THE ART OF DISCOURSE
In order to promote narrative discourse, children need to have an understanding of sequence so that they understand that news and stories have a beginning, a middle and an end. Story telling is a wonderful way of engaging in narrative discourse. During the holidays (and during term time) you should try to read to your children several times a day and have your child relate the story back to you using the pictures to start and then relying on memory only.
Some parents are dreading the approaching holidays because so many routines that make life more bearable will not be in place for a while. Try to be organized and develop routines even if they are only in place until school starts again. Meals should not be missed and they should be served at a table. Remember there are some children who need prior warning and preparation before they do things. Prepare your child for the day by telling or providing a visual timetable to make the day more predictable.
Ideas to help organization at home
- Always get eye contact before you begin a conversation or give directions.
- Get your child’s attention. State clearly and slowly what you want with simple words and short sentences. Gradually give longer directions when your child is able to cope. If he follows through, remember to praise him.
- Make your rules specific and unambiguous. State clearly what you want. Don’t say things like “Be nice to your brother”. Say how to be nice, like “Don’t hit your brother / Share your cars”.
- Use lists (pictures) to help your child follow through. Photographs work well with young children.
- Be consistent in your expectations and the consequences for following and breaking rules.
- Make sure your child is able to complete activities so he experiences success.
- Praise your child when he is “good” and doing the right thing. Children often get in to negative attention seeking and respond so well when you praise good behaviour.
- Limit your child to short activities that are varied.
- Label shelves or cupboards (with pictures and words) so your child knows where to put things.
- Insist your child packs away before taking out something new.
- Establish and maintain regular routines.
- Spend quality time doing things you both enjoy.