Using games and activities to teach Following Instructions
When it comes to teaching Following Instructions games and activities are your best friend. Every game, recipe, project, and activity already comes with a list of steps and tasks to do and your children are already in the habit of Following Instructions and have no problem doing it that setting. Now, if they could only view chores and homework in the same light. You can use almost any game, activity, project, recipe to teach your children Following Instructions, but ones with clear, simple steps are best—especially in the beginning.
Teachers are the best at using games and activities to teach a new concept. Think how learning your ABC’s or the capitols of the world became fun because of the games and activities your teacher employed to teach it. The same principle holds true for teaching skills to your kids. When the role-playing is fun, your children are going to want to do it. They’re going to want more mommy, daddy, or family time. They’re going to want more laughter and being silly. If they have to follow a few steps to get it, they’re going to do it.
When you’re playing games or doing activities you’re basically just role-playing. Role-play is the term we use and all it means is practice—and lots of it. You don’t need anything special—besides your imagination—to role-play which is why we love it. You can role-play at any time with any situations. Role-play works for something simple like picking up a piece of trash on a walk home or how to make a cake from scratch.
On the first day of doing something new I’m like, “I’ve got this.” By day four I’m wishing that all I needed to do was just snap by finger. By day ten I’m cursing myself for even thinking it was a good idea because so.much.work. Then that magically day comes when it’s no longer work and, voila, it’s a habit.
Trying to establish a new habit with your kids is going to be pretty much the same process. At times you’re going to vacillate wanting to throw your hands up in the air to jumping for joy because you’re seeing progress as your family learns the skill of Following Instructions. We can defiantly say it all that hard work will be worth it. They payouts of a less yelling, more obedience and a happier family environment are worth the hard work.
Here’s some tips for role-playing
So often we are the ones giving our child instructions: Pick up your clothes, do you homework, go to bed, that it’s sometimes it’s good for them to give the instructions. Switching roles also allows you to demonstrate their behavior.
For many kids—especially your teenager—role-playing will be out of their comfort zone. To make them comfortable with the idea of role-playing, be crazy. Your child is going to be *almost* as crazy as you are. Seeing you talk in different voices or exaggerate will make it easier for them to not feel judged and get into the spirit of things.
At the beginning role-play is going to feel strange for both you and your kids so don’t overcomplicate it doing something that’s hard.
Keep it fun
Your kids are going to fight these role-plays, so don’t turn these into chores or duties because that will just make them resent doing it.
Grab your favorite board game tonight and pull everyone around the table for a little role-playing aka learning how to Follow Instructions.
Don’t have a favorite board game? Try these:
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