Read about natural parenting tools every family can use
Natural Family and Parenting Community Message boards
Shop for natural family items
Write to us or get writers guidelines
Contact or read about us

 
 
 
Read about natural parenting tools every family can use
 
 
Join Our Newsletter
 
Natural Family and Parenting Community Message boards
Discussion Boards
Looking to connect with other couples who know their basal body temperature? Visit with others who practice natural family planning.
 
Shop for natural items every family can use

Product Reviews

NFO Bookshelf

NFO Shopping

 
See the monthly adventures of Hathor the Cowgoddess.
Hathor the Cow Goddess - Watch Hathor make fun of those who oppose breastfeeding
 
Write to us or get writers guidelines

Reprint Permissions
Send Us Feedback

 

We're looking for writers! Visit our Writer’s Guidelines for more details.

 
Contact us or read about us

About NFO
Advertise with NFO
Contact NFO

Media Page
: See who's talking about NFO.

 
NFO is going to print!
Interested in getting NFO by mail? Send us a YES here. We'll contact you with more information in the future.
 
Visit other BFN sites:
Busy Parents Online
Busy Homeschool
Busy Parents University
Busy Family Network
 
NFO Special Report: THE DEADLY INFLUENCE OF FORMULA IN AMERICA
The report's key finding: Formula DOUBLES THE DEATH RATE for American infants.

Join our newsletter for new article updates!


Getting your kids to cooperate


By Elizabeth Pantley

Getting your kids to cooperate is the number one complaint of parents around the globe. It’s a biggie, purely because there are so many things we must get our kids to do (or not do!).

If you’re waiting for your child to start cooperating of his own free will, you might want to pack a lunch. Things won’t change on their own. It takes consistent, effective parenting skills to change your children’s behavior and to encourage your children to cooperate willingly on a regular basis. It will take practice, patience and persistence on your part. Once you’ve made a few changes in your approach, you’ll find that you’re no longer praying for bedtime but actually enjoying your children.

Be specific Don’t make general comments that hint at what you would like done, such as “It would be nice if somebody helped me clean up.” Don’t make it sound as if compliance is optional by starting sentences with “Will you …?”, “Could you …?” or “Would you …?” or by ending sentences with “ … okay?” Make requests clear, short and specific: “Please put your dishes in the sink and wash the table,” or “It’s 6:00. Gather your homework and come to the table.” Practice making clear statements that clearly identify what you need or that describe the problem without elaboration and lecturing.

Set priorities Use the “when/then” technique, also known as Grandma’s Rule. This method lets your child know the sequence of priorities: work first, play second. “When you have finished your homework, then you may play your new computer game.” “As soon as your pajamas are on, we’ll read a book.” “The minute the dishes are washed, you can go out and ride your bike.”

Give more choices
Offer your child a choice: “Would you like to sweep the floor or dry the dishes?” You can also use a sequence choice such as, “What would you like to do first: put on your pajamas or brush your teeth?” Another way to offer choice is the time-focused choice: “Would you like to start at 8:00 or 8:15?” If a child creates a third option, simply say, “That wasn’t one of the choices” and re-state your original selection. If a child refuses to choose, you choose for him. It’s important when you give your child a choice that he learn to live with the consequences of his decision. So if your little run is running amok in the grocery store, you can say, “You have a choice. You can walk beside me or ride in the cart.” The minutes he takes off you can pick him up, put him in the cart and say, “I see you’ve decided to ride in the cart.”

Lighten up
Use humor to gain cooperation. A bit of silliness can often diffuse the tension and get your child to cooperate willingly. It also helps you feel better about your day.

Stay calm
Avoid letting your emotions take control. Don’t yell, threaten, criticize or belittle. Instead, ask yourself, “What is the problem?” Then make a statement of fact, such as “There are dirty dishes and snack wrappers in the TV room.” Pause. Be silent. And stare at your children. It’s amazing that kids will know exactly what you’re thinking. Most often, they’ll respond by cleaning up. If not, back up your approach with one of the other solutions.

Use knowledge and skills Read parenting books and learn new skills. My book Kid Cooperation (How to Stop Yelling, Nagging and Pleading and Get Kids to Cooperate) has lots more suggestions and practical ideas.


Parenting educator Elizabeth Pantley is the author of numerous parenting books. See more about Elizabeth.


 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Let's Play Yoga - A yoga program for children between the ages of 2 and 6. Teacher training and home-study courses available.
 
Operation Special Delivery offers doula services to military spouses
 
In Association with Amazon.com
 
 

Join our newsletter

This site is best viewed while wearing your baby.

Advertisement


"The media have become the mainstream culture in children's lives. Parents have become the alternative. Americans once expected parents to raise their children in accordance with the dominant cultural messages. Today they are expected to raise their children in opposition to it."
-- Ellen Goodman, Boston Globe columnist

[Home] [Read] [Discuss] [Shop] [Write] [About Us] [Contact Us] [Advertise] [Natural Family Living] [Attachment Parenting]
[Natural Health] [Natural Q&A] [Pregnancy & Birth] [Breastfeeding] [Books]
[Bottom Line] [Gentle Discipline]
[Education] [Links Guide] [Product Reviews] [Book Reviews]


© 2000-2004 Busy Family Network™ (BFN). All Rights Reserved. 
Send mail to with questions or comments about this web site.
Graphics by . Web design by Busy Family Network. Hosting by BFN Hosting.
The information appearing at Natural Family Online is intended for educational purposes only. While we believe the information published on our site to be accurate, we do not intend it to serve as a substitute for professional medical advice. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your child, please seek assistance from a qualified health care provider. Neither the BFN nor Natural Family Online is liable in any case. Consult your health care provider before using any health information we publish. Please review the rest of our disclaimer and user agreement.