How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask TherapistJen Your Own Question
TherapistJen, LCSW, CPC
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 3436
Experience:  Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Certified Coach Mom of Twins.
Type Your Parenting Question Here...
TherapistJen is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How do I get my 6 year old to do what I ask the first time

Customer Question

How do I get my 6 year old to do what I ask the first time he is asked to do something?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  TherapistJen replied 5 years ago.

JenKMom :

Hi. Thank you for joining me. Please forgive any typos as I get very immersed in my work with you and my brain may go faster than my fingers.

JenKMom :

Good morning. How has your boundary setting been up to this point?

JenKMom :

Good morning for me here in the US and good evening to you.

TherapistJen, LCSW, CPC
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 3436
Experience: Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Certified Coach Mom of Twins.
TherapistJen and other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 5 years ago.
Hello and Thank You for consulting Just Answer. I am sorry to hear about the problems that you are having with your 6 year old son. I am wondering if he has the same problems at school as well. Nonetheless, when you ask him to complete a task, have him repeat what you just stated. Make sure that it is not a task with multi step directions. Then patiently wait a minute or two before he should begin the task. Wait right there in front of him to begin the task. Make sure that he is free from distractions because boys especially are distracted by the smallest things. If he is moving like a turtle to get started or will not begin the task at hand, lead by example. Show him exactly what you expect from him and tell him how long that you expect the task to take. I call it, "First Time Obedience.". If he you see improvements in his completing a task the first time that he is asked, REALLY praise him. You may want to keep a sticker chart located in a very visible place in the house such as on the refrigerator. Every time that he follows through in an appropriate manner mostly for the entire day, he receives a sticker for the day. After 5 to 10 stickers of characters that he really likes, you decide the amount, provide him with a special treat or outing. Make sure he knows what goal he is working toward before you start the process. Children will often work hard to change their behavior when a reward is involved. After several weeks of changed behavior, increase the number to 15 and then 20. Then slowly stop giving the stickers because you do not want to rely on that method forever. The key to this approach is consistency. It will not happen over night. Your son must understand the rules and what you expect from him. If he does not follow the rules, he mus receive consequences. For his age appropriate consequences may be limiting tv, , computer usage, playtime, and time out of about 8 to 10 minutes. The goal is to pay more attention to the positive behavior to eliminate the negative.

Have a wonderful day!
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thank you for your help. My sons behaviour is excellent at school, no problems there. Infact he is a very clever 6 year old (which is sometimes part of the problem!) Your right that consistency is the key. I will work on that. Sticker charts do work well with him as long as I keep them going.

Thanks again!