The ADHD Smarter Parenting’s Podcast

Ep #53: The importance of Following Instruction

December 23, 2019

The importance of Following Instructions can not be stressed enough. The ability to Follow Instructions is something that every person needs to know how to do if they want to be successful in life.

The behavior skill of Following Instructions found on shows parents and children how to be successful in following instructions they receive.

When parents teach Following Instructions they need to be aware of their expectations. When expectations aren't matched to our child's ability, it leads to frustration for all.

Our expectations should be different for a five-year-old and a fifteen-year-old. Meeting them at their ability level sets them up for greater success.

The four steps of Following Instructions are:

First, get the child's attention

Second, give a clear, detailed, descriptive instruction

Third, the child says, "Okay" and immediately does it

Fourth, child returns and reports when the task is finished

Four simple steps. There is excellent power if learning how to do them. 

When learning the skill of Following Instructions, we recommend doing the following.

First, incorporate Role-plays and reverse Role-plays. Role-plays allow your child to get a sense of what it is you're asking them to do by having them giving and following instructions. Role-plays are what make any skill successful as it's in the practicing that children understand and learn the skill.

Second, break down your expectations into clear instructions. If you want your child to clean their room, break it down into all the tasks you want accomplished. The more detailed you're able to be in your instructions, the better your child can accomplish the task. If you want your child to pick up their dirty clothes, put them in their hamper, and bring their hamper to the laundry room, that's what you need to tell them to do. If you tell them, "pick up your clothes," don't be surprised if that's all they do even though your expectations were for them to bring it to the laundry room.

Third, praise them when they do it. Praise is a great motivator and will encourage them to continue doing the task. 

Every child can find success with Following Instructions!

Watch the behavior skill video on to see how the behavior skill works.

For full podcast transcript and show notes visit:

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