Most parents go complaining that it is nearly an impossible task to get their child to do things, the way they would want them to. However, a close look at the situation will suggest that it’s not the children who are impossible. Rather, it’s just that the parents are unable to give clear-cut instructions, which can be well interpreted and followed by the child.
As parents, you need to understand how to give proper instructions, so that they are well received by your child. Here are a few guiding tips to help you give clear-cut instructions to your child.
Is your child listening?
If your child is deeply involved in some activity, such as watching TV, when you’re giving good instructions, then you really can’t expect the child to follow your instructions. That makes it important for you to get your child’s attention before you start directing him.
Avoid the chaos
Most parents tend to make their instructions bulky with words, which leads to ambiguity in the mind of the child. Instructions need to be given using fewer and simpler words, so that your instructions are crisp, short, to the point and completely understandable.
A child’s brain has its own limitations, in terms of the number of instructions that it can handle at one time. You may be skilled in multitasking, but your child is still growing and if you want your child to understand and follow your instructions, control yourself and give them only one instruction at one time. Too many instructions will confuse the child.
Be reasonable and practical about the instructions that you give to your child that means you need to be sure that whatever task you are giving your child, is completely within his abilities. You can’t really expect a two year old child to tie his shoe laces himself.
Most parents begin their instructions with negative words such as no or don’t, and that leads to some amount of confusion in the mind of the child. For instance telling your child “don’t keep your toys on the couch” is the wrong way to go, and if you really want that instruction to be effective then rephrase it as “please keep your toys in the rack”. The idea is to tell them what they ought to do, rather than what they should not be doing.
And lastly, when your child follows the instructions properly, don’t forget to reward the child with a word of praise.