How do I get my child to follow routines without repeating myself?

Wow school seems to have started off with a bang! Parents and children alike are back to routine. Routine brings both the pleasant and not so pleasant parts of the day.

I have one frustrated mother who is already tearing her hair as she is faced with the old problems that school and routine brings – lack of time and loss of voice! She is constantly repeating the same old instructions to her children, yes they are following through – but it requires her to repeat – repeat and repeat.

I know how she feels because I was a mum who felt like a broken record repeating and directing my children from toothbrush to tie to textbooks till I realized how I needed to communicate differently so that my children listened to me and then did their everyday stuff without my having to repeat it.

This video blog Monday Mornings with Sunaina Episode 48 guides you through six simple easily implementable strategies to communicate in such a way that your child listens to you and you don’t have to keep repeating the same things again.

1) Have a list of to-dos put up where your child can see it. If your child is too young then put up photos, visuals of the things you want him to do before going to school – like brushing teeth, combing hair, taking his lunch box etc. In the case of older children you can just put up reminder lists where they see them and follow through.

2) Before you start to say something to your child or give him instructions to follow, check whether you have his attention. Just the way when you are busy reading this email and someone calls for your attention you are so rapt in reading this that you miss out half the words. In the same way if your child is doing something, then check whether he is listening to you.

3) After you have got his attention, make eye contact and speak to him. And the best way to teach your child the skills of eye contact is when you model it for him. So when you are reading this and your child calls out, you need to stop looking at your computer or phone and turn and look at your child. This models to your child the importance of eye contact when speaking to others.

4) As a parent you are in a position of authority, however it is important to see his point of view. Is your child engrossed in his favourite activity, just the way you get absorbed by your favourite TV serial that you blank out the rest of the world. Sometimes children are enjoying themselves in their TV serial, book or activity that they unconsciously block you out. So see your child’s point of view when giving him instructions.

5) Seek your child’s cooperation by firstly asking him in a tone, which is warm, loving and firm. There is no need to give orders. Give your child a choice of time or activity asking him if he could do the required task immediately or prefer to do it after 15 minutes. That way you empower your child and make him feel responsible by gaining his cooperation.

6) KISS – keep your instructions and communication short and simple. On busy school days children are on limited time and to make the most of what you want them to do make your communication simple and to the point.

Action: Together with your child put together a to-do list he needs to follow before school and after he comes back from school. When you do this together, he has a say in it and feels responsible for completing the tasks.

If your child is feeling low and his self-confidence is on shaky ground because he has not been able to settle down, BOOK a Youth Coaching Session with me NOW! Email sunainaathena@gmail.com or call (+971)-56-1399033.
Sessions are conducted via: phone, skype, face-to-face to suit your child’s needs.