Following instructions is a part of everyday life and as adults with young children we need to provide lots of guidance via instructions and questions to children. For a child to follow instructions requires them to attend to details in spoken language, and then to sequence the information into appropriate steps. Repetition of instructions can be important. At times they may need to seek clarification, especially if they have trouble remembering or recalling the information. It is important however that we provide support to help them with this very important skill that requires listening attentively, recall and then application. We can help them reduce the instructions and questions that need to be repeated.
Here are 8 ways to help children with instructions and questions that need to be repeated frequently:
- The child should write down instructions and information and use it as a reference to help them remember.
- Model and demonstrate the behaviours required for effective listening. For example, look at the person speaking, repeat instructions.
- Deliver instructions and questions in a supportive manner that encourages rather than scrutinises levels of success. For example, “please explain the instructions back to me so that I can help you understand.”
- Use language that is appropriate to the child when delivering instructions, directions and questions.
- Ensure the child is held accountable and made responsible for their role in the communication process. Do not accept such things as forgetting as an excuse.
- Use informal settings outside the immediate environment as opportunities to reinforce and practice behaviours related to communication and maintaining attention. For example, recess, family dinners and recreation time.
- Never chastise or punish the child for asking questions.
- Align expectations with the child’s level of development and ability.
Senior Managing Partner and Education Expert Shanna Parry
Combining her passions for teaching, training and travel, Shanna Parry has since worked throughout the USA, Middle East, India and China serving as a director (Higher Education), headmaster (Secondary School) and consultant (K-12). Shanna brings a wealth of experience in a variety of critical areas.
In 2018 and 2019 Shanna was identified as top 30 in the Education category for Global Gurus among some of the worlds leading Education experts. Shanna continues to travel extensively to meet the demands for her consulting expertise in administrative and teacher development.
In her role as Senior Managing Partner of GSE she plays a key role in the day-to-day operations as well as pioneering creative models for international schools and providing groundbreaking training methods for directors, administrators, teachers, and students.
Global Services in Education set up and operate schools in all parts of the world. Governed by a philosophy of global citizenship, every member of the GSE team shares a passion to help shape international education and student achievement through inspiration and collaboration.
Our goal is to meet the highest objectives of every school, teacher, student and parent, with an unwavering dedication to quality education, shared ideals and intercultural perspectives.
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