Quick tip #3 to improve child compliance

In the first quick tip to improve child compliance, I described how to give your child commands and also give them a rationale, or reason, for what you are telling them to do. This third tip is related to those instances when your child is noncompliant. So let’s say that you gave a good command, provide a clear rationale, and they look at you with narrowed eyes and scream “NO!” – now what? Well, let’s go through an example that is likely a common scenario for many parents – picking up their toys. You begin by saying “Sarah, put away your toys because we need to get ready to go to grandma’s house and if you leave your toys out someone might step on them.” Good job so far by the way! When Sarah screams no, or starts to pout, you can then say “If you don’t put away your toys right now, I am going to take them and┬áput them in a box in the attic and you won’t be able to play with them for a week”. In other words, provide a tangible consequence. You might go with other types of consequences as well, such as a time out, or having them go to bed early. In this case, however, you are limited because you need to take your child to grandma’s house, so a time out would take too long to implement. What you definitely want to avoid is giving a consequence (or punishment) that is somewhere in the future (for example, “next time I won’t play with you”) or that is vague (for example, “if you don’t, you’re going to get it” – what is it?).