This blog post was inspired by something Hand in Hand instructor Sophie Hunter shared with me when I was compiling Giggle Parenting Inspiration For A Back-Talking 11 Year Old. She said that when she couldn’t ‘get through’ to her 12 year old daughter in the morning a toy tiger could do the job much better.
This started me thinking. If there’s anything we need our child to do, then asking and nagging isn’t the most effective way. When children are in non-co-operative, disconnected mode, that part of the brain that process language just isn’t functioning well.
Having a friendly puppet that does the asking can be much more effective. This kind of playful response goes straight to our child’s limbic brain, where those disconnected feelings are. As your child laughs and playfully responds, they increase their sense of connection with you. Then they begin to think more clearly and actually want to co-operate. As Patty Wipfler says, ‘connection breeds co-operation.’
So in my 15 Tips For Getting Out Of The House With Kids I suggested using a puppet for the getting ready tasks.
And you can use a puppet to help with absolutely anything you want your child to do. All those essential tasks, can be fun for you and your child. So Maybe the puppet helps your child clean their teeth at night or put their pyjamas on. Maybe the puppet brushes your child’s hair, or leads them out of the house, when you’ve run out of milk and they’re reluctant to go.
To add a giggle factor have the puppet do things wrong or get confused. Perhaps they put socks on your child’s hand, or brushes their knees instead of their hair. Puppets could also get shy, or run away from scary situations , building your child’s confidence that they can be the brave, confident one.
The possibilities are endless. So when you’re stuck with a non-cooperative child, and wondering how you’re going to get through the day, pick up a puppet, and see if they can do a better job!
If you try out this puppet play solution, feel free to leave me a comment, I’d love to hear your stories!
For more tips on building your child’s confidence check out Hand in Hand parenting’s Confident Child Podcast Set
For more playful parenting solutions check out Dr. Lawrence Cohen’s book’s Playful Parenting