Let’s be honest, just because you get your child’s attention doesn’t necessarily mean you can get your kids to follow directions. First, kids may not exactly hear things the way you express them. You say, “Take out the garbage” and they hear “the garbage should go out sometime this week.”
Also, kids tend to push back when they think they didn’t agree to something, or when your expectations are different from what they “thought” they heard. Making sure you agree on what is being asked, and by when, goes a long way to reducing tension and increasing the likelihood that you can get your kids to follow your directions when you make requests.
So this tactic, “Get It, Got It, Good!” is a terrific follow up to getting your child’s attention, and a great way to seal the deal. Here’s how it works:
- After giving your child a direction, you ask, “Get it?”
- Your child responds by saying, “Got it,” and repeating what she understands she has agreed to do. This gives you a chance to make any tweaks, like clarifying a time frame “you’ll do it by 5:00, right?” or “just to be clear, by unload the groceries I mean for you to put them away, not just bring in the bags. You got that, right?” Your child confirms, if needed, after any changes, until you’re sure she’s really “got it.”
- You respond, “Good!” and feel confident that your direction has been clearly communicated and received on the other end. Now we all know that there are still some memory pieces involved with helping your child to follow directions on some tasks, but at least you know you’re on the same page about what is being asked.