How can parents check a child’s understanding of verbal directions?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 11,728
    Parenting educator Dr. Rene Hackney talks about checking a child’s understanding of verbal directions.

    Rene Hackney

    Originally a full-time preschool teacher, Dr. Rene Hackney now holds a Master?s in school psychology and a PhD. in developmental psychology from George Mason University. She trained at the Developmental Clinic at Children?s National Medical Center and for the public schools, teaching in parenting programs at each. She has also acted as a consultant to several area preschools.

    For the last four years, Dr. Hackney has owned and lectured for Parenting Playgroups, Inc, a parenting resource center and preschool classroom in Alexandria Virginia. She has offered workshops to a wide

    range of parent, teacher and social work groups during this time.

    Workshop topics include eight hours on positive discipline techniques, five hours on early academic issues and common issues such as sibling rivalry and potty training. All workshops provide well researched lecture, in-class practice and open discussion time. Additionally she hosts a monthly parenting focused book club and fun play programs to introduce the preschool setting to young families.

    Dr. Hackney is married and has two young children of her own.

    Host: How can parents check a child s understanding of verbal directions?

    Parents can check a child s understanding of verbal directions by asking the child either to repeat back to them, what they just said, or by saying tell me what I told you about. Give me back what you think and then the child may paraphrase and actually the paraphrasing is better than just repeating back because it shows, the child really, took it in and understood it. He is able to give it back to you in a different version. Parents might also check understanding as the child starts to complete the task. As they start to follow directions, parents who check in more often, parents who check on the progress and say, Wow what are you going to do next? What have you done so far? They are reviewing with the child, how well they follow directions already and what their next step is. So, it helps children to work from an outline, to keep the steps in mind.