Whatever you do…

By | February 3, 2008

In the spirit of ParentHacks, here’s a trick we’ve used to get our kids to do many things they otherwise wouldn’t.

We came up with it in the car on a long trip when the whining reached an all-time high. My wife, in hidden frustration, looked back and said, “Whatever you do, no smiling!” to our grouchy kids. Of course, they immediately smiled. Then it became a game: “Whatever you do, no laughing!” “Whatever you do, no putting your hands over your head!”

It kept the kids busy for a long time in the car, but then it started to work at home, too. “Whatever you do, no putting your toys away!” “Whatever you do, no drinking your milk!” “Whatever you do, no washing your hands!”

You get the picture. Our kids love the game so much they ask us to say “Whatever you do…” even when they do want to do something sometimes.

Obviously it’s the time-honored reverse-psychology ploy, but packaged as a game.

Note: sadly, it hasn’t worked yet in getting the oldest to eat anything other than chicken (or what we tell her is chicken). We’re still trying…

[tags]parenthacks, child psychology, parenting[/tags]

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