Westside Community Church Newsletter
Mikelann Renwick, Worship & Creative Arts Pastor
“Train a child in
the way he should
go, and when he
is old he will not
turn from it.”
Proverbs 22:6 (NIV)
Parenting Tip — Encouraging Cooperation in your Kids
All parents want cooperation from their children and we may be disappointed when we don't
get it. Do we take time to teach it? Cooperation involves give and take. As parents, we are
more than willing to give, expecting that our children will give sometimes too. Unfortunately,
some children don't know how to give; they only take. Any negotiation has to have something
in it for the child or he won't work with you, and if he does agree to work, he'll do so with a
bad attitude. That's not cooperation, that's coercion.
If you know a child who doesn't know how to cooperate, maybe you could use a technique
called, "Obey first and then we’ll talk about it." This technique simply reverses the sequence
of two important elements, discussion and responsiveness. A person who knows how to
cooperate can be responsive and give in without necessarily having a personal benefit.
Enjoying a pleasant relationship is the reward and sacrifice is a way to gain it.
Some of us try to talk our children into following instructions or have discussions to help them
want to obey. These children often can't follow a simple instruction without a dialogue and
grow up to make poor team members, difficult employees, and demanding friends.
Sometimes we say, "Because I'm the parent, that's why." While we may have a handle on
the problem, the solution is inadequate. Experts suggest that a child may need a period of
time where following instructions comes before the discussion to foster the ability to give up
one's agenda without always having to get something out of it.