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Parenting: 3 Top Ways to Encourage Your Child's Cooperation

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Reward Your Child's Cooperation with Fun Time Together

Encouraging your child to cooperate is easy. Our parenting skills expert author of the book, Easier Parenting, is here to share 3 top ways and 10 non-material rewards. Carole Disseldorp, a parent educator/counselor is the mother of 4 children and she has tons of experience. Let's find out how you can get your youngsters to work with you and not against you.

1. Encourage Cooperation

As parents what we say needs to be truthful, heartfelt, and specific.

  • I like how neatly you put your toys away, Josh.
  • You put a lot of effort into your drawing, Jennifer. Tell me what each part means to you.
  • Thank you for brushing your teeth and getting ready for bed without being told, Jim

Carole tells parents not to be surprised if your child follows your lead and begins to encourage you.

2. Use Gentle Reminders to Help

When young children don't follow through on your requests, it could be for the following reasons:

  • They stop listening when we give too many commands.
  • They're engrossed in what they're doing and aren't paying attention.
  • They tend to forget if what we're asking of them has little personal meaning to them.

3. Use Simple Rewards with the First/Then Formula

  • First put your toys away now, then we'll have time for a storybook.
  • First help me clean the kitchen, then we'll play some music together.
  • First wash your hands for dinner, then you can have dessert.

When children don't cooperate they miss out on both your positive attention and the rewards.

In the back of Carole's book she fills 4 pages of fun activities that can be rewards. Here are just 10 of them:

  1. Dancing
  2. Construction activities like Legos and blocks
  3. Making books
  4. Coloring
  5. Threading beads, pasta
  6. Playing ball, marbles
  7. Stenciling
  8. Paper folding, origami
  9. Card games
  10. Singing

(From pages 4-6 and 51-52)


I like Carole's easy approach to parenting. As a parent educator, she helps us understand why kids don't cooperate. Some folks might think their children are stubborn or disrespectful. Most likely they're distracted or not listening. With her formula for asking youngsters to do a task first before receiving a non-material reward, she is motivating them to work with her.

I also like her insight into the reason kids may not pay attention to us, like when we ask them to do too many things.

Of course, Carole advises us not to become yellers. She knows kids get used to our yelling and don't take us seriously unless we get to a certain pitch, threat, or action. In the end our yelling could lead to their disrespect and our sense of frustration, resentment, and guilt. Yelling is a "lose-lose" behavior.


Let's THANK Carole for sharing some of her vast experience with us.

Carole Disseldorp
 Carole Disseldorp

Pick up Carole's book, Easier Parenting: 8 Vital Principles to Guide Your Children's Behavior Successfully and make your parenting experience a joy.

  Cover Easier Parenting

 Available at

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With warm wishes,

Jean Tracy, MSS

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