Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Wisdom Learned From Raising Little Man: Training a Child to Report


Using the techniques of "Come to Mommy" and "Lock it Up" helped Little Man gain attention and immediate obedience.  Once these two became habit, I realized that follow up was the next area we needed to focus on.  

Once again I gleaned an idea from Tae Kwon Do.  

Step #3 - Report (Accountability)

To begin each session of Tae Kwon Do, the kids do warm ups of running, sit ups, bear crawling, etc.  If the child is asked to do a certain number of exercises, the child reports with a "30, Sir" or "50, Sir" depending on the number of reps the Master required.  This helps the instructor know that the child is finished and understood the directions.

Following this example, I am training (notice present tense) the children to report to me when they have completed a job.  My boys say:  Room, ma'am. Clothes, ma'am.  Bed, ma'am.  You get the picture.  This holds them accountable to stay focused and finish a task.  It also allows me to check their work to make sure it is done to expectation. 

Here is an example of a perfect situation.
"Little Man, come to mommy, please."
Sidenote.  Begin a request with the child's name so he begins listening from the start of the request instead of at the end and then has to ask what you said.
"Little Man, come to mommy, please."  (Child immediately comes.)  "Lock it up."  (Child immediately sits criss-cross, mouth closed with hands on knees.)  "Mommy wants you to make your bed.  When you are finished report to me."  (Child makes bed and returns to mom.)  "Bed, ma'am."  (Mom and child go to child's room to inspect.)
The inspection portion is important because it provides feedback for the child.  It is a chance to praise the child for working hard to complete a job.  Not nit-pick.  Sometimes I add another level of training by helping the child perfect the activity.  For example, let's imagine that the child made his bed but the sheets are bubbled under the comforter.  It may be time to help the child smooth out the sheets. 

One more time broken down into steps.

1.  Come to Mommy  (First-Time Obedience)
2.  Lock it Up  (Self-Control)
3.  Job Given
4.  Job Completed
5.  Report  (Accountability)
6.  Inspect

As I shared, the step of reporting is where we are currently working.  This has been a hard one as my two little ADHD boys struggle to move from Point A to Point B without being distracted by every other letter of the alphabet.  But as I am sharing tomorrow in the post "What's in a Label?," ADHD is not an excuse.  It just means that we have to work harder to conquer the problem.   

After reading the three steps to obedience, attention, and completion, what questions do you have?  I would love to cover your questions in future posts.  Leave a comment, email me, or ask on our ABC Jesus Loves Me Facebook page. 

Next in the Series:  Getting a Diagnosis


  1. Thanks for these posts. I needed a new look at our child with ADHD. Step one, working on coming when called. :) THANK YOU for some encouragement. ~Heather K.

  2. Heather - So glad you found these helpful. Please let me know what you learn along the way!


The Our Out-of-Sync Life blog focuses on encouraging women to deepen their spiritual life, simplify daily tasks, and impress Jesus on the children around them.