In Episode 61, ADHD Parenting Coach, Siope Kinikini talks with Kurt Furnham from Thornwell in South Carolina about how he teaches the behavior skill of Following Instructions and the importance of Following Instructions.
Thornwell is part of the Teaching-Family Association and uses the Teaching-Family Model in their residential and in-home programs.
In all of the Teaching-Family Association programs, teaching Following Instructions will be one of the first skills a child or family learn. If a child is not able to Follow Instructions, they will not be successful with the other behavior skills as all include an element of Following Instructions.
Getting kids to Follow Instructions seems is essential as they will use this skill for their whole life. They will use it when they cook a recipe, assemble a piece of furniture, do a project at work, or go through airport security. Once mastered Following Instructions become a regular part of our day.
Kurt Fulhman talks about what he has found to be successful in teaching Following Instructions to dysfunctional populations.
His first recommendation is to make it part of the daily routine and daily expectations. Following Instructions can be incorporated into chores, schedules, family traditions, meals, homework, etc. Even getting dressed can involve Following Instructions. Creating daily routines that include Following Instructions will decrease frustration and increase closeness.
Second, when incorporating Following Instructions into your daily routine, don’t make it too complicated. Start with small tasks and by giving short instructions. When a child has mastered that, continue to add additional jobs and directions.
Third, children who have never had to Follow Instructions may want to power struggle or argue. The advice: disengage until they can follow the instructions. Disengaging will allowing them to see the importance of Following Instructions and that Following Instructions benefits them.
For more information about Following Instructions, visit: https://www.smarterparenting.com/lesson/view/following-instructions/