The Instructional Routine

the instructional routine

The Instructional routine is crucial because it:

  • builds character in the child.
  • Cooperation 
  • and responsibility 

How? Because a good Instructional Routine has a balance of:

clarity

affirmation

firmness,

and teamwork.

Here are the steps of The Instructional routine:

Stage 1

The parent: get close to the child. Don’t shout your instructions across the room or house. By getting close to the child,

  • it gives value to what you are about to say. For younger children, you may hold their hands and look them in the eye.
  • getting close to the child breaks the child’s concentration on what he/she is doing. They get to listen to what you have to say.
  • this increases cooperation.

The child– comes when called. Dr. Scott Turansky and Johanne Miller RN BSN in the book- Parenting Is Heart Work training manual:

“In fact, coming when called is a “preschool survival skill.”

They emphasize that older children need to come when called too. For younger children, you can make it a game. You may say, ” Pat, I want you to sit on the couch. When I call you, you come over and say, “what mom?”

When Pat comes over after you call him, validate him. Tell him he is learning how to obey. Use a lot of encouragement and praise.

Stage 2

Parent– evaluate your timing before you speak. If your child is upset, you need to deal with the situation first. Show empathy and that your relationship with him is more important than the instruction.

The child- children must be ready to receive instructions ALL the time though. In the instructional process, children learn,

  • how to give up their own agenda
  • to think about others instead of themselves.

Stage 3-make sure the child knows its NOT a suggestion

Parent: Give instructions. Make sure your child knows its not a suggestion, but an instruction. like you don’t say, “Pat, would you like to go take a bath, now.” You say, Pat let’s go to the bathroom. Its time to take a path.”

Use a calm, matter-of-fact voice. Avoid loudness and intensity, because it wears on the relationship.

Child: The child answers. ” okay, mom”

The response tells the parent 3 things:

  • the child heard what you said.
  • the child intends to follow through.
  • gives the parent a clue about the child’s attitude. If Pat says,” Okaaaaay Moooooom!” Then, you know you need to deal with the attitude.

Stage 4

The Tricky stage for most parents.

Parent– Wait expectantly. Don’t nag. Give your child time so they learn to be responsible. The child needs to feel uncomfortable until they are done with the assignment. You may remind the child wisely. ” Pat, I’m waiting”

Child: To do the job as if on a mission

Stage 5

The only stage the child starts

Child: Reports back to the parent.,” Here is the book mom/dad” Reporting back teaches children accountability. And the child will be showing that he/she knows that the job is important.

Parent: Inspects and releases, if the job needs some inspection. If the child needs to do some touch up tell him/her so. Praise for a job well done. Release by the parent gives the child a sense of freedom.

IN CONCLUSION

The time mom/dad spends adjusting the way they give instructions. And the way the son responds to them will dramatically improve their relationship. Thereby, making family life work more efficiently, and teaches the son valuable lessons for the future. When necessary the parent uses:

The Break https://nurturenavigation.com/2019/12/09/the-parent-can-use-the-break-methodrepentent-method-instead-of-time-out-which-is-a-sentence-for-the-offence/ to help the son think through things and repent.

The parent to continue praying and loving their child. Knowing change is a process. Even the Instructional routine can take a while for some kids to follow through. But, hey it’s doable. Keep on keeping on.

Continue reading “The Instructional Routine”

The Break-How do you deal with a 2 year- old, who does not want to sit for meals or just settle down?

The Break

The break and time-out are different in that in timeout the child must ‘serve a sentence’ for a crime’ they’ve committed. And the parent’s role is to keep the child in the place of time-out until the time is up. In The Break responsibility for change is moved to the child The break focuses on heart change, not only behavior change. After the child does wrong you send them on a mission to change their heart(repentance).

The focus here is on the heart of the child, length of time is determined by the child. A break is not a consequence but part of a training process. Children learn to take a break for them to settle down and think things through. For example- what they did wrong and how they should have behaved. This is a good practice even for adults(parents). It’s not wise to continue working with a child when their temper is rising and the parent’s temper is rising. In the break, the child has the responsibility to make changes and come back to the parent. When the child comes back, the attitude of the parent is to show a desire for the child to return. Let me give an example here: Your daughter gets up over and over again. Let’s say her name is Shirley.

The Break

You say,

” Shirley, you’re 2 years old. And you’re becoming a big girl. Very soon you’ will be going to kindergarten. You need to learn discipline. Go take a break, and come back when you are ready to listen and settle down.”

Little Shirley goes and comes back. You ask her,

” Are you ready to listen?”

This is where Postive Conclusion comes in

Let’s say she says “Yes”. Ask her what she did wrong. Maybe she says, “I kept on standing up”. You then say,

” And what were you supposed to do?”.

Maybe says,” sit down” or” Sit down and let you know if I need something”. You then show her affirmation and love and tell her,

” Alright, let’s do this again. Shirley, settle down.” Before you start the process of The Break for the very first time, you explain it to her and how it works. This process works as long as the parent is committed to it.

What is A Positive Conclusion? Dr. Scotty Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN in Parenting is Heart Work Training Manual, say:

A positive Conclusion is a discussion you have with your child after the consequence to clarify the offense, make a plan for next time, and offer encouragement to do the right thing.

They continue by saying it offers hope to the child because at times a child is repetitively corrected then they become discouraged. It helps the child have thoughts of a positive future. They encourage parents to practice Positive Conclusion each time they discipline their child. Because children learn by repetition. At the end of each session show love, forgiveness and acceptance to the child.