From Dr. Jane's Notebook

Enlisting Cooperation From Kids

Parenting is a great challenge. It requires patience, love, understanding, and most all, communication skills. Kids are just like adults in that they don't like to be told what to do. But as we all know, a big part of the job of parenting requires telling kids what to do. The challenge is therefore, to learn how to enlist your child's cooperation... without enlisting their resistance. Here are a few ideas on the subject.

To win cooperation from children, you must respect the fact that they have opinions. Sometimes they agree with you, sometimes they don't. To win cooperation, you must decide which issues are important and which issues are not. Of course, its possible to force kids to agree with you temporarily, but the results are mixed.

I learned about this while shopping with my kids. If a child doesn't like something, there is little that you can do to change their mind. Like adults, they have firm opinions. Take it from one mother who has more than once purchased clothing items that I was sure my child would grow to love. Only now do I realize that if they said they didn't like it, trust me, they won't wear it!

ęCopyright, 1995, Jane R. Rosen-Grandon. All rights reserved.

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Last Updated October 18, 1998 by Gary M. Grandon, Ph.D.