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How To Use Repetition as a Fun and Effective Tool To Teach Our Children

The following post is from Kat of Inspired To Action:

source: liz west

Small children have a lot of information to process everyday, and it’s our job as moms to help them filter through to the important things.

So, in our home, we have “catch phrases,” songs and signals to help them remember and follow many of our rules:

My Mad Songwriting Skillz

For example, when my kids were really little, to remind them not to go outside, not to go in the street and not to touch the oven, I wrote a song.

It was called, “Don’t Go Outside, Don’t Go In The Street, Don’t Touch The Oven.”

And the lyrics are, “Don’t go outside, don’t go in the street, don’t touch the oven.”

Watch for it on the Grammys.

My kids love to sing it and I’ll occasionally hear them sing it to one another to remind them not to break a rule.

Quickly, Completely and Cheerfully

We also have a phrase that we’ve adopted from the folks at our church. When we ask our children to do something, we expect them to obey “Quickly, Completely and Cheerfully.”

We say this phrase many times throughout the day. If we find them dillydallying or being grumpy, we’ll ask them how we obey. They often run through the phrase in their head and then correct their actions.

Hand Signals

We also use a little hand signal to help them remember to ask for things politely. If they need the milk and say, “Give me the milk.” We’ll give them a thumbs up signal. They then remember to say, “May I have the milk?” as they open up each finger for each word until their hand is stretched out. (I also request that they add, “Please beautiful, wonderful, and gracious Mommy.” But that’s entirely optional.)

Repetition in Discipline

Finally, when one of the kids breaks a rule, we often use repetition as part of the discipline. So, if they speak in a rude voice to one of their siblings, I’ll have them apologize and then say, “I will use a nice voice when I talk to my sister” 10 times in a row. Or I might make them reenact the situation a couple time using the right voice to help them practice proper responses.

If there’s anything kids love, it’s repetition. Sometimes that works against our sanity, but we can also use it for good by developing creative ways to teach them.

What playful phrases or tricks do you use to help your children learn?

Kat blogs at Inspired To Action, a site dedicated to helping moms develop the habits and skills they need to effectively manage their homes and raise children who are prepared to change the world. Kat loves music, running, technology, Jesus and Tex-Mex food. Not necessarily in that order.