pensive looking teenage girl

When your children are young they are more likely to listen and cooperate with you as you are their parent. Once they reach their teenage years they are more likely to challenge your authority and not want to comply when you ask them to do something. It is part of their development and it can make us stronger as parents when they do challenge us, despite it feeling difficult sometimes. Will it be easy at this age to get your child to co-operate? Not if you have never done it before.

Starting young and as we mean to go on is the key to success with co-operation. If we show our children how to communicate effectively, listen to their needs and show them that we are willing to cooperate in a civil and orderly way then they are more likely to do the same. We can also negotiate with them when they need our help with something. Negotiation I find is used more as children get older mainly because families need to work as a team to get things done. For example,  if they need help with their homework after dinner, they could help to make dinner. If co-operation is a struggle in your house try these 5 steps:

Steps To Get Your Child To Co-operate

  1. Think about what you are going to say.
  2. Think about how you are going to say it. What language do you respond to best?
  3. Think about their response to the way you are going to ask them to do something. What will the obstructions be and how are you going to overcome them?
  4. Is how and what you are going to ask them going to put them in a bad mood or will they be agreeable to the request?
  5. Now ask them. Did it work?

We need to get our children to co-operate not just for life at home but also in the wider world. They can’t always resist when being asked to do something and often have to do things with a smile on their face. Teach your child to enjoy being asked and take pleasure in the request involved.

Parents also need to be co-operative with their children. It works both ways for communication and a quieter family life.

For more tips on co-operation check out my book The Parent’s Toolkit.