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Can You Follow Directions?

By Stephen C. Schultz


As the father of four, I have always been amazed at the time and effort that goes into teaching your children. If your experience is anything like mine, there have been instructions given, reminders mentioned and sometimes an elevated tone in my voice just to get my kids to do the simplest of requests.



I'm sure I wasn't much different when I was younger. I remember summertime as a kid. Sunny days were far and few between in Eugene, Oregon! My dad would have a list of chores for us kids to do written on a piece of paper and left on the dining room table. We were supposed to have the chores done before he got home from work. It seems that every day consisted of riding our bikes, playing "stunt man" on the stairs or building forts in the living room with the couches, blankets and pillows!

Rarely were the chores our top priority...until about an hour before he got home! Then, we would scurry around the house to clean up. We would race outside, grab rakes and shovels, stir up the dirt and pretend like we had been working as though we were sentenced to 20 years hard labor at the Schultz home!

Why is it so hard for us to follow directions? I wish I could say this was simply a childhood phase. However, if I'm honest with myself, it's still hard to do even as an adult. It's just that the requests no longer come from my parents, but come from my immediate family, work and community.

So, below is a fun activity to do with your family. As spring and summer approach, families get together for Holidays and reunions. This will be an insightful activity and it doesn't take long. It can be done with adults, teens and children.

Copy and paste the 21 sentences and make copies for all who will participate. Make sure everyone has a pen or pencil. Pass out the paper and place it face down in front of each participant. Let them know they can turn the paper over and start when you  say "Begin".


Can You Follow Direction?


1) Read everything carefully before doing everything.

2) Put your name in the upper right hand corner of this paper.

3) Draw four small circles in the upper left hand corner.

4) Put an "X" in each circle.

5) Draw a square around each circle.

6) Sign your name under the title of this paper.

7) After the title, write the words "yes, yes, yes".

8) Draw a line completely around sentence number 7.

9) Put an "X" in the lower left corner of this page.

10) Draw a triangle around the "X" you just put in the corner.

11) On the back of this paper, multiply 856 by 43.

12) Draw a rectangle around your name.

13) When you get this far, hold up your right hand.

14) If you have followed directions carefully to this point, stand up.

15) On the reverse side of the paper, add 10030 and 8543.

16) Put a circle around the answer.

17) Write the numbers 10 to 1 backwards on the right side of the paper.

18) Punch three holes in the top of the paper with your pen or pencil.

19) Underline all even numbers on the left side of the paper.

20) Wave both arms in the air.

21) Now that you have finished reading everything carefully, do only sentence 1 and 2 and then sit quietly until others have finished.


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