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Tip of the Month-February 2017
“First… and…Then…” Statements
Our teachers have been helping the children learn the vocabulary and concept of “First and Then” statements. This is an excellent tool you can use at home. Explain: “First we need to pick your sister up at school, then we can stop at McDonald’s.” “First you need to rest, then you can play outside.” “First you need to put on your helmet, then you can ride your bicycle.” “First you put on your socks, then you put on your shoes.” “First bush your teeth, then we will read a story.” “First you hold my hand, then we will walk out the door.” First you try, then I will help you.” “First I will change your diaper, then I will pick you up and we will cuddle.”
You child has a hard time settling down or soothing self to sleep.
What can I do to prevent the problem behavior?
Offer to put on music and/or rock or rub your child’s back using a first-then visual or verbal prompt: “First go lie down; then I can rub your back or rock you for a bit”.
Have child positioned with minimal distractions or escape routes
Provide a choice of a doll or stuffed animal to sleep with (for older children – not infants)
Praise for resting quietly.
What can I do if the problem behavior occurs?
Say, “First lie down quietly; then I will put on the music, rub your back, or rock you.”
Offer choice of comfort item
What new skills should I teach?
Teach your child to first rest quietly; then mommy/daddy will turn on music and rub back or rock.
Teacher your child to rub baby doll’s or stuffed animal’s back.
Teacher your child to make a choice of a comfort item.