How to Get Your Child to be Better at Following Directions

Ivy Prep Team on September 27, 2019

Do you often have trouble with getting your child to do as you say? It’s not uncommon for children to do what they want to do. Or, to not want to do what they’re told. However, it’s not something every parent may be proud to showcase in public. So, for parents struggling with this issue, looking for solutions to helping your child with following directions can help. In this article, we determine a few methods parents can utilize to help encourage young children to follow directions better. This way, these children can begin to develop a better understanding of why following directions is important. And, will be better prepared to follow directions in an academic setting when the time comes.

Use Assertive Words When Talking to Children

Children are their own person and they have their own personalities, likes, and dislikes. So, when it comes to telling them what to do, they may not always agree and oblige. However, discipline in how you speak to children can help to encourage children to listen. So, make sure that, when you speak to your child, you do so in a way that’s assertive. This is the most effective way to get children to begin listening to what you’re saying and obliging to do what they’re supposed to. To speak assertively, make sure you’re confident, friendly, firm, and clear with your words. Furthermore, while speaking assertively is important, doing so consistently is imperative. This way, your child understands that you expect them to listen every time you address them with assertive communication.

Get on Your Child’s Level

When you’re speaking to your child about something they need to accomplish, it helps to speak to them on their eye level. When you speak at a child’s eye level, they’ll be more willing to listen to what you have to say. And, will better understand what you’re saying is important to hear. Furthermore, being eye level with your child while communicating assertively allows them to understand that you’re there to listen to their questions, thoughts, and concerns. This presents a scenario in which you’re not only giving direction, but offering a listening ear.

How to Get Your Child to be Better at Following DirectionsUse Your Child’s Name When Making Requests

Once you’ve gotten to your child’s eye level so you can speak assertively, remember, when making a request to follow directions, use your child’s name often. Everyone likes to hear their own name, especially when having personal conversations. Even with adults, using someone’s name in a conversation sparks interest and promotes constructive listening. So, to get your child’s attention, use their name. And, use it until they’re ready to begin listening constructively to you. Additionally, use their name when they become distracted during your conversation.

Use Constructive, Optimistic Language

When you’re providing your child with directions to follow, it’s most constructive to use positive language. For example, instead of saying, “No balls inside”, try saying, “Please only play with balls outside”. No one really likes to be told what to do. But, if we’re approached with respect and positivity, we’re more willing to do what we’re expected. While it takes practice and conscious thought, it’s worth it for parents to implement positive words when advising their children. With this approach, not only will they be more willing to follow your directions, but they’ll be more prepared to speak to others in this same, positive, and constructive way.

Encourage and Portray Manners

Manners should be an integral part of every person’s childhood development. And, the best way to get kids to showcase good manners is for parents to practice them as well. When parents use good manners, children are aware that using them isn’t an option. So, they’ll use them even when parents aren’t around. Additionally, when kids have good manners, they’ll be more willing to listen and follow the directions that an authoritative figure asks of them. To implement good manners, start with teaching your kids to say “please” and “thank you” whenever they ask for or receive things.

Following Directions in Early Learning

While parents can make great efforts to get their children to follow directions, others can help as well. Certainly, putting a child in an environment that encourages following directions helps to encourage this behavior. And, allowing them to experience this environment early on can help to establish these healthy behaviors from an early age.

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Here at Ivy Prep Early Learning, we offer educational programs for children as young as 6 weeks old. Each of our programs is designed to help children at a young age to prepare for a successful future in academics. This way, they have a better chance at a successful life beyond schooling years. If you’re looking for an environment that encourages emotional, social, physical, and cognitive growth for your young child or children, contact us today to schedule a visit to one of our New York City locations.


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