Reporting Back….have you tried it?


Reporting back is something that most adults do on a daily basis–maybe it is at work with your boss or a committee you are on.   Regardless of where, I am sure it is something you have done in your lifetime.  Well,  have you applied that “adult skill” to your kids?

I attended a parenting webinar on Tuesday night from the comfort of my own home office.  I put a movie on for the girls and logged on to learn how to tackle morning routines.  The speaker, Scott Turansky with the National Center for Biblical Parenting, had many great things to say.  One nugget that I pulled and I’m working on this week with my kids is “reporting back”.  Scott shared that before you can begin a morning routine you have to have several things in place.  The first one was an Instruction Routine.  He said that there are two components to this: coming when called and reporting back.  The coming when called isn’t a new concept for us, but the reporting back was.

He said that after your child has done what you asked of him/her, the child should be trained to come and report back.  So “I finished putting my books back on the shelf Mom.” would be an example of reporting back.  He said to tell your kids that you are going to teach them an “adult skill”  something that will be important their entire lives.  Then let them in on reporting back.

It was an “aha” moment for me.  I don’t know why I never thought to do this with my girls.  It trains them to have a skill that they will need to be successful and it also will help me know if they have finished a task that I have given them.

So I am saying things differently this week.  Instead of just saying “go get your pjs on”  I’ve said: “Go get your pjs on and report back to me when you are done.”  Then I have to remember that I am TRAINING them and you don’t run a marathon on the first day out.  You have to train and build up.  Suffice to say…they are still in the training mode.

I liked the emphasis Scott made throughout the webinar on being a coach.  So many times I jump to disciplinarian and I need to be a coach.  Maybe I should wear a whistle to remind me?! 🙂

So, have you tried reporting back?  If so—tell me about it.

If you haven’t tried it, what do you think about the concept?


2 responses »

  1. We have not done reporting back. We had a habit in place when the kids were younger where when we gave them an instruction they responded with “yes mom (or dad)”. This let us know that they heard what we had asked and that they should follow thru. I like the reporting back because you have a greater opportunity to praise them for following thru with what you asked. I love those aha moments- when I feel like I have learned something so useful. Good stuff.

  2. Linda….I’m still working on the “yes Mom/Dad” one with my kids. But I guess overall my kids are younger than your kids so maybe I’m not too far behind in the training process.
    Actually I thought about you and Kevin as I listened to the webinar thinking that y’all could work for this organization as it seems many of the things they are sharing are things that I believe you guys have used as parents too.

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