With 15 three year olds at Try Time it’s imperative they are listening! Here’s a few of our top tips:
Empower them – give them choices so they feel part of the decision rather than being told what to do – make sure the choices are ones you are happy with of course!
Get their Attention – we ask the kids to put their hands on their heads to show you they’re listening before giving instructions. As a parent, I'm guilty of just shouting instructions and expecting them to obey! That's not fair!! Spend time getting their attention. Then once you know they're listening, then tell them what you'd like them to do.
Set them up to Succeed – I know if I ask my son to put his shoes on, he won't. Maybe the 5th time I ask, he will....! It's so frustrating and so that comes across in what I say and how I say it. He's guilty before being proved innocent, so it just annoys him. When I'm mindful of what I'm about to say, I can sometimes reduce it to asking 3 times before he puts his shoes on! Make it a challenge "Can you put your shoes on before your sister comes down the stairs?"
Be a Clown – if you make them laugh, they’re going to want to listen to what craziness you’re going to say next!
Make it Personal – if you're not getting your way, explain how they’re making you feel - make it really personal. If they feel they’re letting you down, they might behave a bit better.
Make a deal – explain that you want to them behave a bit better and if they do what you want them to do, they can do something they want, like pick a biscuit first or stay up 10 minutes later - ask them if you have a deal!
Lots of coaches – okay, okay – this is a tricky one at home! We need to have eyes and ears on every single child to make sure they’re paying attention and engaged the whole time, and we keep our coach ratios high to enable great sessions. But this can translate to home too – planning the Summer holidays; book some days out with friends and increase your adult ratios – it makes a big difference to a fun day out!
These aren’t just for the sports field, I’ve tried some of them at home and they work – give it a try! And for those days when I feel like a broken record and it feels like my kids’ listening skills have completely left the building, I really like these phrases from Motherly. Good luck!