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Mindful Parenting Tip: Learn the Steps to Gaining Cooperation

Mar 2, 2008
Of course the first step to getting more cooperation is to get out a mirror and examine your own behavior and belief system. Take a good, hard look at how cooperative YOU are with your spouse, children, and others.

Chances are that if you have been irritated when someone asks for your help, or whiney when the house is left a mess, or nag when the chores need to be done, then that is exactly what you are getting back.

Are you asking for cooperation when you mean and want blind compliance? If so all you are creating is tyranny and all you will be rewarded with is revolt. Remember, no one likes a whiner, or wants to go along with your program when you are doing your wicked witch of the west routine.

In case you are having a hard time acknowledging your part in this, just step back for a day or two and watch and listen. What you see and hear comes from you. Yes, it's true. Sure you didn't mean to, you didn't know any better. Now you do.

Once you figure out your mistakes, sit everyone down and share your discovery. Try to get excited that you finally see this about yourself. Have a good laugh. After all, you are just human and we all make mistakes while we are learning.

Not only are you modeling how to cooperate, you are also modeling how to respond to mistakes. Don't over think this, or lay a guilt trip on yourself, just do it.

Talk about what you want from yourself and everyone else. Discuss the atmosphere you want to create. Don't whine. Agree on a hand signal for your family to use when you forget and go back to your old ways.

Make a vision board with photos of your family getting along and having fun doing things around the house together. Display it in a prominent place.

Set up a family meeting to figure out how to be more cooperative. Have fun coming up with creative solutions. Follow your children's suggestions no matter how unrelated or silly they seem. They may be just what everyone needs to turn the corner.

Speak in affirmations:

"We are getting along so well!"

"It's easy for us to treat each other with love and respect."

"Our chores are getting done quickly and effortlessly."

"We have all the time we need to get everything done."

Any time you feel the urge to grumble, say an affirmation. What you sow, grows.

Explore what each family member needs to help them be more cooperative. Have each member come up with one item, list and post them. State them in the affirmative. Focus on what you are going to do instead of what you are going to stop doing.

Strive to give each family member that one thing that they need. Cooperation comes from compromise and negotiation. Reread the list together every morning before breakfast.

Everyone wants to be heard. STOP what you are doing and LISTEN, do not fix.

Decide together what chores need to be done. Decide when and how you are going to do them. Set up a schedule and post it. Every morning review the plan for the day together.

We all want to feel special and be in charge. Assign each member of your family a "Special Day" each week. The special day person makes all decisions and settles all disputes.

When you ask someone to do something, model the response, "OK Papa, I'd love to pick up my toys." Then pick them up. Don't wait or insist for your child to join you. If you do it long enough with joy and enthusiasm, they will too.

Make sure to show your family HOW to do things. Show, rather than tell. Make lessons short and sweet. Do it over and over until they get it.

The less you say the better. Get in there and start handing stuff out that needs to be put away.
About the Author
And now I would like offer you free access to my online parenting newsletter, Mindful Parenting Tips: Mindful Parenting Tips

Discover proven techniques to become the best parent and solve your most difficult child-raising situations.

Tulum Dothee, credentialed and certified educator and counselor can be reached at: Parenting
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