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Makisama Ka Naman, Anak! 4 Tips To Get Your Toddler To Cooperate With You
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  • Young kids are busy exploring their surroundings, and they do this by playing or tinkering with anything they can get their hands on. So when you ask them to do something, they often refuse or, worse, throw a tantrum. 

    On some lazy days, you have time to playfully redirect their energy. But on days when you have a lot to do (really, that's every single day!), you wish your little one would just do what you ask. If your patience is also running a bit thin that, you end up with a power struggle.

    No parent want these power struggles to escalate, ending with raised voices and louder cries. What do you need to do to get your toddler to cooperate?

    Teaching cooperation means helping tots understand that what you want to be done is for their sake, too!

    Happy with your kids to just do what you asked them to do? That's not cooperation, but compliance. It all good until he's fulfilling requests by others. 

    Cooperation is a joint effort. Your child isn't just obeying your orders, but he understands that your requests and rules benefit them and everyone else.

    By learning how to cooperate, your little one also discovers that he sometimes needs to wait to get what he wants. He sees that working together gets the job done easier, how to resolve conflicts, cope with disappointment, and build relationships through play.

    What you can do to encourage cooperation in your toddler 

    Note how you talk to your child. Requests and suggestions work better than commands. It tells your child that his opinions are important, too, which helps his budding independence. Offering your child choices lets him feel respected, too, which is a great way to avoid tantrums. 


    Here are expert tips from Zero to Three, an organization devoted to promoting healthy development in young children, on encouraging cooperation in your toddler.

    Take turns. 

    As early as 6 to 9 months, babies learn to imitate and engage in back-and-forth interactions. Ask your little one to copy you, for example, taking turns putting the block in a pail and dumping them out. Doing these types of activities as he gets older reinforces turn-taking and working as a team. 

    Talk to your child about its benefits. 

    Do not underestimate your child's ability to understand. As early as age three, your child may be able to understand the reasons behind your requests and rule. 

    Say that packing away his toys is a way to ensure that his toys don't get lost, and he wouldn't have a hard time finding them when he wants to play with them again. Doing it together with you gets the job done faster. 

    Take time to problem-solve.

    Toddlers age 2 to 3 can come up with solutions. They may not always work--though some of their ideas are genius--problem-solving alongside them encourages cooperation. 

    How? Tell your tot about the problem and ask him a question that will require him to think of a solution. If he doesn't automatically suggest a solution, offer two possible options that are acceptable by your standards. You can also suggest alternatives to his solutions.

    Do chores together.

    It's never too early to get your toddler involved in doing chores at home. Start by accomplishing simple age-appropriate ones together and point out its benefits. (Soon, he can take over these chores on his own.)

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    Giving praise works to let your only if you cite what specifically about your child's behavior or task you liked about, and not empty praises. This helps validate your child's skills and seld-confidence. 

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