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10 Tips to Help your Child Follow Directions

Many parents ask us how they can improve their child’s sense of following directions. Oftentimes it may seem that your child is simply disobeying you, but there can be other factors that are affecting their ability to follow instructions. Remember that each child is different, and some may struggle more with focusing than others.

  1. Establish Eye Contact: If they are in the middle of a task, make sure to get their attention clearly by asking them to look in your direction. A great way to do this is by saying: “Please look toward me. Put your listening ears on!”. To increase their engagement, you could also get down to your child’s eye level.
  2. Simple & Concise Language: When giving instructions, many parents may tell their children to do a task without specifics. For example, instead of saying “clean your room”, you should say “fold your laundry, sweep the floor, etc.”
  3. Clarify your instructions: To make sure your child has an understanding of your directions, ask them to repeat the set of instructions back to you. This will allow you to clarify whether or not they understood the task at hand. This will also allow time for them to ask questions.
  4. Sequence: Oftentimes parents tend to give many directions at once such as “don’t forget to clean your room before you eat your snack and walk the dog”. This can be overwhelming for some children. Use sequential words when giving directions such as first, then, next, last, etc. in order to avoid confusion.
  5. Positive Affirmations: Instead of telling your child what NOT to do, try telling them what to do instead. Instead of saying “don’t scream”, try to say “stay calm & quiet”. This gives your child an understanding of what they can do rather than what they cannot do.
  6. Visual Aids: Some kids may be more inclined to follow directions when visual stimulation is provided. Consider printing out photos of chores that need to be done, or pointing in the general direction of the instructions at hand.
  7. Repetition: When giving instructions, try to repeat them a few times. This will give your child a concrete memory of the task that needs to be completed.
  8. Volume Distinction: The tone in which you give directions is so important when you’re speaking to your child. A happy and enthusiastic tone is known to breed better results.
  9. “Wait Time”: A great way to go about this is by giving a set of instructions such as : “Make your bed”, and then asking a follow up question: “What chores need to be done today?”. After asking the follow up question, give your child 15-20 seconds to respond & make sure to use an expectant pause.
  10. Make Following Directions Fun: One of the best ways to engage your children is to play games with them! Games such as Simon Says, and i-spy are great places to start. Check out this link for a list of fun games to practice enhancing their “following directions” skills!
10 Tips to Help your Child Follow Directions

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Social Reviews

Talk About Therapy - Speech Therapy IconTalk About Therapy - Speech Therapy

2323 Cumberland Parkway Southeast Suite 104, Atlanta

5.0 30 reviews

  • Avatar Yasiri Alanis ★★★★★ a week ago
    My son absolutely loves Ms. Rachel. He enjoys coming to therapy every Monday. We have seen a lot of improvement even though we are able to come once a week. Thank you Ms. Rachel for your dedication.
  • Avatar Desiree Marie ★★★★★ a month ago
    We were recommended to Talk About Therapy by our pediatrician and we absolutely loved them. Niti was extremely patient, professional, and understanding. Ms. Rachel was absolutely amazing with my child. Even when we moved 45 minutes away, … More we kept going due to the professionalism, care, and kindness Talk About Therapy possesses. Would absolutely recommend them!!
  • Avatar RaQuita Weathers ★★★★★ 3 weeks ago
    My son has been receiving service here with Niti and Rachel for over a year now and we are happy with our choice to choose Talk About Therapy for his speech therapy. With Rachel as his primary care provider, my son is happy to come to appointments … More and he’s learning so much from each session. We have seen a major improvement in his development since Niti starting seeing us last summer. We would em highly recommend this business for any parents looking for quality care service.
  • Avatar Shakita Thomas ★★★★★ 3 weeks ago
    I have one word that describes Talk About Therapy- Speech Therapy and it’s AMAZING ! My son have been getting services here for 7 Months with Rachel and I have seen a big change in his speech. From one word to making sentences. It’s just … More mind blowing ! And let’s not forget my son lovessssssss Ms. Rachel ! She is literally the best ! So professional, patient and caring ! I love the way she is with him and she’s always on top of things. I just want to say thank you Rachel and Niti for everything that you do for my son ! I highly recommend them !
  • Avatar B ★★★★★ 3 weeks ago
    Me. Rachel is great! Super patient with my daughter and she works with my late schedule. Highly recommend this company.
  • Avatar Erin M ★★★★★ 3 months ago
    We used Talk About Therapy for our two year old in early 2021 and saw amazing progress! He actually ended up “testing out of” speech therapy which is what every parent wants to hear. The owner was very professional and responsive to our … More needs. We would recommend this company without hesitation.
  • Avatar Melodie Keheley ★★★★★ 2 months ago
    Niti is wonderful! She help me and my son out when he had his tongue tie done . It was hard to do the exercises with him being an older baby trying to get in his mouth but she showed me ways to get it done without a fight. Thank you again … More Niti for the help!!! 🥰
  • Avatar Dashonique Fitzgerald ★★★★★ 2 months ago
    My daughter was showing early developmental delays at her 12 month wellness checkup. Her pediatrician referred us to Talk About Therapy. I was very nervous and worried about my baby. The owner Niti was very professional and helpful. She … More educated me as a parent as well. My daughter has been in speech therapy for 6 months now and she is saying a lot more words now and is much better with communicating. Developmentally she is far more advanced than she was at her 12 month wellness checkup. She also just started with a new therapist Bianca. I was very nervous for my daughter to have therapy with anyone else but Niti. I had gotten comfortable with Niti, and so did my daughter, but the new therapist Bianca is amazing with my daughter. Whenever I need to reschedule or have any questions Niti and Bianca are always available. Talk About Therapy goes above and beyond. They have helped my daughter tremendously and eased my anxieties and concerns as a parent with her speech development.
  • Avatar Britney Drometer ★★★★★ 6 months ago
    I’m really glad that we were referred to Niti for my infant daughter’s speech therapy. She was super helpful and accommodating. The exercises she gave us for our daughter made a huge difference and you could definitely tell that it helped … More her with feeding. I would recommend her to friends and see her again should our daughter or future children have any speech related issues. Thanks again Niti!
  • Avatar jamila bivens ★★★★★ 8 months ago
    I made the best decision by picking Niti as my son’s therapist. She’s pleasant and patient. She detected the cause of his feeding problem (tongue tie) and we got it fixed. He was finished with therapy within the three months he was given. … More We’d seen progress every week and immediately after his reverse. My son no longer needs a feeding tube thanks to her. If any parent is looking a speech therapist, I highly recommend.
  • Avatar Nicole Marie ★★★★★ 8 months ago
    I was referred to talk about therapy by my sons pediatrician. My son has worked with Niti and Rachel. Both are fantastic and really took the time to address my questions and concerns. My son loved going to his sessions and hated leaving. … More I highly recommend talk about therapy to anyone who may have concerns about their kids speech.
  • Avatar Whitney Brand ★★★★★ 10 months ago
    Niti is fantastic! My infant some began seeing her for feeding therapy prior to having his posterior tongue tie revised and post-revision. She did wonders with my son! She is very knowledgeable and patient (which is key when working with … More babies) and she fantastic at following up and checking in with us. I would HIGHLY recommend her to anyone dealing with the same issues.
  • Avatar Sarah B ★★★★★ 8 months ago
    We loved Niti! She helped us with my 7 month old’s rough transition to solids. She was patient and helped both with my daughter’s feeding skills and my comfort as a parent. In 2 months we went from her almost total rejection of solids to … More eating everything we eat (prepared safely for a baby, of course!). Definitely recommend Talk About Therapy!
  • Avatar Linnea Veazey ★★★★★ 6 months ago
    Niti is very knowledgeable and has been so easy to work with. She identified my son's tongue and lip tie, and helped us find the appropriate provider to get them released. I am an SLP myself, but I don't have any experience with … More oral motor function pre and post tongue/lip tie releases. We were definitely in good hands with Niti as she is a wealth of knowledge in this area!
  • Avatar Rachel Sandifer ★★★★★ 8 months ago
    My child made so much progress in six months working with Niti. She is incredibly engaging, consistent, and gave us so many tips and tools to use at home. Highly recommend!
  • Avatar Ashley Carlson ★★★★★ 10 months ago
    Niti has been amazing for my son! She was so helpful with exercises pre and post revision of my sons lip and tongue tie. She is patient, kind, and great with babies. She is also very responsive to any questions or concerns you have via … More email, phone, or text. I cannot recommend her enough!!!