Get Your Toddler to Cooperate
By Elizabeth Pantley, author of Kid Cooperation and Perfect Parenting
When you've got a toddler this technique is a pure lifesaver. When my son David was little I used this all the time. (I then used it with my youngest child, Coleton, and it worked just as well.) Remembering back to one day, when David was almost three, we were waiting in a long line at the grocery store and I was making my hand talk to him. It was asking him questions about the items in the cart. Suddenly, he hugged my hand, looked up at me and said, "Mommy, I love for you to pretend this hand is talking."
Another parent reported that she called her toddler to the table for dinner a number of times, when he calmly looked up at her, chubby hands on padded hips and said, "Mommy, why don't you have my dinner call to me?"
And suddenly, the peas on his plate came to life and called out to him; he ran over to join the family at the dinner table.
A variation on this technique, that also works very well, is to capitalize on a young child's vivid imagination as a way to thwart negative emotions. Pretend to find a trail of caterpillars on the way to the store, hop to the car like a bunny, or pretend a carrot gives you magic powers as you eat it.
It's delightful to see how a potentially negative situation can be turned into a fun experience by changing a child's focus to fun and fantasy.
Excerpted with permission from Kid Cooperation, How to Stop Yelling, Nagging and Pleading and Get Kids to Cooperate by Elizabeth Pantley (http://www.pantley.com/elizabeth, copyright 1996) Published by New Harbinger Publications, Inc. (http://www.newharbinger.com/)
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