I really hate to write these kind of posts, because I don't want my children to read them when they are older and think that I thought bad of them, but I really need some help with Big Sister. I was hoping that I could call on the hundred or so cumulative years of parenting experience of all my readers.
Big Sister has a really hard time following directions.
If I ask her to do something there will be one of a few different reactions: talking back, ignoring, making up her own directions ("Did you say such and such?" when she knows full well what I asked her to do) and very rarely actually doing what I asked. Most often it's talking back and being resistant. Here's an example that happened this morning. I was at her school waiting for the bell to ring with her. At Big Sister's school they have all the kids line up on their class "dots" on the black top. She decided she wanted to play with the jump ropes so she went and got one. About 10 minutes later the bell rang. All the kids were coming in from the grass and putting away their balls and ropes. I told Big Sister I heard the bell and that she needed to put the rope away. We had the following conversation:
Big Sister: That wasn't the bell. That one went doo-doo-doo-doo.
Me: No that was the bell. See all the kids coming in from the grass. Please go put away your jump rope.
BS: That wasn't the bell. It went doo-doo-doo-doo
Me: Yes, Big Sister it was. Please show me that you know how to follow directions.
BS ignores me
Me: Big Sister, please go put your rope away. All the kids are starting to get in line.
BS starts to walk really slow over to where the ropes go
Me: Quickly please so you can come back and get in line.
BS walks a little faster and finally puts her jump rope away.
This drives me crazy! I held my tongue but I wanted to say, "Don't make me send you back to Kindergarten where you can learn to follow directions!" I'm glad I didn't say that. But seriously I know she has a problem. How do I help her? This kind of exchange goes on constantly in our home. I try to be patient. She gets time-outs when she talks back. But I want to teach her how to follow directions, not punish her all the time. I know that she is going to have a hard time in school if she can't figure this one out. I want to spare her that. One girl in her class this morning interjected into our little rope conversation and said, "She never raises her hand in class." I don't want kids to be saying things like that already.
What strategies do you use to help teach your children how to follow directions?