Instruction Giving

Want to get your child to more easily transition off screens and up to the dinner table?

Build yourself in a couple of seconds to move to where they are and give them a 5 min warning (from arms length… maybe crouched down to their level, using their name/ physical touch/ eye contact).

Once it is time for them to make the transition take a discreet long slow breath before you approach them to ensure you are as calm as you can manage (they hear us through how our bodies look WAY more than what we say with our words).

Sit non-confrontationally next to them quickly (just for 30 seconds or so) to comment about what you are noticing (that they look like they are really enjoying it, that you bet they can’t wait until they can next play it again, or ask them something about how the game works etc).

This is you attuning before you hold the limit you have set. It helps you stay empathetic because it tunes you into what they are enjoying. It helps them tune into your instruction because they hear that you are noticing what is important to them and understanding that it is hard to break away from what has got your avid attention.

From there, notice your own breath again (it helps recenter you), soften your face and restate the instruction watching that you sound kindly ‘in charge’ rather than frustrated/threatening.

Move your body in the direction of where you want them to go. See what works best. Sometimes it is leaving space for them to lead the way. Sometimes it is leading the way yourself. Either way it helps if you can give off the vibe that you believe they will make the choice to follow the instruction.

Sounds labor intensive, doesn’t it?

It’s not what you will need to do forever. Chances are that by the time you marry them off they will have learnt from you being so patient and tuned-in that they can do this on their own😆

Seriously though, 2 mins regularly invested there really can undo habits like the ‘escalation trap’ which is the name for that phenomenon you and they get into when instructions only get followed after threats or yelling.

Want to talk more about this? Use the online enquiry form to get in touch.