The Secret to Getting Your Kids to Listen to You (VIDEO)

Jacqueline Burt Cote
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reverse psychHistory's most notorious dictators have nothing on the average 2-year-old's appetite for power. In fact, once your kid can walk, you might as well just accept the fact that he now lives in Opposite Land, where he will respond to your every request/suggestion with gleeful defiance, even if the only words he knows are "no," "yes," and "here" -- or in the case of this week's youngest YouTube star, "no," "si," and "aqui."

One doesn't need to speak Spanish to get what's going on here: The little boy wants Daddy to drive him to wherever they're going, but Daddy wants to walk. So what does Dad do? Pulls out the oldest trick in the book, reverse psychology ("Si!" "No." "Si!" "Si." "No!") and confuses the kid into taking a stroll.

Oh, how I miss the days when my kids were small enough to fall for this technique! When applied correctly, simple reverse psychology is a foolproof tactic: "Mmm, this broccoli is so good I'm not going to give you any! Mommy's going to eat it all up!" "You can't wear your jacket today, it's too warm. Nope, no jacket for you!"

There's just one problem with messing with your toddler's head in this fashion, as far as I'm concerned: They figure the whole thing out pretty fast, so it's better to stick this strategy in your back pocket and only whip it out when you really need it. These situations include, but are not limited to: Anytime you need your child to be quiet or keep still (airplanes, weddings); anytime you're in a huge rush -- not just your everyday, late-for-tumbling-class rush but truly dire time crunches, usually involving potentially missing something once-in-a-lifetime and/or expensive; and anytime you really, really need your kid to swallow something, usually medicine.

Yes, enjoy the classic yes/no switcheroo while it lasts, toddler moms ... until the day comes when your little one catches on and you're stuck eating that plate of broccoli all up.

Do you use reverse psychology on your toddler?

 

Image via YouTube

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