7 Ways To Get Children To Co-operate

Getting children to do what they are told in a willing manner can be a difficult task. From an emphatic NO, to a calm silence and firm resolve; children often find a number of ways to express their unwillingness to co-operate with their parents.
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It is normal for children to misbehave and disregard task. They are simply acting out some natural developmental issues.  Once these issues are identified and worked through effectively, it is easy to gain their co-operation.

Compliance is often times confused with co-operation. Compliance is when a child does what he/she is instructed to do whether they are willing or not. As a result, the child may develop resistance to submission.

Uncooperative child

True co-operation means a joint work - a give and take that is mutually satisfying. To create a cooperative attitude in children, we need to help them understand how our requests and rules are great for everyone. 

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Here are 7 tips to help you get started:

1. Listen: Always listen to your children’s views on issues that concern them. Parents often overlook the child’s perspectives regarding things happening around or activities involving their well-being. Spending a few minutes to hear what your child has to say will properly guide you in making decisions that influence their behavior.

listening to children
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2. Give rules with choices: Rules and regulations are very useful in influencing proper conduct in a child's behavior. Nonetheless, parents should give children the opportunity to vary the application of the rules. A child’s take home assignment must be completed, but a choice to do it before or after lunch should be available to the child. This shows respect for a child’s power to choose and it creates a sense of collaboration.


3.Give rewards: Reward your children for completing a specific task, this gives them the needed boost to always want to achieve their goals. There are several ways this can be done i.e. through gifts, recognition badges, point based rewards, extra marks [for teachers], food etc. This will cultivate a goal setting culture.

4.Be generous with your praise: Highlight why and how their contribution was important. This will help them recognize and value their skills.  “You cleaned your room and put all your clothes together; that helped me a great deal". When your child does the right thing, shower them with the praise, commendation and acknowledgement they deserve. Using affirmative words like “fantastic, great job and thank you” are effective ways of acknowledging good behavior.


5. Downplay unnecessary attention;
Don't always react to every of your child’s transgressions. Responding every time can lead to both party being frustrated. Yes! Some behavior immediately should be corrected but minor ones can be overlooked. Likewise, keep rules to a minimum.

6. Make activities fun : Creating a fun filled atmosphere around the house or classroom make activities more appealing. Children will look forward to spending time with parents or teachers who introduce activities such as music, storytelling, and drama into their everyday experiences.

Fun with children

7. Lead by example: Children like to learn but hate to be taught. Nevertheless, they learn a lot by imitation. Parents who want their children to co-operate with them should lead by example. Show them good traits they should exhibit and trust believe they will start to act this way. Let your child grow up experiencing the benefits of cooperation. Together you can wash the plates, do laundry, or clean the living room. Point out the advantages of cooperating.  

helping children out

How cooperative are you? Find out below; 

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About the Author Greensprings School

We have over 30 years of promoting lifelong learning in an open and caring atmosphere that motivates students to be confident and responsible global citizens.

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