If your child is notorious for not doing as asked, here is a simple strategy you could try.
Each time you need him to do something:
- stop what you’re doing
- go up close to you child (arms length is good)
- get down to their level (eye level) and say their name
- tell them what you need them to do calmly and matter of factly – don’t ask them e.g. Josh, would you like to go brush your teeth now – tell them instead e.g. Josh it’s time for you to go and brush your teeth. Please go now.
- don’t leave her side, instead stay close and for wait 5 seconds and if she doesn’t budge, then repeat your instruction again
- wait for another 5 seconds
- if there’s still no movement then follow the non-compliance with a logical consequence i.e. one that fits the purpose and that you can act on immediately
- if on the other hand your child complies remember to praise them – Thank you for doing as I asked. Praise is more efficient as a behaviour management strategy than punishment
When giving an instruction:
- ensure that it is clear and direct
- don’t give too many instructions in one go
- ensure that it is indeed something that your child is capable of doing e.g. a 3 year old being asked to tidy up his or her bedroom is almost setting the child up to fail
- timing is everything – ensure that your instruction is well timed. Asking your child to come and have dinner in the middle of their favourite TV program is asking for trouble
- some children will need time warnings, so if you know that you need your child to have a bath at 6:00 pm for instance, start telling him or her at least 30 mins before and in intervals of 10 or 15 mins depending on your child. If you think your child needs more warning then start earlier.
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