Want Kids to Listen? Stop Repeating Yourself!

6 thoughts on “Want Kids to Listen? Stop Repeating Yourself!”

  1. What are your thoughts about giving children a 5 minute warning that they need to finish up what they are working on before it is time to actually go? If a child is engaged in a focused activity such as building or drawing, it can be difficult to simply drop it with no time to mentally transition out of it.

    1. Hi Barbara, Thank you for this. I am a great believer in warnings, most children benefit from having the time to transition. Warnings don’t count as repeating yourself, it’s just when you actually say “and now it’s time to…” making the real request that you want to avoid repeating. With warnings, it can also be helpful to say about the same thing and mean about the same amount of time each time. When my girls were little I would say “three more minutes” and then “one more minute, do your last thing.” And I tried hard to keep this language and the time consistent. This is beneficial even before they know how to tell time as they learn about how long it is given the consistent pairing. If sometimes your warning means three minutes because you are in a hurry and sometimes it means fifteen minutes because you get distracted, it isn’t helping them as much.

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