If there was a simple way to prevent some power struggles in your house, would you use it?

If there was an easy way to get your kids out the door in the morning with less nagging, would you try it?

Visual supports can help save your breath and help your kids be more independent. When you find yourself repeating the same things over and over every single day- stop repeating yourself. Try to make it visual instead.

On the way out the door to school, are you always asking your child where are their shoes? How about you put a picture of shoes on the back door and just point to it?  Eventually you can stop pointing, and when they get to the door, they’ll see the reminder and can do it on their own. (…Eventually -we hope.)

Are your kids often asking you what activity they have after school? Is today dance today? Can we go to the library today? How many days ‘til karate? Make it all visual. Take that lovely, organized calendar you have on your phone and turn it into a kid-friendly version with pictures for your non-readers.  Hang it somewhere they can see and just point in that direction when the “when?” questions start flying your way.

Visual reminders and visual schedules are two simple visual strategies to lessen your load, decrease your nagging, promote child independence, and allow for more positive parent-child interactions. Win-win for all!

Do you have a set limit of snack food available in your home? Or maybe a certain number of snacks a day or snack time ends at a certain clock time because dinner time is coming? Instead of engaging in an argument about this regularly- make it visual. Hang up a picture of the number of snacks on the pantry door or the clock time when snacks are available. Put up a sign. Point to it when the “Can I have more snacks??” questions come at you. No verbal discourse needed on your part. No helpful reminders that can quickly escalate into annoyed nagging or frustrated raising of your voice. None at all.

Do you have certain things that are supposed to happen each day? Make your child a checklist, but make it visual in a format that works for them. Easier is better. Reading, pick up toys, practice a sport or an instrument, homework- whatever it is- make it visual.

When you find yourself repeating the same things over and over- make it visual. When you find yourself getting into arguments or power struggles about the same topics- make it visual. It’s hard to argue with a picture hanging on the wall. It’s easy to argue with a mom who is rushing around trying to get all the things done.

Better still- have your kids make their own visuals- or make them together. You can use canva.com for free or use Microsoft word or google docs or whatever format is easiest for you. The idea is simply to support your kids to be more independent by taking your repeated reminders out of the equation. Let them check their own visual reminders, schedules, calendars, etc. and start to learn a little about self-management. Let them feel proud of creating these visuals and using them on their own! Encourage this growth and independence as it’s a big deal to learn self-management strategies.

Get all the words out of your head, out of your mouth, and onto paper in written or picture format and let your kids use that as their prompt, their reminders, their cues to be more independent and successful with day-to-day tasks. It’s worth it for everyone in the family!