As parents, we truly love our children. They are the apples of our eye, the lights of our lives, the little ones for whom we would do nearly anything in the world. In fact, many, if not most of us consider these shining stars to be our greatest accomplishments in life.
But, of course, as parents, we also know that it can often be extremely difficult to get children to cooperate with our requests. To be sure, many of us find ourselves flustered and confused when our little ones refuse to adhere to our wishes when we ask.
If you have ever had difficulty getting your little ones to cooperate when you make requests, don’t worry – you’re not alone! There are, however, tricks you can try to start working together. So this year, commit to moving on the path towards family cooperation by trying these six simple tips with your kids.
1. Don’t Make Demands; Extend Invitations
It is a universal truth that children do not enjoy being told what to do by their parents. Little ones, even the most cooperative, have burgeoning will power, and will often use this newly acquired skill to act out and assert their independence.
Naturally, they may do so in the face of a demand posed by one or both of their parents. So if you want to see positive results with your kids, instead of making demands for them to perform an act, make genuine and polite invitations. Specifically, instead of telling your little ones that they must clean their rooms or else, ask if they would perform the action. This is a gentler, kinder way of making requests, and one to which many children may react in a more positive way.
2. Don’t Be a Broken Record
So many parents find themselves making the same requests over and over, either on a weekly, monthly, or even hourly basis. To put this in perspective, ask yourself how many times you have requested that your little ones put away toys throughout the day before they actually get to it. Understand that your children most likely have heard you the first time, and comprehend what you want; just because they are not doing this does not mean they didn’t hear. Instead of repeating yourself multiple times, attempt to find a more creative solution to get them to help.
3. Forget Once in Awhile
This may seem entirely counterintuitive, but undoubtedly one of the best ways to get your little ones to do as you ask is to forget your requests on occasion, and ask them for help remembering what you said. For example, if you request your little one to clear the table, follow up with: “I forget; didn’t I just ask you to do something? Weren’t you just about to help clear the table?” This adds a small bit of humor, and takes away the demanding nature of the request.
4. Put Your Kids in Charge
Are you tired of your little ones not cooperating when you make requests? If so, try putting one child in charge of everyone. For example, put your little one in charge of getting everyone ready to go in 15 minutes; you may be surprised at how quickly and effectively she moves when she is the one with the power.
5. Make it a Game
There are few things that children enjoy more than playing games, regardless of the rules or the specifics. As such, you may boost cooperation among your little ones by turning some of your requests into a game. For example, instead of asking them to clean their playroom, suggest that the fastest person to do so wins; or, if you want to place your child in a carseat, turn the process into a pretend play scenario where you’re strapping him into a space shuttle.
6. Help Them Cooperate
Above all, one of the best ways to help your children cooperate is by doing so yourself. If your little ones are feeling sick or sad, hungry or tired, it can be extremely difficult to get them to do anything against their will. And while they should not let them shirk their responsibilities consistently, you may find it easier to get them to cooperate if you help them in these times of need. By performing their chores once in awhile in their place, your children will see you as a source of comfort and support and will be more likely to want to cooperate.
Get Your Kids To Cooperate
For any dedicated parent, there are few things more wonderful to experience than a child who is willing to cooperate after asking only once. So if you are interested in building cooperation among your little ones, try these six simple communication tricks today.