When kids don’t to cooperate it can get frustrating for parents. Most parents are at a loss on how to engage their kid’s cooperation. In other words, they don’t know how to get them to do what they are asked.
Parents should not get discouraged when their child does not listen. It is part of the learning and training process. It is not the time for parents to get or angry or move to punish. Kids need to oppose us and not listen. It is part of the maturation process. They say “no” in order to test the limits and figure out what rules are important and which are less so. It is a litmus test of sorts.
Many times parents will tell their children, “Go, brush your teeth.” Most children will say at least some of the times, “No.” It could be that the child is tired or not in the mood. But it can also be the child trying to find out if this rule is important. He is basically thinking to himself, “I am going to say “No” and see what happens. If they let it slide than teeth brushing is not so important. If they push me to do it, then this is probably something they will not back down on and it is an important rule.”
As a parent we can get tangled in a power struggle with our kids and their “NO’s.” This can get discouraging for both parents and kids. Instead we want to encourage and inspire cooperation. Here are 2 simple ways that we can do that:
1. Pretend their your friend:
Children like to be spoken to with respect. They don’t like it when we order them around:
“Do your homework now!”
They also dislike being called names:
“You are being so lazy!”
They get very upset when they are blamed:
“Why do you always have to leave your room a mess?”
Instead we want to talk to kids as if we were talking to a friend:
“Are you available to help me? I need to get dinner on the table, fast!”
“You look like your busy, and I hate to bother you, would you mind shoveling the front walk?”
2. Be Succinct:
If you want your child to brush their teeth, parents tend to give long lectures,
“You need to brush your teeth! Your teeth will rot and then you won’t be able to eat any of the food that you like!”
Instead, we can point to the toothbrush and say, “Teeth!”
If your child leaves his shoes in the middle of the floor, we don’t want to say,
“How many times have I told you not to leave your shoes in the middle of the floor.”
Instead we can just point to the shoes and say, “Shoes!”
Using less words and more gestures can go a long way in helping kids listen and help out around the house.
It is important to find ways to help our kids listen to us. Inspiring and encouraging kids to cooperate by talking to them with respect and being succinct are two simple ways that we can do that. This will lead to good feelings, a teamwork mentality and lots of cooperation.
About the Author:
Adina Soclof is a parenting expert we really respect. Learn more from Adina about Raising Resilient Responsible Independent Children.