3 Tiny Ways To Get Your Children To Cooperate With You, According To An Attachment Therapist

The three best ways to manage your household.

mom with kids Ketut Subiyanto / Pexels

Figuring out how to get your household to work as a team is no walk in the park, especially with a bunch of kids in the mix. It can be super frustrating and make you feel like you're on your own in the chaos.

So, how can parents get their kids to cooperate when everything seems to be going haywire? Attachment therapist Eli Harwood shares three small tips to help you get your kids to cooperate and turn this ship around.


3 Small Tips To Help You Get Your Kids To Cooperate

1. Observe the situation.

"Before you attempt to manage your kids, take a step back and see what's going on", says Harwood. Look at how you're feeling in the moment.


Are you frustrated or angry with your child? Did you maybe raise your voice or act a bit passive-aggressively without realizing it?

Think about your child's feelings. How are they currently expressing their emotions? What emotions are they showing, and why do you think they're feeling this way?

Wait until they've calmed down then have a conversation with your child. Say, "Hey, I noticed you were feeling frustrated earlier. I'm going to do some deep breathing exercises and if you want you can join me."

Give your child the opportunity to correct you or join in. Demonstrate and model how you emotionally regulate yourself.

Next, focus on praising your child more and punishing them less. The American Psychological Association notes that praising your child's positive behavior can motivate them to continue behaving well.


So, don't hesitate to give out compliments when your child handles a situation correctly or communicates their emotions respectfully.

RELATED: Try This Mental Hack To Stay Cool & Calm When Your Child Gets Out Of Control

2. Spend time together.

Harwood says that when things get chaotic, she makes sure to spend more one-on-one time with each of her kids.

However, spending time doesn't mean watching television while scrolling aimlessly through your phone. Rather, it means being completely present and connected to your child.

According to the National Library of Medicine, “Our findings showed that the more time parents spent with their children, whether primary or middle school children, the higher the children’s well-being.” Hanging out and having fun together has also been proven to make behavior better and strengthen your bond, says NYU Langone Health.


ways to get your children to cooperatePhoto: kate_sept2004 / Getty Images Signature via Canva

Struggle to spend quality time with your children? Try these tips from professor Dr. Jessica Alvarado:

  • Carve out time in your day to spend with your children.
  • Create a special ritual for your children. For instance, each night you go to sleep you read to them.
  • Express love to your child daily.
  • Engage in an activity they enjoy doing.
  • Be fun and silly with your child.

RELATED: 8 Concrete, No BS Ways To Stop Overparenting Your Kids


3. Work on clarity.

If you're having a hard time getting your kids to cooperate, start by figuring out the best way to communicate with them.

Try and create a schedule with your expectations for the day. List out the activities your children will be engaging in. As Harwood explains, "Because it takes the rules from my mouth to the paper. And when it’s on paper somehow, it’s more real and tangible.”

As a family, there will be times when your kids are on board and times when they're not. Harwood says that this doesn't mean you're failing as a parent; it just means you need to steer the ship back on course.


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Marielisa Reyes is a writer with a bachelor's degree in psychology who covers self-help, relationships, career, and family topics.