Tag Archives: listening

J driving a tractor at age 4

A Simple Test: Reinforcing Listening and Kindness with a Child

“I need you to listen the first time.” | “Be nice to your brother!” | “If you can’t follow directions, we can’t go.” | “Can you hear my voice?”

Any of those phrases sound familiar? Knowing that children respond to games as a way to reinforce behaviors, I came up with an idea recently that was very successful with our 4 year old. Using this test is a good idea sparingly; don’t use it every time you are about to do something fun. Novelty goes a long way with most humans, but when you’re at your wits end and you are trying to engage them in a fun activity (e.g. going to a community event), then say it is time do a quick test to make sure your child can follow directions, listen, and be kind. As their parent, it’s your job to evaluate how well they do on the score; remember, you want to take them to this fun thing, so your goals is to set them up for success and evaluate them as passing.

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