Do any of you have children like mine? Ones who put their backpack on the floor instead of the hook for it? Ones who run up the stairs and slam the door on their way. Or plop on the couch, “forget” where their shoes and coats go and how to make their bed? This is where using reminders to train children comes in handy. It’s time for us to work on new habits and those need lots of practice.
Practice, Practice, Practice
When I know that I’ve given them direction on what they are supposed to be doing and they aren’t doing it this is where the reminders come in. I give them the reminder and then they practice them. My son had a hard time getting his backpack on the hook in his room, put there right where he wanted it. So I reminded him and then had him practice it 20 times. Taking his backpack off the floor, going to his room putting it on the hook and then taking it back to the living room floor and doing it all over again. 20 times. We’ve done this for a lot of different things. Practiced sitting on the couch, up and down until 20 is done properly. Going in and out the door and closing it correctly.
Make it easier to do it right
Why am I doing this 20 times? It’s not actually meant as a punishment, it’s a training exercise. By practicing good behavior it gets ingrained. They know what’s expected and how to do it correctly. Also, it needs to be more work than just picking up the backpack and putting it away. It needs to be much more work to do it over. Putting a book on the shelf where it goes is much easier than straightening an entire shelf. Putting silverware away correctly is much easier than emptying and reorganizing the entire drawer.
This is how I am using reminders to train my children. Repetition. Practice. What do you do?