My youngest used to refuse everything I tried to do - from brushing teeth to getting dressed to almost anything and everything that required him to complete a task outside of him initiating it himself. It drove us bonkers and we often ended up pretty annoyed and frustrated with him which only made things worse at the time. And then I discovered the key- we made him laugh. I did not always feel like making it fun - but if we did, 95% of the time it worked. It still works today as he is now almost six and still face plants down on the bed from time to time, when it`s brush teeth time. Old habits die hard! When we laugh, it`s very hard to be stubborn at the same time. Note tickling is not advised. Tickling is forced laughter that does not give the desired results. This can in fact lead to even more difficult behavior. We need to get that spontaneous laugh to happen. True, genuine joy that brings us all into the present moment.
Some ways to do this:
1. Pretend play- pretend to be an animal of some sort chasing him towards the bathroom.
2.Kids LOVE horsy back rides. We still do a horsy ride most nights to bed from the lounge to the room when there is resistance. The 8 year old still enjoys it. Dad takes one and I take the other. Sometimes we race, sometimes we don`t. This is true game changer. We all end up in the bedroom laughing.
3. Try and get hubby or partner to do “the mundane” together with you. Group behavior is a thing and works very well to speed things along. No kid likes being left in the lounge alone while everyone else is in another room.
4. Whilst dressing, put the shorts on your head. Pretend to put shoes on the wrong feet, and other items on the wrong body parts. Laughter is guaranteed.
5. Singing- make up funny songs while you get them dressed for example. The songs become a signal of what is coming and prepare kids for what’s about to happen.
6. Rough play before bed time REALLY works. Kids have a lot of energy. Play music and let kids dance around before the bed time routine begins. Hold hands and dance together. This stimulates laughter and just an overall good vibe before what can be hard going...bed time!
The more fun that is had, the easier and smoother things become. Most "tasks" in the home can be turned into a fun type of activity by incorporating smiles and laughter. I recommend trying the horsy back ride today if you have uphill battles to get kids into a car or off to bed! Would love to hear how you got on!
Give one a go and let us know how you got on!