Parenting is usually all fun and games until your child blatantly disregards your rules and insists on jumping up and down on the sofa or walking barefoot in the backyard. But, although it's easy to start tempting your skills as a parent, it's hardly ever your fault. Kids are driven by impulses and will want to do anything that brings them joy, whether you like it or not. Another compelling factor that works against you is their need to feel more independent and less under your control. While it may sound rebellious, developing will independence is one of the primary development goals of childhood.
So, it’s naturally not easy to get your children to cooperate, and you'll undoubtedly find yourself losing more than winning. On the bright side, however, there are a few things you can do to increase the chances of them working with you.
1 – Avoid Demanding
Are you often surprised when your kid demands something from you? Well, instead of cautioning them to ask nicely next time, consider asking yourself where they learned such behavior. If you're frequently speaking to them in a demanding tone, it's very likely that they have taken after you.
Contrary to popular belief, requesting that a child does something instead of demanding doesn't encourage them to be defiant or disobedient. Instead, it fosters kindness and genuine cooperation.
2 – Don’t Repeat Yourself Too Much
It's common practice for a parent to repeat an instruction a second and third time when they're not getting the result they want. By asking multiple times, however, you're merely training your child to stop listening and wait until you get frustrated to respond.
If you request your kid to do something and they fail to act, consider using another approach to get their attention. For example, you can feign forgetfulness and invite them to remind you what you asked a while ago. “Did I tell you to do something? I can’t remember.”
Or maybe question their ability to perform the said task. “You don’t know how to tie your shoelaces, do you?”
Children love being smarter than adults, and they will be quick to answer your question and prove you wrong.
3 – Turn Activities into Games
Kids will wholeheartedly get to doing what you want if you can make it fun. If you want them to tidy up a room, you can make it so that they all have to do it while crawling, or that their toys have to be arranged in groups of similar colors on the shelves.
Creating a fun game will require some creativity and spontaneity, but thankfully, children will always be ready to play a new game, especially one that you approve of and are involved.
4 – Work with Them
Kids typically want to be treated more as adults, and that is why they're usually against being told what to do. Therefore, sometimes the most effective way to get a child to do something is to let them see you doing it yourself and then invite them to help.
Of course, this strategy will work best if the activity seems fun and is in your children’s interest. For instance, if you’re getting your home ready for a kids’ football party, you can get them to take up some tasks, such as laying down the snacks or decorating.
Working with your children, even when you can comfortably manage the task on your own cultivates trust, cooperation, and responsibility.
Although it is essential that kids learn how to follow the rules, you can accomplish a lot more with smart, considerate approaches than forced compliance. Keep these four tips in mind and put them to practice the next time your child gets uncooperative.