Where thoughtful parenting replaces impulsive parenting

Cooperation Counts

  • Turning Around Trouble

    Image Credit: Deana Zabaldo

    Image Credit: Deana Zabaldo

    By Jean Hamburg, LICSW

    All parents have been there. Kids of all ages just won’t cooperate. Caring parents buy multiple parenting books, and read them! Groups are researched, and attended. Book clubs spring up in order to put experienced parental heads together for solutions to problems in the dreaded category of TROUBLE.


    It is a well known fact that kids of all ages usually do not find that problem-solving in the Trouble area is of much interest to them. Typically Trouble Times remain until there is a miracle, and that could take a very long time.


    Parents diligently search for new ‘scripts’. This is tried, that is tried, and still there is Terrible Trouble. Sometimes weary adults slip into the land of getting worn down. At the very least, this usually gives double messages to kids who are masters at going for the goal of getting what they want.


    Sometimes complicated challenges can have simple solutions and in the Trouble department this often has to do with changing the mood.


    TICKLING: Tickling is an under used technique in parental bags of tricks. Children younger than two and Much Older have been known to decide to stop jumping on an illegal couch, eat something green, brush teeth that have turned a frightening color, put shoes AND socks on their own feet minus the wail of ‘I can’t do it’, start homework, or help a sibling.

    CHASING: When a child of any age is determined NOT to cooperate, and if an adult will not need a medic from a certain amount of exertion, inviting the refuser to a game of chase can turn into just that – a game changer.


    WAITING: Sometimes just waiting can be pretty powerful. This, however, needs to be done minus adult anger or ‘I give up’. The script for waiting needs to lend a sense that the adult is in adult mode. This does not mean in a Captain of the Ship or ‘You’ve got me. I give up’ tone. Instead, “This is just not working out for me right now. I’m going to take a break, and we can try to work this out when we’re both more calm”.


    SILLINESS: When a child is stuck in a less than pleasant place, being silly is easy as well as a whole lot of fun. Adults with many different personalities from serious to silly have been known to, in the middle of what sounds suspiciously like an Argument ,drop onto all 4’s and pretend to be a kitten.


    When kids of all ages plant their symbolic feet into the land of “I won’t! You can’t make me!” it is time for a new script. Changing the mood is a must.


    Tickling, chasing, waiting, and silliness are available in an instant, can be loads of fun, and they don’t cost a thing. That’s what I call a bargain!

    Contact Jean for consultation options at: jeanhamburg@comcast.net __1-877-813-0004

    Cooperation Counts (sm) is a service of Jean Hamburg, LICSW

    The Cooperation Counts program © 2002-2018 All Rights Reserved.

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