Help your child process information and directives

Children need time to process information, including directives like “Eat your vegetables” and “For the love of God, be quiet!” Whichever flavor of counting you prefer – “1, 2, 3” or “3, 2, 1” – it is a way to give them time to process. However, there are at least two reasons to do it differently. 1. Your child is strong willed If you’re finding that after counting to 2, you have to add 2 ½ before getting to 3, well, there is a better way. Have your child participate in the countdown. Using a visual communication app called Viz Kids, you can show them the countdown to the next activity or desired behavior and have them press the numbers so they feel some control. Also, unlike spoken language that is here in the moment and then gone, visuals are more permanent, and your child can see the countdown and your expectation and keep it in their working memory longer. 2. You’re child is preverbal Children who cannot express themselves verbally yet, and may or may not understand language well,

Give your child choices they can understand

Giving your child a choice doesn't just help them in the moment. It also instills agency, confidence and connection long-term. Here are three ways you can give children choices before they can express themselves fully with words. 1. Use artifacts (aka the thing itself) Do you want the child to choose between dolls and blocks? Put a doll in one hand and a block in the other. Simple enough! And very effective! However, it's not always that simple. What if you're pushing them on the swing outside? You don't want to go inside to get the artifacts and leave your child alone. You also don't necessarily want to risk a meltdown by taking them from their swing to...(from the child's perspective) who knows where?! Using artifacts are the best way to give choices when you have few choices and they're readily available. 2. Use a choice board Choice boards are usually about the size of a notebook with pictures of choices the child may want. These choices are usually food