Ways to get your children to work with you instead of against you
Every parent has been there – one of those days when you feel like your child's only goal is to directly defy you. When your child won't brush her teeth, comb her hair or put on her socks, it makes you think a larger plan could be afoot. This can't be accidental can it?
Whether it's all part of a larger plan or it's just a spur-of-the-moment tantrum, things would be much easier if your children would work with you and not against you. To that end, here are four ways you can get your kids playing on your team – without the hysterics.
- Challenge them. All parents understand the power reverse psychology has on children. Tell them they can't put their socks on or eat their vegetables and, amazingly, they go and do the opposite. Children appreciate a challenge at any age, and older children can find satisfaction in a job well done. Explain to children the result of accomplishing their challenge. Tell them, for example, "If you get ready to go, we'll go see your friends at school," and they'll be more apt to take the task on.
- Develop good habits. When it comes to bedtime, meal time or free time, kids need stability in their lives. To the same end, they'll also be more willing to accept tasks and work with you when the requests become routine. For example, children must understand that tasks like getting dressed, brushing their teeth and combing their hair are expected of them every morning. Even if the first days or weeks of any new routine are tough, kids will be quicker to accept these responsibilities and work with you if the tasks are assigned daily.
- Offer a good example. To the delight of young fans everywhere, your children's favorite video game, Skylanders, recently announced the introduction of Nintendo characters Donkey Kong and Bowser as guest stars in the new Skylanders SuperChargers. These new character additions are not only an exciting surprise, they're also an opportunity to provide examples of teamwork to your young one. Point out to your child how the Skylanders work with Donkey Kong and Bowser to save the Skylands and use that as an example of how the two of you can work together to accomplish a common task. The characters also have the help of their vehicles in the new Skylanders SuperChargers which can make for a helpful example when trying to encourage your own child to get into the car.
- Take the time to listen. Children, especially small children, often have little control over their lives. They are constantly being taken to one location or the next, told what to wear, when to sleep, what to eat and when they can and cannot watch television. With this in mind, it's not surprising that they act out in protest from time to time. Take a moment to listen to your children and explain to them why it's necessary to behave in a certain way. They may not immediately jump on board with your request, but at least you'll both have taken a moment to calm down and let cooler heads prevail.
In today's busy world, you hardly have time for a child who chants "no, no, no" to everything you say. By employing these tips above, you can turn your largest critic into an advocate and create a collaborative effort that benefits you both.