We've all been there. When you ask someone how they are, what do they say? 'Busy' usually. Even when they are doing one thing, they are texting someone or talking to someone. Rarely do we focus on just one thing.
The trouble is that kids need your undivided attention and most of us realise that asking them to do something when we are in another room, doesn't work. They need eye contact and they need to have whatever you want them to do, explained. Some like detail (what we call in NLP - small chunk) and others are fine with the vague idea (big chunk). Giving instructions in the wrong 'chunk size' can result in confusion and overwhelm,
Similarly those with a more visual disposition need to be able to picture what you want them to do and those who focus on what they hear, need instructions a bit slower than your visual child. Then if you have a kinaesthetic child they'll want you to go through it with them.
It's much easier to communicate what you want to your kids if you write a mental shopping list rather than think as you go, calling out to them at the same time. The analogy would be going to the supermarket with a list of all the things you don't want..... arguing, mess, shouting, taking ages etc. as opposed to going with a short list and whizzing around with a basket.
So next time you need your kids to do something, imagine that short shopping list and make eye contact. Tell them what you want and make it match the way your child processes information. If you're not sure then start with the big chunk -"I want you to get ready for school" and then break it into smaller chunks for those that need it "that means you need to put on your shoes, brush your teeth and get in the car - now."
For the visual child you might add "just look at the time!" for the auditory child "did you hear me?" and for the kinaesthetic child "how quickly can you get in the car?"
Adding some feedback is always a bonus.
"You really focused on what I asked you to do, well done" (visual)
"You listened well." (auditory)
"You followed my instructions very well."(kinaesthetic)
Then a bit of a feedback sandwich
"I'm wondering if you can do it again tomorrow."
And finish off with a
- smile for the visual child
- thank you for the auditory child
- hug for the kinaesthetic child
Of course if your kids are anything like mine, they'll all want all three.
And that's fine too!