Getting dressed can be a language rich activity! While dressing, the following can be incorporated:
1. Body parts for vocabulary and body awareness.
2. Clothing items for vocabulary and object use.
3. Colors for vocabulary, matching, and sorting.
4. Following directions: Single step: Get your shoes; 2 step: put on your shirt and pants.
5. Answering questions: "where are your shoes?"
6. Choices for engagement and interaction.
Do you have any other ideas? Please share.
As parents, we want to have a happy and peaceful family life. The ability to handle negative emotions and the fact that things aren’t always easy is key for that goal. So, next time your child gets upset when things don’t go his way, allow him to be upset. Don’t try to fix it. Just, calmly say, “ I see you’re upset because—. It’s ok to feel frustrated.” If the negative emotions escalate, allow a cool off time. You can say, “I see you’re upset. I’ll give you a few minutes to calm down.” Then, let them self-soothe. If, they are destructive or combative, then they’ve earned a time out. It’s ok to be upset. It’s not ok to hit or throw things.
Choose your battles. But, when you chose it, win. Ok, easier said than done. But, let me give a manageable example: You want your child to follow simple directions in the daily routine. However, you often find you’re either repeating yourself until you’re angry or just doing it yourself. This common struggle is actually a learning opportunity. It can start simply. You say, “5 more minutes of TV. Then, it’s time to read a book.” Demonstrate you mean it by setting the timer when you say it. (There is a handy timer on your smartphone) When the timer goes off, prompt your child to turn off the TV. If they don’t, then you walk over and do it yourself. No discussion. You just taught your child to respect boundaries, anticipate future events,and follow directions. You are also teaching time concepts including time management.
If they are upset, it’s ok. Use words to acknowledge their frustration or disappointment by providing the vocabulary and a strategy to self-soothe. Example, “I see you’re frustrated that it’s time to turn off the television. It’s ok to be frustrated. Why don’t you take a deep breath and choose a book in your room.” If they need assistance with the transition, a choice of books may be helpful. The bonus learning opportunity is emotional control, vocabulary, and the ability to self-soothe.
*visual schedules like the one pictured are available to print online. They are a great visual addition to our words to assist the routine. (It’s a strategy similar to adults checking the calendar or to-do list to stay on track)
Please share any simple strategies that work in your home.
Lauren B. Norwood