Positive Parenting focuses on cooperation and solutions instead of control and coercion.
One component of encouraging cooperation is attuning ourselves to the needs and ideas of our children and finding ways to incorporate these needs into daily tasks. Especially young children really want to participate and help in their own care. Allowing space for children to make small decisions also means they will be more likely to listen and follow your guidance when they can’t make a choice.
Just this morning my two year old was washing her hands.
The water had been running for almost a minute and I really wanted it turned off.
I was really tempted to just shut the water. Yet, knowing just how engaged and happy she was washing her hands and investigating the soap, I asked a few quick questions instead:
“Are you enjoying washing your hands?” “YES!” “Well,the water has been running for a while.
How about turning it off? Who is going to do it, me or You?
“I do it Self!” came the answer and promptly.
She turned off the water and moved onto drying her hands. Would it have been faster to just say “Shut off the water!”, well, faster possibly, but likely to disrupt her investigative process and lead to some tears of protest.
This way, with three quick questions we stayed connected, she made her own decision and the water was turned off, which is what I wanted – win, win!
Encouraging a Child To Say YES!
Rephrasing requests of “Because I said so” and “Do it NOW!” with phrases that show interest and encourage a child to participate means you are more likely to gain your child’s genuine cooperation.
Here are 35 Phrases that encourage parent-child cooperation:
How can we solve this together?
What do you think the problem is?
Last time when we did this, what worked? Should we do it the same way?
Do you have a way you want to do it?
What way would you fix it?
Let’s try team work!
Can you show me a different way to do that?
Do you have any ideas how to solve this?
What can we do together to move forward?
I understand. How would you do it then?
Can you tell me more about your ideas?
Can you tell me more about what you think about this?
If we could start over, what would you want me to do differently?
If we could start over, what could you try differently?
What would you like to do differently?
Let’s rewind and try again.
Would you like to help me?
I see. Now what should be our next step?
May I help you?
Let’s try this again, this time together.
Let’s try this again, can you show me your way?
Let’s try this again. This time I will follow you, then you can follow me.
How about we take turns?
Can you think of a solution?
Would you like to hear my idea?
I would love to hear your ideas.
Do you have any ideas you want to share?
Let’s work together!
That might work. Shall we try it then?
Anyone want to pitch in?
This isn’t working, but maybe together we can think of way that will work.
Can you show me how?
What if we did this in a different way?
What if you tried it like this?
Would you like a helping hand?
What phrases would you add to the list?
Find even more ways to invite cooperation in my book
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Peace & Be Well,