As a parent, how do you get your kids to do something when they don’t want to? I mean sometimes it’s not even something unpleasant like getting a shot or having the tangles brushed out of their hair. Sometimes it’s just getting them ready, out the door and into their car seats.
I know I’m not the only one that has this issue, so I thought I’d share a rather brilliant strategy (if I do say so myself). Keep in mind this particular tactic only works once, so save it for a day you really need to get your child to cooperate. I call it:
The Day Disneyland Disappeared
Now excuse me while I refer to myself in the third person…
Picture a day like any day (it’s sunny or rainy or foggy), Unknown Mami is trying to get her kids in the car. They’re dressed and seemingly ready, but her eldest (Put Pie) is being contrary.
Somehow Unknown Mami manages to get both kids to the car, Luna Pie gets strapped into her brand new BRITAX car seat, but when it’s Put Pie’s turn everything comes to a screeching halt. The following conversation ensues.
UM: Mi’ja. come on. We need to go.
PP: I no wanna go.
Unknown Mami aware that reasoning or arguing will just prolong the situation, pretends to give in.
UM: Fine. If you don’t want to get into your car seat, you don’t have to. Would you rather have a surprise?
PP: (confused, but always open to a surprise) Si, Mami!
UM: Okay, close your eyes and whatever you do, DO NOT OPEN THEM! We’re going to walk to your surprise.
Unknown Mami proceeds to walk Put Pie in circles, then picks Put Pie up.
UM: Remember… keep your eyes closed. We’re here!
UM: Disneyland! Don’t open your eyes though. If you open your eyes, Disneyland will disappear. You don’t want Disneyland to disappear, do you?
PP: (emphatically) No!
UM: I’m going to strap you into a ride now. No peeking!
Unknown Mami quickly straps Put Pie in, jumps into the driver’s seat, buckles up, and starts the car.
PP: Mama, I scared.
UM: (feeling a little guilty) Don’t be scared, mama is here.
Put Pie opens her eyes and realized she’s in the car.
PP: (yelling) Mami, dis da car, not Disneyland!!!
UM: I told you that if you opened your eyes Disneyland would disappear!
Relax! Just think of how happy she’ll be when she realizes Disneyland still exists. Calm down! I’ve never actually pulled this trick on Put Pie, but obviously I’ve spent quite some time thinking about it.
The way I actually get her into her car seat when she doesn’t want to is by using one of the following strategies…
- I tell her she can have one of her favorite snacks once she’s in the car and ready to go.
- I offer to let her play with the apps on my phone during the ride.
- I suggest she take a camera so she can take pictures out the window.
Yup, I resort to bribery. What can I say? I’m not perfect and sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures that’s why I’m keeping the Disneyland scenario in my back pocket for the time being.
Do you have any suggestions for parents on how to get their kids to cooperate?
Disclosure: I am a BRITAX Latina Advisory Board Member and this post makes me eligible to win a gift card. Wish me luck!
Photo: Adapted from work by Anthony Giorgio (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-2.5], via Wikimedia Commons.