immediately. Whether it sticks is the issue, and I will find her a job to do each time she can't find a better way to solve her problems.
What do you do when your five year old is totally disregarding long-established rules?? Time-out is not working, and grounding feels so pointless. She doesn't remember why she's stuck at home ... just that she is, and mommy is being mean. So what do I do "in the present" to stop this?! Any ideas?