top of page

Getting kids to do what they have to do

Updated: Apr 11

Dealing with kids who don't always listen can be frustrating. Getting them to go to bed without bringing their favorite toys, like blocks, legos, or electric cars, can be challenging. Let’s learn some tricks that would help us in getting things done from kids.

Be Playful

The book suggests that we should try being playful - 

Toothbrushes can use their tough guy voice, "Lemme in there, I think I saw a germ hiding behind that molar" OR Lonely shoes can whine "I feel cold and empty. Won't somebody put a nice warm foot in me?"

Offer a choice

Choice? What choice can I offer them?

They have to brush their teeth before bed, that's healthy. I am not gonna allow them to sleep without brushing.

Well, instead of "Please brush your teeth, the germs need to go" 

Try "Do you want to brush your teeth with a mighty savior or just a normal brush? OR

Would you use the colorful toothpaste with a mint taste or the white toothpaste with a sweet taste?

And if you want them to get into the pajamas for the night and they are having a playful tantrum and want them to listen to you then try “Do you want to jump five more times before putting on your PJs, or ten? Okay, let's make them big ones. ONE.....TWO.....THREE..."

Remember it’s important to have both choices to be pleasant. The other choice should not be a threat.

Give them Information

Sometimes we need to understand that instead of using all these tricks to get done what they have to do, we can also give them real information about the situations. With the information, they would have to figure out for themselves what is right and what is wrong, you are giving them useful knowledge, a valuable lesson which they need to know.

What happens is when sometimes they keep the glue stick cap off of it, you need to make them understand that "Glue sticks dry out very quickly when they are not capped" Hence could you please put the cap back on?

Instead of "Stop banging on the tablet screen, you're going to break it!" 

Give information: "Tablet Screens are delicate. All they need is a very light touch"

Say It with a Word or Gesture

It happens a lot of times that you have told your child to take care of the orange peels after eating them and they usually leave them on the table counter or maybe on the ground. Many parents find it frustrating to see food waste left around the house.

You can say "______ (Call them by their name) and say COMPOST !!!!!!

Your kid will remember... Compost? What compost? Oh, I forgot to put the orange peels in the compost. I should do that.

This works with a little older toddler, say 4-year-olds or more.

Or perhaps you can use a gesture, such as a brushing your teeth gesture or a handwashing gesture to tell them what time it is - is it the handwash time after eating your food, or is it brushing time before bed?

Describe What you See

Sometimes, using more than one word is better when asking for help. If you keep it simple and describe what you need without being bossy or accusing, your child might be happy to help

Instead of, “You’re making a big mess. Clean that up or the paints are going away.”

Say "I notice some paint dripping."

Instead of, "Don't leave your jacket on the floor. I am not going to pick it up for you."

Express " I see a jacket on the floor."

Describe how you feel 

We might be the heroes for our children but at heart we are still humans, we are humans and we do not have a mechanic heart just like Tony Stark. Hence it is not a good idea to pretend to be calm until we explode.

It would be helpful for your child to know what you are feeling. It is difficult for them to understand what's going on when our words are not matching with our emotions.

When you tell them how you feel, you are not only giving them important information but you are also teaching them a vocabulary of emotions that they can use when they are frustrated, upset, or scared.

For example, Your child is coming to play with you and has asked you to play outside with them but you are ironing your dress and you don't want to leave it in the middle and play with them, “You simply say, Darling if I don’t complete ironing this dress, I will get frustrated. Let me complete this first then I’ll come to play.” 

Likely your kid will say okay Mommy and watch you iron the dress calmly until you complete it

Write a Note

When you find yourself saying the same thing over and over until you're tired of your voice, it might be a good idea to write a note. Even if your child can't read, written words have a special power that spoken words don't. A note can sometimes be more effective than repeating yourself.

Imagine your child wants to ride their bike without wearing a helmet, and you've already told them multiple times. In such cases, try writing a note like

“Dear (name), Please find the helmet before heading out with your bike”


“Put me on your head before riding. Love, your bike helmet.” 

Implementing these strategies can significantly help you manage various tasks for your children. These practical tips are designed to make the process smoother and more enjoyable for both parents and kids. If you're eager to delve deeper into effective parenting techniques, feel free to explore further by clicking here.

23 views0 comments


bottom of page