Unable to follow instructions?

Do you find morning times challenging to get your kids ready for school? Does your child have difficulty following instructions?  Do they forget what you have asked them to do? 

Morning times can be a challenge particularly if you need to constantly remind your child what they need to do. “Go and get dressed.  Have you packed your bag? Have you cleaned your teeth?  Where is your homework?  I said go and get dressed.”  Does this sound familiar? Well I have a few tips that can help you organise your morning routine so that it goes more smoothly and you don’t sound like a drill sergeant.angry-people

  1. Only give 1 – 3 instructions at a time.  They go into their room to do their tasks and they have forgotten by the time they get there what was asked of them.  This is because the amount of information they are getting is overloading them.  It is a bit like a power surge in an electrical box which then causes the safety switch to trip.  If this is happening with your child they won’t hear or understand everything that you have said.
  2. Get your child to repeat the instructions.  This way you know they have heard and comprehended.
  3. Use visuals. When my kids were younger I had a board with pictures of what needed to be done in the morning, ie pack bag, get dressed, make bed etc. As each task was completed they would move the picture to a box.  This way we both could see what still needed to be done.  I also had a picture of them playing at the end of the tasks so they knew when everything was done the last ‘task’ was playing.  I stopped being the drill sergeant!
  4. Make the morning routine fun.  Most of the time kids just want to play. Getting ready for school is not playing.  What I would do at times is make a game out of one of the tasks, like getting dressed. “Can you get dressed before I do?”  Then off we went.  A much more enjoyable morning.
  5. Write a list of what they need to do.  Now that my children are older and can read I use a written list at various times, like when we are going away and they need to pack their bags for an over night trip.  As each item is packed they rub it off the white board.  This is great because it gives them more independence.  Also if something is forgotten – they packed their bags!

Let me know what has worked for you and your children?

In good health, Vicki

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