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Remind Kids

How to Remind Your Kids Without Nagging

DontCreateDependentKids-ShirinSherkatYou can successfully remind your kids without creating a dependent child and without nagging, and while using your kid’s skills/strengths in visual memory.

You can write down tasks that are part of the daily routine and make a list that is easy to read and understand.

Children’s lists can include their responsibilities such as chores, homework, and other age-appropriate tasks (such as taking a shower or putting their laundry away). Make sure the list is:

  • Simple and clear; easy to understand.
  • Fun; include a favorite activity that’s visually appealing to your kid
  • Easily accessible and visually available.

Sam’s Story:

Before I began working with Sam’s parents, they had resorted to punishment and removing privileges. They were frustrated because of his lack of follow-through when it came to his responsibilities after school.

Sam was a bright and active twelve-year-old who was already completing seventh grade. He had difficulty keeping track of time and his chores like most healthy kids his age. So, we put together an after school to-do list that included time frames for some tasks:

  1. Wash up
  2. Have a snack (around 4:00 p.m.)
  3. Clean up after snack
  4. Start homework (by 4:30)
  5. Dinner time (7:30)
  6. Empty dishwasher
  7. Take dog for a walk
  8. Feed the dog
  9. Go over homework with Mom by (8:30)

A month later, Sam’s Mom told me they’d also put together a nighttime routine list for Sam. His nighttime list included:

  • Get backpack ready for school
  • Hang out/play
  • Get ready for bed (9:30 p.m.)
  • Brush teeth
  • Remember to floss
  • Read in bed (by 9:45)
  • Lights out by 10 p.m.

These lists have something in common: they are easy to understand and are clear reminders of what needs to be done. Additionally, parents and children have thoroughly discussed each item on the list. That way, each child knows what “chores” means in his or her family, for example. There are no surprises.

Keep your kid motivated.

KidsListsContainFun-ShirinSherkatYour list should include at least one activity that is fun for your child, e.g., snacking or playtime. Kids, just like adults, need motivation to stay on tasks. If my to-do list were all work and no breaks, I wouldn’t be as motivated to complete every task on my list! So, every day, I make sure my to-do list has something on it besides work and chores. For example, I’ll sometimes include on my list a ten-minute phone call to a friend or “meditation time.” Kids need to stay motivated. By including some breaks or fun time on the kid’s list of reminders, you ensure that your kid stays on task and remains motivated.

These lists are only helpful when children see them and find them visually appealing. So, make sure they are visually appealing to your kids by using their favorite colors and some fun stickers.

Make sure the lists are easily accessible and visually available. Have your kids choose the location. Let the kids put the lists where they would see and use them the most.

In our next article, we’ll discuss effective use of  the token system, award charts and calendars as lists.

This is an excerpt from my book: “Create Happy Kids”

Dr. Sherkat is a parent strategist who is available to do Parent Education Workshops, either Private or PTA Sponsored Classes.

Contact her at 425-772-6698.