Kids are bombarded with directions, do this, do that. That's just a daily reality. Following instructions is an important part of listening, cooperating and being part of a family, class or group. I challenge you to substitute a question for a direction when you can. For example, if you are leaving the house together, you could say,"What do you need to put on?" instead of,"Put on your shoes and socks". Or, referring to the family pet, say,"Spot needs something. What do you think he is telling you?" and let your child brainstorm ideas. If your child has homework, maybe you establish the schedule but ask him to come up with a strategy for getting it done. "Will you do your math first or last?" Asking questions gives kids a chance to problem solve and develop critical thinking skills. As they get older, and the problems get bigger, you'll be glad you raised your child to think for herself.