The Science of Parenting

Keys to Cooperation | Ep. 8

April 30, 2020 Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Season 1 Episode 8
The Science of Parenting
Keys to Cooperation | Ep. 8
Show Notes Transcript

What does it take to get cooperation from our kids? We discussed this and more LIVE! 

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Mackenzie J:

Hey guys!

Lori:

Here we are.

Mackenzie J:

And I didn't dance this time on our last episode. You know , we were like dancing and then we were distracted. We got started. I remember not to dance.

Lori:

It's hard not to dance though to that . It's just a little like , it's good stuff .

Mackenzie J:

So we're here, we're alive . We hope that people are kind of coming on. Give you a second to join us. And now this is like our second live. So I mean basically professionals.

Lori:

Pros, right?

Mackenzie J:

And by that I mean I still have no idea what I'm doing exactly. We do know that we want to start out kind of the same way we did on our last live. And hopefully if you've been listening to our podcast episodes that have been coming out, you've heard these kinds of things kind of trickled in. Uh , so I'd like to start by talking about our beliefs. So some of the , the things that we believe at the Science of Parenting that we hope you see in our podcast episodes, in our blogs, on our website, social media , uh, we hope you see that we have a pluralistic approach to parenting. So we both basically means that we believe there's more than one way to raise great kids. So no judgment here on the choices we make. Uh , our second one, our second belief is that we believe our job is to provide research based information, but parents are the experts on their families. And so you get to decide how the information we share fits you and your kids. So that's number two. And number three, we are parenting educators. And the reality is that some parent child relationships may need additional professional support. And so we of course encourage anybody that may be seeking additional support that they can find those experts in your local community. So we believe in a pluralistic approach to parenting. We believe that you're the experts on your kids and we believe , um , that when you need additional help, it's great to seek that out.

Lori:

Absolutely. Yeah . And then while we do live sessions, we have a couple of things we like to try to keep in mind while we do these live sessions. We know that , um , based on what we believe, right, we want this to be a judgment free zone. So no blaming or shaming and this is an opportunity to share information that all buyers appreciate and hope you can be encouraging and uplift each other. We also want to keep our comments focused on our own reality. You know, so many times we might be hearing something and thinking be thinking, Oh, I wish so and so would hear that. Or Oh , if only, you know, so-and-so was listening at this to this same thing. And so we want you to keep your comments focused on your own reality. And then, we, as hosts reserve the right to pass when it comes to personal questions about ourselves. Uh, we have given , uh, gotten permission from our, you know, children, other family members as needed, but we do reserve the right to pass on certain personal items.

Mackenzie J:

Yeah, we share a lot of our lives on here. We might keep just a few things.

Lori:

We do . We do. We do. And then we want to bring on our producer Kenzie, and she's got a couple of logistics to share with you.

Mackenzie D:

Oh , hello . It helps if I unmute myself.

Mackenzie J:

We can hear you way better when you're un-muted ,

Mackenzie D:

although sometimes you wish you could just mute me right here . Um, so I just wanted to remind our listeners that , uh , you should be seeing our live closed captioning happening. So we are grateful that we can have the opportunity available for you if you don't see that live closed captioning popping up and you would like to , um, depending on your platform, there's either a little gear dude as I call it or the little three dots that you should be able to have close captioning popup and turn your close captioning on. Um , and because of that closed captioning, we wanted to remind you that there is a few second delay, five to 10 seconds. So as you are seeing things in your comments are rolling in , um, we might not see them, I might not see them right away. So if it seems like, why aren't they answering this question? Um, and that being said as well, we will, instead of answering questions throughout, we'll take a couple of breaks to answer some of those questions and we'll ask for feedback on a couple of things. So those are just the reminders that I had on the Facebook side of things. So I'll mute myself and exit again.

Mackenzie J:

Thanks.

Lori:

Thank you.

Mackenzie J:

Also, those are kind of our logistics want to remind you who we are, what we believe and kind of how we like to behave and this platform where we're all live together. Uh, but I think it's only right when we officially go into our content. It only feels right to go with our actual intro, right? The only way I know how they get away. So welcome to The Science of Parenting podcast where we connect you with research based information that fits your family. We're going to talk about the realities of being the parents and how research can help guide our parenting decisions. I am Mackenzie Johnson, a parent of two littles with their own quirks. And I'm a parenting educator.

Lori:

And I'm Lori Hayungs. I have three children in three different life stages. One is launched, one is in college and one is in high school. And I'm also a parenting educator. And today we are going to talk about the keys to cooperation. I'm excited about cooperation and there are keys. There absolutely are. So let's get started. I'm going to start off with our research tidbit that kind of helps us define cooperation. And so when we think about cooperation, what we think about is the ability to balance our needs with someone else's. All right ? So in this case, when we're talking about parents and children, we're talking about the ability to balance an adult's needs with a child's needs. And we oftentimes only think about children doing what the adults want, which is actually called compliance. And so today we're going to talk about cooperation. It's a joint effort and it's mutually satisfying. So that's our definition. And as we think about, you know, there are some times when we, we just want our children to comply, right? Stop fussing, stop messing around. Just do what I'm asking you to tell you do what I'm asking you to do. Right. Um, but what we recognize is that when it comes to cooperation, we actually are teaching our children a little bit about ourselves as well and we're helping them to develop skills they need later in life. Right? Do you cooperate with other adults?

Mackenzie J:

Hopefully you do .

Lori:

You do. Right? So this idea of helping our children learn how to cooperate is really teaching them a life skill. So you have a fabulous story to share about this and I'm going to let you share that right now.

Mackenzie J:

Oh, thanks. So this is, this is pretty recent and our household. So as we, you know, I kind of knew this topic was coming up and, but not even related to work just at home. Uh , something that we've kind of had some trouble getting on the same page with. Um , so I'm going to share my story, but if people want to type their example in the chat that you have of a time when you've struggled to get on the same page, right? That definition of cooperation tells us about getting on the same page. So my example is with my preschooler. And so when my preschooler comes home from childcare on a pretty regular basis , uh, not every day, but usually there's a request for a snack. Um, and some days it's like, Oh , you know, I don't even know what we're having for supper. Yeah , you can probably have a snack . And then other days it's like, I am like four minutes slower or dad is four minutes from having supper on the table. Like, Oh, just wait. We really want you to eat supper instead of a snack. And so that's been kind of an area, and I think I've even talked about it in a previous episode, right? Like I think it's come up that this is like confusion around what we're going to do right after childcare on if you're going to have a snack or not. We've kind of struggled to get on the same page, even just like between my partner and I , uh, whether, you know what , what would you let her have a snack right now? I don't know. Would you, and as well as like my child and I are we on the same page? Cause I kinda just want her, my expectation up until recently has been, if I say yes, I want you to then sure, you can have a snack. But if I say no, I don't want you to write . So my expectation up to this point, and if I really own it, has kind of been that I want her to comply, like comply cause to her, I'm sure it kind of feels like, well how are you deciding if I need a snack or not?

Lori:

Exactly and, and when we talk about cooperation, we want to balance your need as the mom and her need as the child, right? So we're looking at cooperation and how can we balance those two things. So we want you to take a little bit of time and you know, put in the chat box. What are some things that you have needed recently in terms of to get to, in terms of cooperation with your child. Yeah. Um, and then Mackenzie, you're going to share the next research tidbit wildly type , right?

Mackenzie J:

So while you're, while you type it in, the things where you may be having a hard time getting on the same page or that you're still working on, I'll share a number two. So research bullet number two is actually about something called pro social behavior. So in case you haven't heard this term before, a research defines it as voluntary behavior that's intended to benefit another person. Now this is really important during those early childhood years, but across our lifespan, right? We want our kids to have prosocial and kind behavior. So a 2013 journal article in the Journal of Family Psychology tells us that pro social behaviors emerge in large part through the ongoing daily exchanges between the parent and the child. So these ongoing exchanges that we have with our kids, in fact parenting practices that we implement on a regular basis can facilitate that development of those prosocial behaviors. So that you know, those behaviors would include things like helping sharing, comforting, being considerate and cooperating. That's one of those pro social behaviors is cooperating. So kind of , you know , what this research bullet from the Journal of Family Psychology is telling us is what we do as parents is really kind of modeling and it's helping our children develop those pro social kind of skills. So our behavior has a big role here, right?

Lori:

Absolutely. Our behavior impacts our child's behavior, what we do impacts what they do, right? And we also have to remember, you know, also playing into this is temperament, personality. And so we want to think about a time that we've really maybe done this well, that our behavior has impacted in a positive way our child's behavior. And if I recall correctly, there might be more to that snack story .

Mackenzie J:

There might be. So, yeah. So we've asked you to share in the chat one area you're maybe struggling, but if you'll also share with us one area where you feel like you've done this well, where you've been able to kind of garner that cooperation from your child. Uh , and I'll share kind of my recent side of the story. So, yeah, six weeks ago this story would not have had a lesson learned on cooperation because this is a recent change in our house. Um , but after some reflection and uh , intense feelings for my child, kind of realizing that I was the one being inconsistent and like I said, I was the one expecting compliance and so on. You can either have it or not have it, which to her it felt like a total surprise. My reasoning of course was whether supper was almost ready or not. And so we've kind of changed our plan, my co-parent and I agreed on this is what the plan will be every day so that it's consistent between us as well. She can always have one snack and we kind of have a little spot in our pantry and in our fridge where those snacks are that she can go choose whichever one she wants and she can always have a snack. Now if supper really is like three minutes away, she might bring that snack to the supper table, which was kind of hard to adjust to at first because like we made supper , we want you to eat that. But ultimately the goal is that we all have supper and that we enjoy it and part of doing that is me cooperating with her need . So it kind of goes back to that episode we talked about on authoritative parenting. I needed to respond to her need . Now my expectation is still that you come to supper and you eat supper. That didn't change, but we can be more responsive to your need by letting you have snack.

Lori:

And think about the consistent message that she now understands where before she was kind of guessing, am I going to get one, am I not going to get one? And maybe in our adult world it made perfect sense to us. Well of course we can give her a snack when it's two hours from dinner because I understand it's two hours from dinner, but I'm not going to give her a snack when it's two minutes from dinner. But she's a preschool and in that time she doesn't and she doesn't have concept of that time.

Mackenzie J:

So now it's come upstairs downstairs brain we talked about in a previous episode the hunger like no , there's hunger mom. There's real hunger. Even if there's five minutes and you're trying to logically explain that to me. No way. That's way too hard.

Lori:

Exactly. That's a great example. And it shows the cooperation. It shows the adult behavior impacting the child's behavior. And so Kenzie, let's bring Kenzie on and see what our listeners have shared right now regarding their struggles to get on the same page or and how they found some support and encouragement by getting on the same page. What'd you got for us, Kenzs?

Mackenzie D:

So, so far. Uh, part of it is I believe, cause we have a delay, but maybe they're just interested in listening to what you have to say. We haven't had too many people respond back to us on that comment. Um , and we haven't really had any questions yet, so , um,

Mackenzie J:

Okay.

Lori:

Awesome.

Mackenzie D:

Yeah, so we'll , I'll let you off the hook on that one and make sure we keep going. But I do want to remind our listeners, please share this on Facebook. The good stuff. The , I mean, we've had good stuff, but the really good stuff is coming up next, so you really want to share this with your friends as well. So ask questions, leave comments, share with your friends, and I'll let these ladies take it over and keep on keeping on.

Mackenzie J:

Thanks. I'll say, and it's funny because when I was getting ready to share this story, you know, as we talked through it, you know, Barb, our writer, what? Remind me what McKenzie , you don't, don't be to yourself, be kind to yourself. And I was like, well, it might sound like, I mean negative in the beginning, but it's because it's my rehab. Like it's the reality. The reality was I was like, no, you don't need snack. Might sound negative. But it was the reality. Um , so yes, you can always share, right? We're a judgment free zone. You can share your reality with us. Like Kenzie said. We do have some gold for you. So if yet whether or not you type them in the chat , uh, the things that we have , um, maybe looking for cooperation on. We've got four tips. If I can show my whole hand, we have four tips for how to gain that cooperation. So , uh, several of these are from Zero to Three. That's a resource that we love. Another one is from that journal article that we referenced in that last research bullet, the Journal of Family Psychology. So number one when we're looking for cooperation with our kids is to keep our instructions clear and simple. So, and, and specific, really specific, specific , specific . So instead of something you've talked about this before, stop it syndrome, right? So instead of stop it, you might want to say something more like, I'd like you to write specifically, not just stop it. Uh, I would like you to blank. Number two is to offer a small choice. Now this is good in early childhood. We know thats kind of the room , my kiddos therein . But even for older, you know , that's considered unacceptable to me. But these are other things you can do. So I'm a common choice that I offer in these kinds of situations is would you like to do this first or that first? Would you like to put on your hat first or your coat first? So you can offer a small choice is our second tip. Our third tip is to use suggestions. Here we go. Our third tip is to use suggestions instead of commands. So a suggestion might sound like you will need a hat instead of something like put on your hat. Uh , so there we can use a suggestion like you will need a hat. It's cold outside. And then inductive reasoning is our fourth tip, which kind of, you know, the research language to say, explain why you want what you want. Right ? So for example, we want to say maybe something like it's cold outside. You'll need to have, so we're explaining the hat is not arbitrary, right? We didn't just make up. You need a hat today. We have a reason. We want you to wear that hat so that can help get our kids on the same page as us as explaining that reasoning. So if I was going to court tips, love them, love them. And I've told you before that it's hard to get out of my house in the morning sometimes. And so if I was going to combine several of these tips almost together , uh , I might say something like, it's cold outside. I wrote this down, it's cold outside. You're going to need a hat. Do you want to put on your coat first or your hat first? I'm kind of offering some choice and I'm being specific on, we're going to need to put on that hat. So using those four tips can help us kind of get that cooperation that we're looking for with our kids.

Lori:

And will you just read that again? Say that again. It's a will . It flows so well and you think about it . It just goes through all those tips. At the end of that phrase in my brain, I thought, well, I'll cooperate with you.

Speaker 1:

Yeah ,

Lori:

I have any questions? I'm very clear on what you want me to do and I have a choice.

Mackenzie J:

Yeah. So my example was it's cold outside. He will need a hat. Do you want to put your hat on first or your coat on first? Uh, so yeah, so that kind of combines lots of our tips of clear and specific directions, offering choices, using suggestions and then explaining why we want that specific thing. So, okay. And I was really excited about our four tips that we had. Um , but I think I'm even more excited about the tool that you have to share with us. So Lori has some experience in your previous work and in her experience in parenting, but she's used this tool because cooperation is one part of the conversation. The other part is how to decide which things I really want to start working on. Right? I can't go from feeling like we're in a battle to all of a sudden there's beautiful cooperation. We need kind of a plan and a way to prioritize how to get there. So Lori has a tool that she actually assigned to me. Like I had to do this to use the tool. So can you walk us through that a little bit?

Lori:

I will. This is one of my favorite tools. I've known about this tool for almost 20 years. I learned about it in a training I went to a long time ago and this tool is from the program for infant toddler caregivers. It was designed by Ron Lally who is well known in the world of guidance and discipline, especially when it comes to infants and toddlers. And so I want you to think about holding a piece of paper in your hand with two hands and you have your left hand on one side and your right hand on the other side. And what we're going to do is we're going to briefly talk about what this paper looks like. And so on this piece of paper, imagine that you have three columns and on the left hand side where your left hand is, that column has the title above it that says acceptable. These are acceptable behaviors. These are those prosocial behaviors that Mackenzie was talking about. Things you want your child to do and things that you want others to say are really great about your child. And in the middle of your paper is a column that reads inappropriate. And these inappropriate behaviors are things that you know that irritate you. It's like a rock in your shoe. And especially on days when you're tired and haven't had enough caffeine, they really irritate you. And um, but maybe if you had enough caffeine, had enough sleep and you're having a great day, you'll let those slide. So those are those inappropriate irritating behaviors. And on the right hand side of the behavior of the paper is the third column. And that right hand side are unacceptable. Absolutely behaviors you will not tolerate as a parent. And so you look across your paper, you have acceptable behaviors, inappropriate behaviors, and unacceptable behaviors. And what I want you to do is I want you to think about your child specifically and think about where would you put behaviors, what does it look like? What is your chart look like? What does your paper look like as you list behaviors your child has? And I gave him Mackenzie homework and I said she really did fill this out. So we're going to walk through Mackenzie's paper with her permission as well. So let's go back to that left hand side. The acceptable behaviors. What were some behaviors you listed as acceptable for your child?

Mackenzie J:

So I kind of thought of those pro social behaviors are things that she does gets right often or even just sometimes that I wanted to kind of reinforce. So I said things in that acceptable behavior like using manners and helping her baby brother, cleaning up, coming to the table when she's called like Ooh, I love that one. When she expresses herself kindly when she plays with her brother and then any kind of like connecting or talking with us or cuddling. Those are things that I kind of want to reaffirm with her that we love.

Lori:

Perfect. And just to reiterate the fact that this is not just a chart for young children, this is also a chart for older children. I definitely was thinking about my college age child and the fact that I would put that she put the dishes away, the clean dishes away without me even asking the other day. And so that would be a behavior that I would have written down in that acceptable column. All right , so let's jump. Let's jump all the way over to the right hand side.

Mackenzie J:

Okay.

Lori:

I want you to talk about the unacceptable behaviors that you listed.

Mackenzie J:

Okay. Now you gave me a rule here, right? In this unacceptable column, I can only put three things in this call. I did, I told you so my list started a little long and I had to trim it down. So the three things that I said were unacceptable for us. Um, and in our family were yelling or speaking unkindly to us, being too rough with her brother, which actually is usually an accident, but it's not safe. So that's why it's in the unacceptable column. And then , uh, since I could only choose one other thing I chose, the thing that I wanted to work on getting cooperation was , um , picking up the dishes. So it's unacceptable when we leave our dishes out on the supper table. That's one place where I thought, well we could really start working on getting cooperation.

Lori:

Great. So there's a reason I gave you only three options there in the unacceptable column and what? Why ? Why was that?

Mackenzie J:

Well, cause I can't change everything all at once. Right?

Lori:

Exactly. And she's right.

Mackenzie J:

Oh yeah. And I don't want to be a nag is kind of the way you've explained it. It's not fun for her or me if I'm like, don't like no, not that you know . You make sure you're doing that. You can feel like you spend your whole day redirecting behavior and by choosing just a few, I can focus on getting cooperation on these things.

Lori:

Yes. That focus, you're focusing on a few behaviors. So where does that leave all those other things that irritate us, right? All those other things that irritate us in the middle column for.

Mackenzie J:

some of the things I have to move from the right to the middle back.

Lori:

When you get to, you only get three if your child is older, you maybe can have four if your child is younger than three, like you know you only get one. Okay. So you, you have to recognize that you can't possibly take it all on at once and your child can't possibly tolerate you taking it all on at once. And so in my middle column I used to have things like whining, leaning on me. So this is kind of a funny one, but, but my youngest child, she whistled all the time, whistling , whistling all the time. And so on days when I was having a really tough day, that whistling just drove me insane and I wanted to constantly say, stop it. Don't do that. Don't stop it. But I couldn't because the rule with the middle column is this, you're going to ignore the behaviors in the middle column. And how did that make you feel? The first time I told you, Mackenzie , you're going to ignore the middle column behaviors.

Mackenzie J:

It made it extra hard to move some of those things that I initially was like, no, no, no. Like, like one of the examples I have in the middle column is things like leaving toys out. I wanted that in my unacceptable and so it made it kind of hard to move it to the middle knowing, okay, so I'm going to in our house usually we kind of ask like, what's your plan for cleaning up? She's at that age where like, okay, you have these things out. What's your plan for cleanup? I want her to carry on her own plan whether she says I want to pick up one right now or after five minutes. Um , but so the unacceptable behavior is if she speaks unkindly about it, like I absolutely will not. Right ? But I'm going to ignore if she forgets her plan and maybe I'm just going to kind of provide those warnings. Right?

Lori:

So it's tough. And this is the , this is the piece where I asked people to just stay with me, stay with me here. Remember I didn't make this chart up. It was made up by research and people way smarter than me, so stay with us here. So here's the reason why, because when children behave in certain, when children behave and need our attention, like they do things to get our attention. And so essentially what we're going to do is we're going to get their cooperation and train them and train us to get our attention on either side of the paper. So they're going to get our attention when they perform acceptable behaviors and how are they going to get our attention? And what are we going to do is every single time they perform one of the behaviors in the first column, that acceptable column, we are going to give them our attention. We're going to give them a high five or a head nod or a thumbs up, thumbs up in my house, lots of claps. Every time you see that behavior, even unexpectedly see that acceptable behavior, they get acknowledgement and they get your attention. All right ? On the opposite side of that paper is the unacceptable behaviors. And every single time they perform a behavior in that column, they're going to get your attention. And here's the thing about that. We just heard four strategies on how to get cooperation. Every single strategy that we just heard is what we can use in the unacceptable behavior column. So Mackenzie , what do you have in there and how might those strategies be used?

Mackenzie J:

So , uh , because I knew that I was going to get to have a plan for those unacceptable behaviors, I chose to use our four tips. So actually, Kenzie, if you want to pull up our little screen, that reminds everybody of our four tips we walked through. So I chose to focus on the one I'll share is an unacceptable call . I had the yelling. And so I'm combining a few tips. I'm going to offer a choice. I'm going to give specific instructions and I'm gonna use a suggestion. So when my daughter yells or speaks unkindly, my plan is that I'm going to say it's okay that you're mad, but it's not okay for you to yell at me or to be like to be mean or rude, whatever that is. It's okay for you to be mad. It's not okay for you to be mean. Instead, I'd like you to either take a break or speak nicely to me. Um, and so it's specific. You can either like , it's okay if you need space, you're mad and you need space to deal with it. Um, it's okay that you're mad. It's not okay for you to yell at me. You can either take a break or you can talk nice to me.

Lori:

And you can use that plan at grandma's house in public, in your house. And so what she knows is that every time I do that unacceptable behavior, my mom has a plan. Doggone it. I thought I was going to catch her off guard.

Mackenzie J:

And you know what? Dad has the same plan in our house and he has this , we agreed on it together.

Lori:

Exactly. So why do we then ignore the behaviors in the middle? Here's why. Because we're not going to give our child attention the attention that they're seeking, the distraction that they're giving us. Right? So if you have said it's time to pick up your toys and she walks away and starts dancing in the living room, you're going to ignore the dancing in the living room. All right ? Because she's going to stop breathe talk . You are not going to grit your teeth. You're not going to excuse me. You are not going to have your shoulders up by your ears. You're going to ignore that because she's trying to distract you away from what you asked. It's time to pick up your toys in order to get your attention back, she's going to shift to one of those two outside columns. I want your attention, mom. Can't you see me dancing? I'm distracting you from picking up the toys. She could choose the acceptable behavior of picking up her toys and then what are you going to do? Hey, awesome, thanks. Thumbs up, clap, big hug. I'm so happy that you picked up your toys or she's going to say, Oh , I'm not going to pick up my toys and you have a plan.

Mackenzie J:

I do have a plan for what happens.

Lori:

So that's why we ask you to stick with us here because that list of inappropriate behaviors is a long one, right? And it's sometimes very inconsistent. But if we have a plan for each column on the outside, we've got a full toolbox. We have a full toolbox, we are not going to be caught off guard and we can be consistent. And because we're consistent, our child will more often cooperate.

Mackenzie J:

That's kind of like the keys to the car of cooperation, right ? We talked about the keys to go out and reach it in this episode. Uh , yeah, those are the keys to the car.

Lori:

He's in the car and it is so important not to be distracted, do not get distracted by your teenage teenagers slamming door. Do not get distracted by the rolling of the eyes. Remember my Trello story? I did not get distracted by that tiny little voice growling at me fists in the air. I did not. I was consistent and she had to decide which end of the paper was she going to do the acceptable behaviors or the unacceptable behaviors. So that's the tool to add to your tool box this week.

Mackenzie J:

Oh, and I love that you shared it with me and you're like, okay, Mackenzie , you're going to do this, like you're going to fill this out. How do you feel about it? I was like, Oh , I guess I'll know when to fill it out. But it was helpful and it was a great opportunity for my co-parent and I to have the discussion. One of the things that we put in our inappropriate column was , um, if my daughter doesn't eat a lot at a meal , um, and my husband and I tend to disagree sometimes on how we approach that. And so it was like, but we have the same plan. We're not, we're going to ignore how much she eats. What's not. All right is leaving this stuff out or being rude during dinner. Um, and so we have a plan. So that was a great tool for us too . So we've covered kind of a lot of ground already. Yeah.

Lori:

Let's bring Kenzie back.

Mackenzie J:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Let's, let's hear what everybody's been saying. If anybody has questions about the tool that we've shared or about our tips that we walked through. Uh, any examples? Anybody, sharing.

Mackenzie D:

Hello. Okay. We haven't had too many questions. I did have one comment from somebody say that they needed this today. So shout out to that person. We're glad you're here and that we can be a little guidance to you today. And you got this, first of all, you got this, we had a couple of comments that were along the lines of things that may be that they're seeing as things they're going through. So we uh, someone said, I feel like I'm saying stop it a lot these days and my kids pick at each other as we spend a lot of time together, I needed to be more clear of what I want them to do. Absolutely.

Mackenzie J:

Okay. Can I just affirm that parent for a second though, that in these times of stress that we're in, and especially if you're having more kids, more time with your kids and your're used to, it's so understandable for our brain, right? That downstairs brain of like, just stop. Like, I need it to stop so I can be okay . Like we totally get stop it like guilty. I say it. Um, but yeah, hopefully being clear can help you get a little more cooperation that you're looking for. Totally get the stop at central

Mackenzie D:

And then, yeah, and then somebody said, we struggle with cooperation moving to the next project. My bar limited me with how much she said without asking like a million times. And so, but then she said once he didn't want to pick up his toys, but I looked at him and he responded with, but I will because I'm part of the family. So there was a plan in place?

Lori:

Absolutely, yes. And think about that when you're very specific. There are no like, this is what I want you to do. I want you to do this. And then you've must have said it enough times because you are part of the family. Because that just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy because they're recognizing I'm part of this family. I have important jobs to do here. Yeah. I love it. I do love that.

Mackenzie D:

So Mackenzie , how's this working with your daughter? Oh, well she didn't specify, but in regards to the snacks.

Mackenzie J:

It has actually made my life so much easier. I'm letting go of that. I needed her to comply with what my yes or my no. Um , letting go of that has made my life easier. And my husband and I don't have to check in like, well, how close are you cooking supper? I might ask him if he's making dinner and then I have to check in. Like , then I have to decide if she can have a sacrament. The answer is yes. And we already have a spot set up that where you can get on it . You don't have to ask me what, you can have anything in there. It's made our lives a lot easier for her and me.

Mackenzie D:

Right, right.

Lori:

And I think that when I'm just going to share a little bit about, so when my girls were young and we had that same plan, the same plan, we would, we would go through the steps. I'm going to give you a warning and then I'm going to tell you , um, I'm going to give you a warning and then I'm going to decide and I'm going to decide this. And so as they grew, like they knew that that's what I said. I needed to do this, I needed to do this, and if you don't, then I get to decide. I need you to do this and if you don't, then I get to decide. And I decided. And so they just knew because I had this plan, like I learned about this plan when my oldest daughter was one. And so I feel like I had this tool that I could rely on and go back to that helped me not be, you know, the no syndrome. No, no, no. Stop it. Stop it, stop it. I feel, gosh, I'm always saying no, stop it. And it just, it just really helped, especially as they grew. And then I would watch them do it to each other.

Mackenzie J:

If you don't choose me getting to choose as the common like consequences in our house.

Lori:

If no, I don't want you to choose.

Mackenzie D:

I want to make my own decisions. And then we have a really good question that came in as we were discussing, when do we move a behavior from one column to another? So McKenzie talks about that she had a whole heaping pile of them in that unacceptable behavior. When do we move on between columns?

Lori:

So what happens with what happens with the things in the middle column is that they kind of start to disappear because I don't get attention for them, right? So I only get attention for these things on each side. And so what happens is the things in the middle and the whining , the leaning on it kind of began to disappear. Now granted, there are going to be days where they've figured out I am going to hang out in this unacceptable behavior column today because I'm just totally out of sorts and I really need things right now. And so you know, again, you have a plan there and if there's something that's hanging out in the inappropriate column in the middle, that all of a sudden becomes something that needs to be addressed, you slide that over and what happens is you've probably already eliminated an unacceptable behavior. And so you, you get to move things back. You get to move things as children grow. Um, and as I would especially encourage you to involve your child in the process of what's the plan in that unacceptable behavior category. So what's the plan? I'm, I'm eight years old and my mom and dad have shared, or my parents have shared, or my grandparents have shared that this is unacceptable. What's the plan when I do it, I get a choice in that plan and I'm aware of that plan.

Mackenzie J:

So yeah, and I would say that. So yeah, my daughter is three. And so in making this plan, I said I wanted the like picking up toys. I really wanted it in the unacceptable column or not picking up the boys to be in the unacceptable column, but I moved to the middle and we're working on cooperation with cleaning up dinner, like cleaning up our dishes. Um, but if that does not kind of naturally resolve itself by ignoring those kinds of distracting behaviors related to it, once you've kind of mastered the supper dishes, I'm hoping to scoot you are, hopefully I won't need to, but if I need to I'll scoot it on over to make a plan for addressing that.

Lori:

And because we're all different as parents and because that's what we believe at the science of parenting, we know that you're unexposed. What's unacceptable to you is not unacceptable, unacceptable to everyone else. So you're going to have different behaviors in there.

Mackenzie D:

That's why the chart starts out blank. Exactly. Beautiful. That is all the questions we have. So I will turn it back over to you guys to wrap things up.

Lori:

Thank you.

Mackenzie J:

Fantastic. So what we've covered, what we've kind of learned today about our keys for cooperation, we talked about that definition, that cooperation is different than compliance. Getting on the same page, taking that chance to reflect on yourself too . Right ? I learned in that snack situation I needed to work on being more cooperative. We also know that our parenting behaviors affect our child's behavior. We know that those prosocial behaviors are affected by what we choose to do in our regular interactions with them. So we definitely have a role to play. We also talked to, there are four tips for gaining cooperation, right? We're going to be specific with our instructions, we're going to offer choices, we're going to use suggestions, and then we're going to explain our reasoning and then we have a really awesome tool to kind of help us start on this journey towards cooperation of prioritizing those things. Uh , we'll have to like track and check back in on , uh , the my plan that I've shared and see how we turn out some of our future episodes.

Lori:

And let us know how you're doing on your chart or if you have questions about the chart we want to hear from you as well. So thanks for joining us today on The Science of Parenting podcast. And remember, subscribe to our weekly podcasts . You can look for us on Apple, on Spotify or on your favorite podcast app. And then you can watch the show on Facebook and then once a month we will come at you live like this again.

Mackenzie J:

So come along with us as we tackle the ins and outs, the ups and downs and the research and reality around the science of parenting. Thanks.

Lori:

Thank you.

Narrator:

The Science of Parenting is hosted by Lori Hayungs and Mackenzie Johnson, produced by McKenzie DeJong with research and writing by Barbara Dunn Swanson. Send questions and comments t o parenting@iastate.edu and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter. This institution i s an equal opportunity provider. For the full no n-discrimination s tatement or accommodation inquiries. Go to www.extension.state.edu/diversity/e X T .