My kid had neglected to put his shoes in the shoe rack, again, after I’d reminded him for what felt like a zillionth time.
My younger one forgets to switch off the light or the fan when he is leaving from the room.
They do really test my patience and more often drive me crazy, and I often wonder, how many times will I need to remind him before it sinks in?
If this sounds like you, welcome to the club.
The above scenario is a common thing in most households with young kids (sometimes even teenagers).
There are several reasons why children may not follow instructions. Some of the common reasons include:
Lack of understanding:
Youngsters may have trouble following directions because they do not completely grasp what is being requested of them. This could be due to a lack of comprehension on their part. If parents want their children to have a better understanding of what is required of them, they might need to employ visual aids or break down the instructions into a series of smaller steps.
It is quite easy for children to become distracted, and this is especially true if there are other things in their surroundings that are more intriguing or enticing to them. When you want your child to pay attention to what you are telling them, create an environment that is calm and free from distractions.
If children do not recognise the value in what they are being asked to do, there is a possibility that they may be less inclined to carry out the request. Make an effort to identify ways to make the activity more interesting or significant to them.
Overwhelm or anxiety:
Children may experience feelings of overwhelm or anxiety when they are given instructions that are too complex or too difficult to understand. It is essential to readjust your expectations and to give assistance and direction whenever it is required.
Here are some suggestions that can be useful to you if you want to encourage your youngster to follow instructions:
Be explicit and concise:
Ensure that the directions you provide are straightforward, easy to grasp, and as brief as possible. Make use of terminology that is easy to understand and stay away from lengthy and convoluted sentences.
Please provide directions and expectations that are as detailed as possible. Try rephrasing the request as “make your bed, put away your toys, and vacuum the floor” rather than just telling the child to “clean their room.”
Make use of positive reinforcement:
Provide your child with positive reinforcement whenever they successfully complete a task or follow your directions. Appreciate both their efforts and their achievements, and make sure to give them encouraging feedback whenever they finish a task.
If your youngster does not follow directions, set explicit consequences. This can be anything as simple as taking away screen time or taking away a privilege, but it needs to be suitable given the circumstances and shouldn’t be unduly severe.
Keep in mind that youngsters are still developing and learning new things, and that it may take some time for them to master the ability to consistently follow directions. Maintain your patience while continuing to offer support and direction as required.
In conclusion, children might not comply with instructions for a variety of different reasons, but there are a few different approaches that parents can use to encourage cooperation from their offspring. Parents can assist their children in learning how to follow instructions and develop critical life skills by being patient with them, being clear and detailed in their communication with them, giving positive reinforcement, and setting penalties.
Note: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may earn a tiny referral fee if you make a purchase through my link (without any extra cost to you). It isn’t much but it keeps this website up. Thank you for your support.