Getting Children to Cooperate
Cooperation from a child is not as simple as you might have hoped. Children don’t listen, they defy the directions you give them, and just plainly refuse to do what you say. Getting a child to do what you tell them is not a challenge you want to take on; however, it is necessary.
You might even look to bribery to push children to listen; it’s not the best because once you start it, there’s no going back. Fortunately, there are simpler ways to get a child’s cooperation.
The Two Choice Rule
Some children will cooperate without hesitation; however, the real trouble is giving them a host of choices to choose from. Instead, you want to give the child two choices. This might narrow the choices but it’s more effective since it’s easier for the child to make a decision. It’s the best way to get their cooperation and make your life a little easier.
Show Interest in the Child
You’ve probably developed a bond with your child and that’ll help get their cooperation a little better. Of course, it can still be difficult to fully get their attention. So, you need to show a genuine interest in the child and what they are doing.
For instance, your child is playing a video game in the room. Sit on the edge of the bed and watch the game unfold. At the opportune moment, ask if they’re winning. It should spark a conversation between the two of you; don’t hesitate to join in if asked. It creates a connection and might earn the cooperation of the child.
You might not enjoy the game, but it shows the child you’re interested in the things they like.
Make it Fun to Get their Cooperation
Fun is appealing to a child. It takes hard work and turns it into something more enjoyable. It’s also a fantastic way to ensure your child cooperates. You might find it’s easier to get a child to listen to what you have to say.
Keep an Answer at the Ready for Questions
Children always question why they need to do something; it’s natural, so give them an honest reply. Give them a rational explanation because it’ll make it easier for the child to understand and give their cooperation. It’s the best way forward and lets a child know you aren’t picking on them.
Give the Child Ownership
Your child needs to develop as they grow and it’s good to give them control over some minor decisions. You’re not handing total power over to the child, it’s about giving them a sense of control and responsibility. It’s a great way to encourage cooperation from the child.
Walk Away from Argumentative Children
There may come a point when your child just refuses to cooperate and becomes argumentative. It’s easy to snap back and have a full-blown argument, but that signals it’s fine to do that. The child doesn’t learn anything positive and will continue to defy you. So, when your child tries to argue with you, let them know you’re the one in control and walk away from the situation.
It teaches the child that tantrums and arguments are not acceptable and it’s up to them to step up to the plate.
While you do have to change your strategies as the child grows, it’s important you’re strong in these situations. It isn’t about being a disciplinarian, it’s about teaching a child a vital life skill. Let’s say the child has a job in a bakery and a supervisor asks them to do something. If they refuse to give their cooperation to a simple task, they get fired. So, learning these skills at an early age will remain with them throughout their lives.