Want to get your kids to cooperate? Set challenges.

kids with candyYoung children LOVE being challenged. Give them a problem to solve, a way to compete against themselves and they will rise to your challenge every time—as long as your challenge is given with a light-hearted, fun and games attitude.

It’s so exhausting and draining to keep yelling at our kids, threatening them to get them to do what we want. So many parents complain, “I don’t have time to do all this listening and understanding stuff” but so much time is saved in the long run. Think of your new learning and hard work as an investment in you and your child’s future relationship. You will never regret it.

Here are a few ideas for motivating and setting challenges your kids will love:

  • I’m not sure you can pick that jacket up and get it on the hook. Isn’t that hook too high for you to reach?
  • How long do you think it would take you to run around the outside of the house? How about if I count and see what number I get to?
  • I wonder if you can get your plate to the sink by the time I count to 10.
  • Let’s see if you can stay silent longest? First one who makes a noise has to give the other one a kiss.
  • If you run upstairs to get your sweater, I’ll count. Let’s see if
  • Can you sing “Itsy Bitsey Spider” all the way through without making a sound but only doing the hand motions?
  • Can you climb into your car seat like a monkey? A Lion? Fly in like an eagle?
  • You can’t have ice cream now. Imagine if you could turn everything in the kitchen into ice cream. What flavor would the refrigerator be? The sink? The stove? Which one would you lick first?
  • Imagine if your bed had wings that would shoot out when you pressed a button. Where would you make it fly?

From a mother I worked with on this: “Challenges all last night. Especially while preparing dinner, (mostly in an attempt to keep them out of the kitchen!) “Who can do 20 jumping jacks?” “Who can clap while singing Mary Had a Little Lamb?”….”I CAN!”…”I CAN!!” Like a charm!! It was excellent! They even started presenting challenges to each other…haha!!!”