Everyone needs some motivation from time to time and when it comes to getting a child to do something, it can be difficult to say the least. Younger children don’t realize that what we try to get them to do is actually in their best interests and by the time they hit adolescence, they have their own priorities. So what can we do to encourage them to do something?

We can achieve this by first asking our kids to do something instead of ordering them to do what we want. “Could you please clear the kitchen table?” Next we explain why we’re asking them by setting our request into context. “We are done eating and need the dirty dishes put in the dishwasher so they can get cleaned.” Present them with options, not threats. “You could either do it now, or when you’ve finished your dessert.” If they have not agreed to help you by this point, confirm their non-compliance. “So you don’t want to clear the table?” If they still refuse, now is the time to take appropriate action. Explain to them that you can help them and the job will go quicker that way. Or if they are really misbehaving, a time out or other repercussions may result.

There is no fool-proof way to motivate our children into acting or performing a certain way, but by reasonably guiding them towards a desired outcome you can avoid starting off with an argument.