One Thing at a Time

Dec 4, 2022

One only needs to be out and about this time of the year to feel the holiday frenzy approaching. The speed is turned up and we all go into overdrive. Beware; lest we escalate the behavior of our kids.

The brain can only consciously attend to one thing at a time. How many of us are guilty of putting our children into overdrive by giving too many directions at once?

Parent – “Do you have any homework? Son, your shoes don’t go here and your backpack does not belong on the floor. Pick it up and make sure to unload the dishwasher before your dad gets home. You left the light on in your room, again. I’m going to start charging…”

Teacher – “Get out a sheet of paper and put your heading on it. Number your paper to 10, skipping lines. Remember, I will only accept pencil – and you need to print legibly. Right now, I have three papers sitting on my desk without names on them and those students will be very upset when they don’t get a grade.”

During this dash toward the next holiday period, slow down, use fewer words and give fewer directions. Not only will compliance rates go up, but your stress level will go down – and I can’t think of a better gift to yourself than that.

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