When Kids Won't Cooperate

A lot of parents are exasperated because their kids won’t obey or cooperate. If your child is one of them, consider the following questions:

  • Does your son or daughter talk on the phone?
  • Does he or she watch TV?
  • Play video or computer games?
  • Does he or she like to borrow the car and go out with friends?

Those activities, and others like them, are privileges, not rights. We do our kids a favor when we have a policy that says: unless you obey and cooperate, you do not get your privileges. Period. Granted, kids won’t like this--but they’ll bow to it. Properly motivated, kids will do anything. Even more important than the child’s cooperation is the lesson he or she learns about real life. After all, that’s the way the adult world operates. If you don’t obey the chain of command on your job, you won’t have the privilege of getting a paycheck or maybe even having a job at all.

Don’t be afraid to trade permission for obedience. Your child deserves to learn this at home, where the stakes are small, rather than in the cold, cruel world, where the stakes are enormous.

Keep in mind that the goal of all discipline is to change the way a child thinks so he can, in turn, change his own behavior and become a self-disciplined person. On days when you're ready to pull your hair out, don't give up! Your patience, hard work, and unconditional love will pay off.

You'll find more help and encouragement about teaching children to obey and cooperate in Kathy's "Raising Great Kids" audio seminar, available for download through the Family Manager Inner Circle.

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