Raising children in our present society seems like a daunting task. No doubt, children are lovely people and are fun to be with. But sometimes, adhering to instructions doesn't go down well with them.
Children are wired differently, so the method of dishing out instructions to them should also vary. Nevertheless, they have to learn to follow instructions, ask questions when not clear with a particular instruction, and still have their mindset and personality intact through questioning things around them.
During a conversation with a mom and a friend, the issue of teaching children to follow given instructions came up. In her own words, she put it out this way; "following instructions wouldn't be boring or difficult to kids if the parents put it out in the most possible and simple ways following the personality of each child". She went on to highlight the possible ways this can be achieved.
#1. Talk and teach them calmly
Most parents might be tempted to shout and yell when talking to their children. This shouldn't be. Sometimes, children's attitudes such as stubbornness or outright refusal to listen or follow instructions bring out this side from their parents.
I encourage parents to remain calm and maintain their cool even in the midst of the heated environment or anger. The fact is, two people can't be mad at the same time. So, choose to be the sane adult here.
Talk and teach your children calmly. Shouting might not give you the needed result you are seeking. However, by talking calmly to them, they will most likely listen to you, which will help you develop a bond with them that will make them open up to you as they grow.
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#2. Explain the benefits as well as the repercussions
There are benefits as well as repercussions to disobedience. Take time and explain beforehand to your children what they stand to gain or lose by following or not following instructions.
The expert gave an illustration here; according to her, following instructions is like following a recipe. Using a cake as an example, she said she ensures her kids use the right amount of ingredients required for a particular cake they are making. She told her kids that if they don't follow the instructions, they will end up with a different result which is not their intended result. So, knowing that, the children stick to the instructions.
She said that she uses simple everyday issues like the above to teach her kids to follow instructions. While having fun baking a cake, the children indirectly learn how to follow instructions.
The lesson here is this, get involved with your children's growth and development as early as possible and get to do some stuff with them too.
#3. Live and lead by example
Just like the previous point, live and lead by example. For instance, if they don't see you cook, how will they learn how to cook, let alone follow the instructions of a particular recipe.
As parents, teach your children how to follow instructions by modelling such yourself. For example, while having fun driving in your car, follow the driving rules. Doing this will encourage them to do so when it gets to their turn.
Simply modelling attributes, you want to see in your children will help them listen and follow instructions.
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#4. Come up with a workable strategy
When it comes to raising children, you have to come up with a strategy that works for you and your children. You don't just copy another person's strategy and stick to it. Instead, you modify such a strategy to fit your family's needs.
You know the capabilities of each of your children. With this knowledge, deal with them differently. For a calm and easy-going child, there's no need to yell at him/her when talking to them. Simply talk calmly. This is the same with energetic kids too. You can remind them of the repercussions if they choose not to listen.
Be in charge, outsmart them and come up with a strategy that will help them and also give you peace of mind.
"...following instructions wouldn't be boring or difficult to kids if the parents put it out in the most possible and simple ways following the personality of each child."
#5. Set anger aside and correct gently
Children have the tendency to get on your nerves as parents, especially when they don't listen to instructions or follow instructions. Please set anger aside and correct them gently. Yes, they will make you angry, but please don't take it to heart. Remember, they are children, and you are the adult.
As parents, you don't want to get it wrong by correcting them in anger. You don't want to say or do things you might regret after. So, if they annoy you badly, give yourself a break and get back to yourself before gently handling the situation.
According to the expert, anger, shouting and yelling are attributes you need to set aside while raising children.
If you want your children to listen and follow instructions, please start early to teach them and model such to them daily. Your children can listen, and they can also follow instructions too.
Find ways to teach your children to listen and follow instructions. You can start with the little things you do at home with them. Be it fixing puzzles, cooking, playing games etc., life and lessons are little things.
Let's continue to dazzle while we raise our children.