Here’s 9 fun tricks from parents when they want their kids to play nice:
1. “I’ve told my kids to take all their tattles to our dog instead of me. It makes them realize how silly most of their minor complaints are.” – Jennifer Pinarski, Stone Mills, ON.
2. “I bought a small trophy from the dollar store and on days when we have a lot going on – errands, doctor’s appointment or dinner out – I bring out the trophy and tell them that whoever is best behaved wins it. The winner gets to keep the trophy until the next time, so they’re always vying to be the one to steal it away.” – Amanda Omelchuk, Calgary.
3. “When my two-and-a-half-year-old was going through a hitting phase, we taught him to say ‘I need a high five!’ so that he could still hit someone, but in an acceptable way.” – Meaghan Gibbons, Waterloo, ON.
4. “I got tired of reminding my kids that they don’t get something every time we go shopping. Now, every time they plead ‘Mommy! I want one of those!’ or ‘I need that!’ I snap a picture with my phone and say: ‘OK, it’s on the list!’ That way they know I’ve heard them and there’s no more whining. And now when family members need gift ideas for birthdays or holidays, I just text them the photos.” – Julie Kruse, Île Perrot, QUE.
5. “Whenever our girls get upset because they’re not getting their way, we sing the Rolling Stones tune “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” It stops them in their tracks.” – Ashley-Rae Carter-Wells, Calgary.
6. “If I’m having trouble getting my kids’ attention, I say “Chocolate!” It’s a much sweeter way to get them to listen than raising your voice!” – Colette Graham, Martensville, Sask.
7. “Timers, timers, and more timers. If kids are having a hard time sharing a toy, I set the timer so they can take turns. Before cleanup and meals, I give a five-minute warning and set the timer. When it goes off, like magic they all stand up, tidy or come to the table. Can’t argue with a beeping timer! Saves so much transition grief!” – Meagan Payne, Calgary.
8. “We travel a couple of times a year with our three kids. For long-haul road trips or flights, I make them each a goodie bag with a new colouring book, crayons, a toy and a favourite treat to keep them occupied. To keep them calm on the plane, we let them run in the airport terminal to burn off their energy so they’re ready to sit down for a movie or colouring.” – Christine Moulaison, Kanata, ON.
9. “Assign a kid to each day. On their day, that child is the “chooser.” He picks what we watch on TV, the station we listen to and who sits where in the car and what we have for dessert – anything that might otherwise lead to arguing. I also plan one-on-one time with that kid on that day, even if it’s just 15 minutes before bed.” – Teresa Pitman, Guelph, ON.