Take it Step by Step


A young child is doing  a lot of learning, and very quickly. It's no wonder they get distracted from time to time! There are wonders everywhere they look; their natural curiosity drives them to explore every nook and cranny of their environment. While it's great to follow this curiosity, there is also a way we can help them focus amidst all of the distractions: Provide clear, logical steps to complete a task.

A great example is making the bed. A 3-year-old might enjoy taking care of her room by making the bed, but she also might need some gentle reminders. Rather than instructing your child to "go make the bed", provide her with clear steps to follow:

  1. First, let's stretch the blanket at each corner so it covers the top.
  2. What comes next? Oh yes, let's tuck the sides under the mattress.
  3. Do you remember what the last step is? That's right, let's arrange the pillows.

A 3-year-old might not be able to do this task independently every day, but with careful and patient reminders, she will eventually develop the task-persistence and focus to make the bed all on her own!

The next time you notice your child getting distracted half-way through a task, trying providing step-by-step reminders. Even supportive language like, "What comes next?" or "I see that you did the first step, now what happens?" can be the prompt your child needs.

Thinking logically through a process will help your child in all areas of life, from organizing an apartment to doing complex mathematical equations!

Guidepost Montessori is a a global network of schools serving 3,500+ families with early education programs, including Emergency Care for Essential Workers (ECEW) during the COVID-19 crisis. Looking for more free content? Download Guidepost Parent from the App Store for personalized Montessori inspiration and activities.

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