Giving Kids Directions

By: Kate Quattlebaum

Everybody knows the struggle of trying to get your kids to listen and follow-through on what you ask of them. Making sure your kids are understanding what you’re asking is important to minimizing bad behaviors. These are five tips to help make sure you are giving kids effective directions.

  1. Make sure your child is paying close attention to what you are saying and not distracted by technolo gy or friends.
  2. Be clear in what you are asking your child to do. Avoid broad directions to ensure they understand what you are asking of them. For example, asking your child to “straighten up” might mean stand up straight to them while it means clean the room to you.
  3. Ask your child to repeat the directions to ensure they understand what you are asking them to do!
  4. Avoid asking your child questions when you are giving them directions. This will eliminate the option for them to say “yes” or “no”.
  5. Make sure when you give children directions, you give them one at a time. By giving one direction at a time, your child is more liekly to remember and follow your direction.


Toddlers and preschoolers are discovering the world around them and also learning what is right and wrong at the same time. Giving your child effective directions will let them know exactly what behaviors you expect.

Source: CDC

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