So originally I was going to have a cute picture of food on the floor and make a clever remark about the “5-second rule.” Buuuuuuut, it turns out it’s really hard to get a “cute” picture of food on the floor. Who knew?!
Today’s post is a simple reminder to have patience with your child. We are so used to having adult conversations where the communication is quick and our minds are able to process what someone is saying and respond in a matter of milliseconds. For children of all abilities, but especially for those with language and/or social impairment, information is processed much slower.
So while it may seem that they are ignoring you, or they don’t understand, it may be, in fact, that they require longer processing times.
When you are giving your child directions, or asking questions, count in your head and give them 5 seconds to respond before repeating or rephrasing. Of course, this can be adjusted as necessary, possible even up to 10-20 seconds. By that time your request was either processed and ignored, they didn’t understand, or didn’t hear you.
I know what you’re thinking- this is too easy! But actively monitoring your own wait time makes you realize how quickly you expect your child to respond. It also helps you to slow down and simplify your communication, which also benefits children.
So give it a try! In honor of Finding Dory coming out soon, I’ll end with “just keep counting, just keep counting…what do we do we COUNT!”