Perfect Ways to Instruct Your Children

by Puja Roy July 07, 2022

What Do You Mean By Giving Instruction to Kids?

Instruction is the act of teaching a child and providing a step-by-step guide to him or her that he or she needs to follow. The purpose is to make children learn new skills and work accordingly in various situations. Parents, especially the new ones,  often face the difficulty of giving the right instructions to their kids in an incorrect manner which the kids are unable to understand and hence respond unexpectedly.


It is very important to know the proper norms and methods of instructing children so that it’s easy for them to comprehend and work as per they are asked to. The instructions you’re giving should be short and to the point such that they are easily understandable by the kids. In this article, we will talk about the proper ways of how to give instruction to children.


Why Does My Child Not Follow Instructions?

Most parents are seen complaining, “Why does my child not follow instructions?” There could be many reasons for your children to behave in this manner. Maybe the methods you’re using to instruct your kids are not comprehensible to them. You’re asking them something, but unable to understand your ways, the poor kids are coming up doing something else. It might be that your instructions are not meant for the age of kids you have, or maybe you’re not giving enough time to them to process. Read through to get an idea of the perfect methods to be followed while instructing children.


Kid getting scolded by her mother


Kid getting scolded by her mother


How to Make Your Child Follow Instructions?

Children tend to be very vulnerable, especially at a young age. Their brains are not completely developed to follow all your instructions within a blink of an eye. It is very important to understand their mind and behavioural patterns before giving them any instruction. Proper instructions can let you minimise challenging behaviour. When instructions are delivered in a good appropriate way, children learn to think and concentrate and hence respond accordingly. Let’s have a look at some of the methods and learn how to make your child follow instructions:


  • Give Specific, Clear and Concise Instructions:

Do not give too many instructions at a time. Try to be specific and clear while instructing your little ones. Instructions should be straightforward and to the point. The lesser the number of words, the better it will be for your kids to understand. Like, “Please sit down”, or “Drink water”. More words will make your children confused and they won’t be able to respond to what you’re asking for. The sentences should not be ambiguous.

  • Be Sure of Your Kid’s Attention:

While giving instructions to your child, do make sure that he or she is at least paying attention to what you are saying. Else all your efforts would be in vain. Kids might not understand your facial gestures. So be specific while asking for their attention, like “Please look at me and listen carefully”.

  • Give Realistic Age-specific Instructions:

Give instructions based on your child’s age. Do not instruct something that he or she will not be able to follow. For example, asking your 2 or 3-year-old kid to eat all by him or herself is not an acceptable instruction. Instead, you could ask him or her to drink the juice from the bottle while you help him or her with the rest of the food.

  • Get Rid of Distractions:

It’s very difficult to make your child stay calm and pay full attention, without fidgeting a bit. So once you are able to grab the attention of your little ones, make sure they do not get a chance to be distracted. Things like background music, television sound, other people around talking, games, etc. could easily make them distracted. Try to minimise all such diversions and then give the required instructions. Also, while instructing you must put your whole attention toward them so that they can copy your behaviour.

  • Don’t Shout Out to Call:

Try to give instructions when you are in the same room with your child, instead of shouting out from across the other room. This might make your child feel that you are scolding and that may end up scaring him or her, which of course you do not intend to do.

  • Enough Time to Process the Instructions:

Kids do not have the capability to listen, think and work accordingly as soon as they receive instructions from their parents. Once you give instructions to your kids, wait for a few moments. Don’t repeat your words and check if they are able to comprehend what you said or asked for. And then give them enough time required to process that. Try to be calm and do not rush on them.


A kid listening to her mother calmly


A kid listening to her mother calmly


  • Make Use of Statements and Not Questions:

Sometimes when the instructions come in the form of a question, like “Could you open the door, please?”, children have the tendency to think they are given a choice whether to follow the instruction or not. Instead, restate it by saying, “Open the door, please”. In this way, it is much clearer to them and it would help them act accordingly.

  • Numbering Your Instructions:

One of the ways to make your kids remember the instructions you give is by numbering them out. Use terms like “You need to perform four tasks”, and then mention each task by numbering them as first, second, third, and so on. This way it will help them to understand the order of the tasks and thus keep in mind that they have multiple jobs to perform.


How Far Are the Instructions Liked By the Children?

Proper parenting needs much time and understanding. Not only understanding your kids' minds but also understanding if the way you are dealing with them is correct for them or not. Children’s brains are very delicate at a very young age and hence need proper caring to develop. So, when you’re delivering some instructions to your child, make sure that you don’t cross the limit for them to grasp and process those.

 

You must not give too many instructions at a time. This will make your child grow irritated and they might not respond to you. You should set a target for each day depending on his or her age. Children of the age group 2 to 3 years cannot understand instructions that are meant for older ones.

 

Ending Note!

To summarise, instructions are a set of step-wise guidelines given to a person to make him or her learn and perform tasks accordingly. Instructing kids could be difficult. Parents who do not know how to give instruction to children should learn all the appropriate techniques to deliver instructions to their kids. You must never sound like ordering something while instructing, instead, try to make it look like you’re requesting. Being calm and polite can let you and your children come closer and make them follow your instructions with ease.