How many verbal directions should a parent give a child at one time?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 15,034
    Parenting educator Dr. Rene Hackney talks about how many verbal directions a parent should give at a time.

    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 many verbal directions should a parent give a child at one time?

    Rene Hackney: It really, is individual to the given child, how many directions they can follow, but the general guidelines are by age, meaning a two year old should be able to follow two-step directions. A three year old should be follow three-step directions. A two-step direction is, go to the kitchen and find your shoes, three-steps would be, go to the kitchen, find your shoes and bring them to the front door. By four, I'm hoping children are working on four steps. If your children are not keeping up a two step direction by two or three-step, or direction by three, there is a really easy way to practice, you can take that child, who is three years old and play the crazy direction game, where you say to a three year old, go to the living room, touch the cat s nose and jump up and down, and you see if they can keep that in mind. It s much more fun than go to the kitchen get your shoes and bring them to the front door. But the child is still having to keep the directions in mind and play through that.