8 Strategies to Help your Child Follow Directions at Home

  1. Kneel down and make sure you are talking to your child at eye level.
  2. Use a statement, not a question when asking your child to clean up, get his or her shoes etc . . .
  3. Even though what you have asked your child is NOT an option, you can give them a choice.  Do you want to clean up the trains first or the blocks first?
  4. If your child runs away, go get her.  Say, “We need to X, but Mommy will help you”. 
  5. Set a timer.  This works really well and we use timers all the time in speech therapy and in preschool settings.  Tell your child, “Mommy is setting the timer for one minute – then we clean up”.
  6. Restate the direction and use a countdown. “5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1, now it’s time to wash our hands”. 
  7. Make it into a game.  If you want your child to clean up, tell him “Let’s clean up FAST!” Then proceed to do it fast – it will seem silly and your child will join in and help.
  8. Your child may need an incentive. Use a FIRST/THEN strategy.  “FIRST, we have to brush our teeth, THEN we can go outside”. 

Make sure to check out our YouTube video
explaining these strategies in more detail!