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kindergarten teacher, sun lover, scorpio-introvert, dog mom, obsessed with low-tox living. Hoping to help you parent your littles, make some clean swaps, & simply live your best life.

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mackenzie

10/26/2021

What to do When Your Child Ignores Your Instructions

Have you ever had an experience like this?

Your child is playing on the swings and it’s almost time to go. 

  • You say “in 2 minutes we’re leaving the park”
  • In 2 minutes when you tell your child it’s time to go, they keep swinging. 
  • You tell them again “It’s time to go NOW. Get off the swing. Can you stop swinging? Come on. Can you come to the car?”
  • Child keeps ignoring and swinging
  • You tell them again “we need to go now, can you please get off the swings”

So frustrating, right??!! You are not alone. This pattern of words often feels the easiest. Oftentimes we take the path of least resistance even when we know it’s not going to work. We’re so tired we can’t think of any other way to do it, so we keep repeating the same cycles. I’ve got you! First, make sure you read this post — I go over how to give stellar instructions for scenarios like this. Then come back here.

Alright, so you’ve given stellar instructions to your child and they’re not budging. Now what?? It’s so easy to revert back to old habits and patterns. I’m here to help you break out of the old habits and stay strong in your new ones. I value your sanity too much to let you go backwards 😅 

Here’s the simple version: 

Shift from repeating the same or similar words → to asking questions. 

  • Did you hear my words?
  • Did you hear the instructions?
  • Do you understand what’s expected?
  • Are you having a hard time following instructions?
  • Do you feel frustrated (or sad)?

A step further:

Did you hear my words? 

  • Child says no: Ask if they’re ready to listen to you repeat your words

Did you hear the instructions?

  • Child says no: Ask if they’re ready to listen to you repeat the instructions

Do you understand what’s expected?

  • Child says no: repeat the instructions in an even simpler step-by-step way

Are you having a hard time following instructions?

  • Child says yes: tell them you understand, it’s hard to stop doing fun things. Then offer two ways that you can support them that get them moving (i.e. do you want to hold my hand or show me your new skip to the car?)

Do you feel frustrated (or sad)?

  • Child says yes: tell them you understand, it’s a bummer to leave before you feel ready. Then give two choices of how you can help them that moves them forward (i.e. when we get home you can give your favorite stuffy a hug) 

You’re set!

Now you’re ready to keep things moving forward even when your child gets stuck. As always, I’m here to support you. Please send me an email if you have any questions! Hop on over to Instagram for even more daily tips. 

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