It might not seem like it while you’re in the moment, but preschool aged child do try to defy you by not listening. While, physically they are able to tackle the age appropriate tasks that you are giving them, developmentally they may not be able to process the instructions you are giving them. Before one of the children in your daycare makes you want to pull your hair out by not listening, here are some tricks that you can use that will help the line of communication go much smoother.
Lead By Example
Preschool aged children in your daycare have a very limited attention span. If you ask your children to wash their hands, the chances are that at least one will get distracted by something in the room and go investigate that instead. The child isn’t necessarily ignoring you. They just found something else that took their attention away from the task at hand.
Whatever you are instructing your children to do, do it with them. If you are asking them to help pick up the toys so they can sit down for story time, take the child that isn’t quite grasping what you are saying by the hand and guide them into putting away the toys. After a few times of doing this with the child, they will see it as a routine and it will form a habit to where they can easily do it by themselves.
Another reason why it may seem that a child in your daycare just isn’t listening is because they might not know how to do what you are asking them to do. For example, if you are asking them to wash their hands before snack time, a child is more likely to just not do it than communicate that they don’t know how to do it by themselves.
If your daycare child isn’t listening to instructions, get down to their level and ask why. Be sure to make eye contact and be firm but caring with your tone. The child will open up and tell you why they are not doing the task you have instructed them to do. If it is help that they need, offer to help them with the task until they feel comfortable enough to do it on their own.
Make It Easier
If your child does not listen to what you say, you may not be explaining it well enough. A preschooler aged child does not know how to ask you to explain, they just know that they are confused by what you are saying. For example, just asking a child to pick up the toys and put them away in their proper bins isn’t clear enough for a young child to understand. What toys do you want picked up? Which bin is the proper one for which toys? These questions will confuse a child, so they just won’t do it.
Use specifics when it comes to your preschool aged children. Instead of simply telling them to place the toys in the proper bins, tell them which toys go in which bins. Start small. If there are many toys scattered around the room, ask them to first pick up the blocks and then show them which bin the blocks go in. Go down the list of each set of toys that are out until each is put away where it belongs.
It can be difficult to get the preschool aged children in your daycare program to follow proper instructions, but it’s not because they are trying to go against what you are asking. Sometimes, you need to evaluate how you are communicating in order to get them to do as they are told. By following the tips listed above, you will be able to make the line of communication between you and your daycare children more concise and the environment more enjoyable.