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“Please go outside and play…No playing INSIDE the house… PLAY OUTSIDE” might be a common scenario in most of the households. Irrespective of whether your child follows your directions, ensuring that he/she understands the concept of “outside” and “inside” becomes important to his/her development.

When can you expect your child to understand simple directions and requests?

Your little one’s receptive language skills — that is, his/her understanding of words and sounds- develops with every passing day. Ensuring that your pre-schooler understands directions is not only the key to his/her physical well-being, but it also affects his/her language development.

We conducted a study that looked at the behaviour of pre-schoolers aged 3-6 years across various schools in Bangalore. The results indicated that 79% of the parents said that their children understood directions, whereas the remaining 21% of the children were not able to do so.

Being aware of directions is an essential skill for developing knowledge about road safety. This particular skill will reassure parents that the child is safe even if he/she has to cross the road at any point and also lends a sense of confidence in children at that young age.

When children grasp this concept:

  • Accomplishing a simple task such as crossing the road, will boost a child’s sense of achievement, encouraging him/her to take the lead in other tasks as well
  • Their self-esteem and belief in their capabilities will be reflected in the way they take on other tasks in life. This way their leadership skills are also improved
  • Most importantly, parents feel secure and trust that their child is safe while crossing the road. This simple trust in their capabilities will also boost his/her social skills, as he/she may willingly take the lead in most of the school activities
  • Understanding these small concepts will also enhance your child’s language development

Kids who take a longer time grasping the concept of directions are more likely to get into troubles and may face trouble understanding even a basic instruction.

What can you do to ensure your child understands directions?

Here’s a parenting tip – Point to various objects and have your child guess whether the object is located inside or outside the house. This will help enrich your child’s learning of the basic concepts of location. For example, the child can point to a tree outside the house and say that the tree is ‘outside’ the house and the TV is located ‘inside’ the house. This will help your child understand the relations of objects with regard to themselves.

Download the Mai app to improve your child’s understanding of safety and also assess your child’s skill in ‘concept of directions’.

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