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Show, tell and......practise

14 March
Posted by:
Michael Grose

Parents are good at TELLING kids how they want them to act and behave.

We do it the minute children start to become active and mobile.
Here’s a few things I’ve caught myself saying:

‘Put your cup in the dishwasher when you’ve finished with it, ‘use your manners when you stay at a friend’s house’, ‘ close your mouth when you chew’.

The list goes on…….

Of course, these types of instructions are more potent if we back them up by SHOWING. That is, we model the behaviours we want and/or consciously showing them how a behaviour is done.

Most parents are pretty good with telling and showing kids how to behave.

When you add PRACTISING behaviours to this mix you have a potent method of promoting social and safe behaviours in kids.

Practice, technically known as behaviour rehearsal, is a great way of teaching kids about appropriate behaviours. It works on the same theory as muscle memory where repeating a behaviour a number of times establishes the pathways in the brain that enables them to become automatic.

The same applies to behaviour rehearsal (PRACTICE)!

Here’s a couple of examples:

• If you want kids to behave well in a restaurant then practise the whole eating out experience at home once a week. Use napkins, knives and forks and best manners.

• If you want kids to occupy themselves when the phone rings make a list of activities that they can do and role-play what they are expected to do (choose an activity from the list) a number of times.

Next time, you want to develop a new set of behaviours with kids make sure you TELL them, SHOW them and reinforce your teaching by getting them to PRACTISE the behaviours a number of time.

It will dramatically enhance the chances of the behaviours being taken on by your kids.

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