1. Carefully consider your child’s age, experience and ability when giving them a job to do or telling them to do something.
  2. Do not give directions to your child from another room. Go to your child, get their undivided attention and tell them what should be done.
  3. Make sure your child is paying attention to you when you tell them to do something. Have your child look directly at you so you know they are listening and have them repeat the direction in order to check understanding.
  4. Do not give your child more than two or three steps to follow in one direction. Directions that involve several steps can be confusing and cause your child to have difficulty following them. An example of a two step direction is: “Please brush your teeth and go to bed.”
  5. Deliver directions in a supportive, rather than threatening manner (e.g. “Please take out the trash”, rather than “You better take the trash out or else!”
  6. Provide your child with a list of daily chores, weekly chores, etc. and put them where they will see it (e.g. closet door, on their desk, the refrigerator, etc.)
  7. Establish a regular routine for your child to follow in order to help them learn to perform chores without requiring reminders.
  8. Use a timer to help your child know how much time they have to follow through with directions given to them.
  9. Make a written list of directions you want your child to follow (e.g. feed the dog, take out the trash, etc.)
  10. Have your child do things that need to be done when they are discussed instead of later (e.g. put swimsuits in the car now so when we go to the pool later, they won’t be forgotten.”
  11. Allow natural consequences to occur as a result of your child’s failure to do what they are told (e.g. forgetting to but their bike in the garage may result in it getting stolen, leaving a toy on the floor may result in it getting damaged, etc.)
Sanity Saver: We all have to be “reminded” sometimes to do things we do not particularly enjoy doing.