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Stop the Nagging!

July 31, 2017

Are you tired of being the broken record?  Is your voice as annoying to you as it is to your children?  Bring in some visual aids!!  Instead of saying "brush your teeth" 362 times, you can just have the kids "check the chart" on what they are to do next.  This works great for morning/evening routines and even chores to accomplish before play/screen time.  Set the expectation, review it with them, and then gradually fade out your involvement to the point where "check the chart" is all you need to say.  Use icons for the little learners and fun fonts for your readers!  Check out a sample here by Mommy Miracles.  This beautiful example of a visual schedule helps the littles know what they have to do next to get ready for bed.   

 

The image below is one chart I created for my daughter when she was young.  It wasn't so much a "schedule" as in she needed to do all of these things in a particular order by a certain time.  Her requirement was that she was to accomplish at least five of the goals in the afternoon and then she was able to get a "treat" (bag of fruit snacks or graham cracker).  This helped cut down the constant back-and-forth of her wanting a treat.  I simply had to say "check the chart" so she could see what else she needed to do to get her treat for the day.  

To ensure success, make sure that the tasks for your chart are age/skill-level appropriate, teach functional skills, and have a high probability of success for completion.  Also, if a task requires your participation (e.g., reading stories, finishing homework), make sure you are available to help your children complete the task. Further, if you set up a criterion-based chart (like the second example), then make sure your expectations are reasonable in what your child needs to accomplish to get a reward.  Finally, make sure to individualize your chart  - use your child's favorite colors in their name or insert their favorite cartoon character in the boarder.  Adding this evidence-based strategy to your parenting "tool box" will to help eliminate the nagging and begin to teach independence and daily skills with your little ones (Spriggs, Mims, vanDijk, & Knight, 2017)!

 

Reference: 

Spriggs, A., Mims, P., van Dijk, W. & Knight, V. Examination of the evidence base for using visual activity schedules with students with intellectual disability.  Journal of Special Education, 51(1), p. 14-26.

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