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Help, I'm stuck in a web of lies

Why kids speak in the language of play, and how you can learn to use playfulness to get your kids to cooperate.

It all started innocently.

You see, a couple of weeks ago, I had this idea to create a scavenger hunt for my kids to motivate them to get ready for school.

The idea was simple: Each evening, I would give them a list of things that they could only find at school, and then each morning they would be excited to get to school to find that day's items.

It was going to be great - they would be excited to go to school, and I wouldn't have to nag them to get dressed and brush their teeth.

But then I thought "How can I make this more fun?"

So I created Beep Boop, an alien robot from outer space. Now, instead of me telling my kids what to find, Beep Boop was going to contact them and ask them to find leaves, seeds, and insects to study.

Harmless fun...

What I didn't take into account is how excited a six year old boy would be when contacted by an alien robot from outer space.

After a few weeks of "missions", I'm stuck. I cannot get out anymore. My son is convinced that Beep Boop is real. I cannot tell him otherwise without exposing my lies. So I continue, enslaved by my creation, dreading the day that the truth is revealed and his trust in me is broken.

It is Santa Claus all over again.

The thing is, kids are extremely motivated by play and fun.

When we interviewed Karen Thurm Safran, author of Parenting - Let's Make A Game Of It, for our book How To Get Kids To Listen, she described playfulness as the language that kids speak:

It’s so easy to scream at kids, right? And to just have an objective that you want kids to do. It’s like tunnel vision, where all you care about is the end-result.

But kids are different. They like to play.

The trick is that when you’re playful with your children, you’re working with them, instead of against them, because you’re speaking their language. They like to play.

Karen Thurm Safran

Playfulness is a powerful parenting tool. But it can be difficult to come up with ideas on how to be playful, and sometimes you just don't feel playful.

In the interview with Karen, she shares examples of how to turn boring household chores into fun games to get your children to enjoy cooperating, and why doing that empowers your kids throughout their lives, even as adults.

She also shares how to remember to be playful when you are stressed, how to be playful even when you don’t feel playful, and why being playful gets easier the more you do it.

You can find the full interview with Karen Thurm Safran - How to use the “Playfulness Mindset” to help your children enjoy cooperating and listening - here.

If you know of any other parents or care-givers that might benefit from discovering how to get kids to cooperate in a positive way, without yelling, threatening, or nagging, then please forward this email to them, or send them the following download link:

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