It’s often I hear from parents that their child isn’t listening to them or that their children have trouble following directions. Oftentimes parents believe that their child is capable of following directions or that they “just don’t want to” follow directions. While having trouble following directions is age-appropriate, I want to share with you a few tips to help increase listening and direction-following.
Here’s an experience in which I was working with a child and his mother in session together:
The child was playing in the sandbox, chewing gum loudly, and dancing in place. The mother was getting quite annoyed as she was trying to speak to me. The child was having trouble keeping the sand in the sandbox and was accidentally spilling some onto the ground and table. The mother, feeling overwhelmed and stressed by trying to both talk to me and manage her child’s behavior, began to shout, “stop that,” over and over to her child. The child stopped dancing and stomping his feet but continued to spill sand and chew his gum loudly. The mother’s intention was to stop the child from spilling the sand as she was looking directly at the sandbox. The child simply didn’t understand.