Kid Cooperation: How to Stop Yelling, Nagging, and Pleading and Get Kids to Cooperate

Kid Cooperation: How to Stop Yelling, Nagging, and Pleading and Get Kids to Cooperate


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Kid Cooperation: How to Stop Yelling, Nagging, and Pleading and Get Kids to Cooperate by Elizabeth Pantley

Would you like to know how to get your children to willingly cooperate? Would you like to eliminate many of your daily battles and end the yelling, nagging, and pleading? Would you like to handle discipline issues with knowledge and authority? During this process, would you like to learn how to boost your children’s self-esteem, feel better about yourself as a person, and even improve your marriage?

This book is filled with real ideas for real families—practical, purposeful things you can do to improve family life. With the tools and skills presented in Kid Cooperation you can achieve the goal of raising happy, confident, self-disciplined children, and enjoy the process!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781572240407
Publisher: New Harbinger Publications
Publication date: 04/28/1996
Series: Unassigned Series
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 467,493
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Elizabeth Pantley is the president of Better Beginning, Inc. She teaches parenting classes and gives lectures at schools, churches, community centers, and other family-focused organizations. Her talks are exciting, informational, and motivating. Elizabeth has been featured in Parenting, American Baby, Good Housekeeping, and Redbook magazines on parenting issues.

Visit the author at her Web site,

Read an Excerpt

Avoid These Common Mistakes


Kids and parents attach wildly different definitions to the same concepts. For example, when you say, "Clean your room," you mean, "Put your toys away, throw away the trash, hang up your clothes." Your child hears, "Shove everything under the bed." Giving clear instructions will allow your child to know exactly what you expect.

An example of a parent who learned how to give specific instructions was Noreen, mother of Ryan, age eight, best friend to another eight-year-old Ryan. (She calls them Ryan Squared). She uses this principle whenever they go out to eat at a restaurant. In the car she pulls out a notepad. On it is a list called "Restaurant Manners." She reads, "Okay, Ryan Squared, remember: Sit in your seat. Quiet voices. Use your silverware. No fighting. Got it?" If a rule is broken once they're in the restaurant, she reminds them by using the shorthand phrase, "Restaurant Manners."

Look at these examples of Fuzzy versus Clear expectations: Fuzzy: Be good. Clear: Sit quietly in your seat. Fuzzy: You know better! Clear: I expect you to ask before you eat a cookie. Fuzzy: Jessica! Clear: Be gentle with the cat.

Being specific leaves less room for confusion and misunderstanding. Making a clear statement will keep your emotions under control. Flared tempers rule when a parent makes a fuzzy request that focuses on the child rather than on the situation. Be good! You know better! or Jessica! give the message that the child is bad. You want to give the message that your child is exhibiting a problem behavior, but that there are available solutions. Stating your expectation in a clear, uncluttered way will accomplish this goal.

You say No. Your child asks why. You explain. Your child asks again. You say No. Your child pleads. You say No. Your child tries to negotiate. You say No. Your child whines. You say . . . Yes. Often, a parent starts off on the right track, but children can wear down even the firmest parental intentions. Make yourself a promise in two parts. 1. Think before you say Yes or No. 2. When you say No, stick with it - even if you change your mind. Children learn very quickly that a parent can be convinced to change a decision. Once they have this figured out, you will never have peace again! It's much safer for you to take a moment to think before you say Yes or No so that you can be prepared to stand behind your decision.

Now that I've got your promise to stick with a No when you say it, I'm going to turn around and tell you that there are times when it's okay to change your mind. You need to know your children and yourself enough to know when to allow for flexibility and compromise. These traits are important to teach your children, and, as with most values and skills, they are best taught by modeling. It's important that you choose to be flexible, as opposed to being pushed into compromise by a whining, nagging, pleading child. There is a big difference.

"Children are unpredictable," writes Franklin P. Jones. "You never know what inconsistency they're going to catch you in next." I'm sure that Mr. Jones was a parent at the time - because it takes one to know one. Of course, it's okay to bend the rules now and again. It's even okay to change your mind from a No to a Yes once in a while. However, problems arise when inconsistency is the rule rather than the exception.

In the Harris household, inconsistency is the norm. Mom and Dad Harris rule the roost through trial and error - every day. Emotions typically run high. The kids, Kyle and Matthew, don't have a clue as to what's expected of them. On Saturday, everyone was in a good mood. The kids took the cushions off every piece of furniture and built a great fort. Mom even served lunch in the fort. Later that night, the boys ate snacks as they watched a movie late into the night, and fell asleep on the floor in their clothes.

A few days later, the kids built another fort. When Mom walked in the door, she took one look at the fort and screamed, "Look at this mess! Clean up this stuff right now!" the boys shrugged their shoulders and cleaned up. Later, when they were snacking and watching a movie, Dad stormed in and yelled, "You guys are getting pizza all over the carpet! If you're gonna have a snack, eat in the kitchen!" At bedtime, the boys brought their sleeping bags into the room and got ready to settle down for the night. Mom, however, had other ideas. "Put these sleeping bags away, get your pajamas on, and get in bed!"

Mom Harris later said to her husband, "I don't know what's wrong with these boys. They're always pulling something." Dad responded, "Yeah. It's just kids these days. They never follow the rules."

Kyle and Matthew, in the meantime, are struggling to figure out just what the rules are!

When parents are inconsistent, children will test the rules constantly. It is much like the gambler who plays the slot machines. A gambler will put money into a machine only so many times with no return. If he hits the jackpot every 10 or 15 times the gambler will stick like glue to that machine. However, if after 30 or more tries there is still no reward, the gambler will find a new game. Keep this in mind when disciplining your children. It's okay to be inconsistent once in a while. But if your little gambler knows that it's possible at any moment to win the game, he'll pull that lever every time.

What helps a parent stay consistent? Well-thought-out-rules, routines, and the use of skills keeps parents consistent in their everyday interactions with their children.

In this book we will help you create your own family rules, routines, and methods of discipline. Once you have rules - and your children know what those rules are, and what the consequences are for breaking them - your household will run more smoothly. You will be calmer and more in control because you have a plan. And you will be more able to handle the everyday issues and problems of parenting with a cool, level head.

Table of Contents

1. What's Your Parenting Style? (A Quiz)

2. The Keys to Successful Parenting

3. Cooperation

4. Punishment Versus Discipline

5. Building Your Child's Self-Esteem

6. How to Nurture Sibling Relationships

7. Why Do I Get So Angry? How Can I Stop?

8. How Can You Take Care of Everyone Else If You Don't Take Care of Yourself?

9. Ideas - Not Answers

What People are Saying About This

William Sears

Kid Cooperation gives you the tools you need, not only to encourage compliance, but to create a close, loving, and respectful relationship between you and your child. -- (William Sears, M.D., co-author of The Baby Book and The Discipline Book)

Louise Bates Ames

Here is a book we have long been waiting for, and one that we heartily welcome. I envy any parent who has the privilege of reading it and learning from it. -- (Louise Bates Ames, Ph.D., Gesell Institute of Human Development)

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Kid Cooperation: How to Stop Yelling, Nagging, and Pleading and Get Kids to Cooperate 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just wasn't getting much respect or cooperation from my 3 and 5 year old sons. Mornings were especially unbearable! I would routinely scream from the kitchen-"How many times do I have to tell you?...Turn off the TV this minute!...Your breakfast is getting cold!" The truth is that my actions did not reinforce my words and they really didn't have to comply until the third time I asked- when I finally put down what I was doing in the kitchen, ran into the family room and stood right in front of them ranting and raging like a crazy women--veins popping out of my neck shouting threats that I knew I couldn't carry out like..."That's it!...Get going or I'll...I'll...I'll send you both to live with Grandma!...FOREVER!! You know how the kids know when your just about at your wits' end; why do we have to get to that point? This book taught me many ways to break this annoying ritual. But, in order to get my children to change their behavior, I had to learn how to change mine first! Although it felt awkward at the beginning, many of the tips and strategies in this book did work. Things are going much better in our house. If you have preschoolers like me, I also recommend taking a look at "The Pocket Parent", a small very practical reference guide with the same philosophy, formatted differently... alphabetically for quick access to "sanity savers" for behaviors like, biting, hitting, interrupting, lying, and whining. Both books have helped me to make positive changes in communicating more effectively with my kids.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Winding More than 1 year ago
When you read this book you'll be completely armed. You'll have many different solutions in your pocket on one problem. This book is also so much fun. It is very easy to read. And all the things are sooo logical (even when you talk about kids!) If you want to end the chaos in your home and want to boost your child’s self-esteem (with no yelling but cooperating) you need to buy this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I recently purchased the book "Kid Cooperation", ended up reading it in one night and feeling completely shocked and amazed - finally found an easy to read, easy to follow parenting book that covered every problem I had and that made it seem completely possible to make the changes necessary for my family. I cannot say enough positive things about the book, it will be life changing for me and my children.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is wonderful. I have started recommending it to all of my friends. If you can read only one book on parenting, this is the one to read! When you read it you will learn about different parenting styles, their effectiveness or lack there of and a new way to create a happy loving and peaceful family life where you can get your children to cooperate and act as they should. I am the mother of a 3 and 7 year old. My kids go to bed easily and on time, are polite and well behaved when outside of the house, but at home is another story. At home we have to ask them/tell them things multiple times until we ending up yelling at them, are plagued by emotional outbursts and temper tantrums, back talk, whining and have a hard time enforcing some key rules. Lately I have taken to watching those nanny shows to get tips on what to do. But when I read this book it was if I had an epiphany. This book was clearly written and easy to understand. It unravelled all of the mysteries of why my kids act the way they do and what to do differently to fix it. I learned that I was using at least two ineffective parenting styles and if I just adjusted what I was doing I would be much more effective. I gave tons of useful tips and approaches to use in all situations. The parenting style is kind, effective and helps your children grow and become self reliant to boot. I think it would work for all ages and the book addressed all ages needs and how to modify accordingly. I have already started to see the effect in my kids behavior and it has even started to improve my marriage 'partially thanks to the one chapter on the parental relationship'. I can't wait to see where we are in a month or two, but I know the book has profoundly changed the way I parent and I have already seen some results and can't wait to see more!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Lots of practical advice. Not much theory but lots of great ideas that are instantly doable. Easy to read and quickly reference. Use discipline to teach not punish. Very loving but not wishy washy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The skills and stories in this book are great. They are basic,do-able.The book is a short, easy read for busy parents. I found this book especially valuable because Elizabeth affirms parents and mistakes and I'm not left feeling overwhelming guilty for all the 'mistakes.' The chapter on anger is great.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Very easy read for parents with little time. Practical and useful skills to help with parent-kid communication. I found the section on anger helpful understanding my own behavior and my actions/reactions. I read it over and over and even in the midst of conflict for some sane guidance. I did not get the 'guilty parent/oh how I've messed things up' syndrome when I read it. Instead I just start fresh each week or day or hour and forgive myself a for mistakes.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Parenting is the hardest job you'll ever have. But, it is the most fulfilling. Children don't come with Operating Manuals. So, often we find ourselves 'winging it' when instructing and guiding our children. We are then reminded by the outcomes that this is NOT the best approach. Elizabeth Pantley's book KID COOPERATION... is the best Operating Manual we have read. And the ideas are real experiences of Elizabeth and others. If one approach to child rearing event doesn't work well there are usually others you can employ that will. Our parenting journey with our two boys was at a point where we were so frustrated! What we were doing was NOT working. Now, with the advice and experience of Elizabeth we feel alot more confident in our decisions of discipline and guidance We liked the book so much we plan to look into other books she has written
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! Lots of helpful hints and best of all lots of great ideas of what to do in specific situations. It really got me back on track with my kids.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think this is the best book I ever read about parenting. To real problems author gives real advices, and not just one advice, but many. You can choose which one fit to your situation, your family and your child. Now I never run out of ideas. Book covers not only how to raise your child, but has sugestions about marriage, and motivates you to take care of yourself. I feel lucky that I picked this book to read. I became better parent and better wife, do not have that much stress. Now we plan to have a second child. Thanks to Elizabeth for her wondefull book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is SUCH a valuable book. Once I'd read it, I began to notice uncooperative kids everywhere I looked! There was always an adult beside them nagging, whining, pleading, or waffling. I wanted to give them all copies of KID COOPERATION! Parents don't want to nag or yell; kids don't want to be nagged or yelled at. However, it's easy for well-intentioned parents to fall into counter-productive habits. This book helps you choose words and behaviors that will bring about cooperation. Guaranteed. And it's simple. Much easier than the conflicts parents and children can get into. Sometimes we just need the lightbulb to go on and give us an alternative. Elizabeth Pantley has the alternative. She's really brilliant. It's an easy read, too. You must read this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
What an eye opener! You really think you are the ONLY parent out there pulling your hair out until you've read this book. There were so many scenarios given in this book that were so similar to mine that I could of sworn there was a hidden camera in my home! I've already used some of the advice given and let me tell you it helps you keep your sanity.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book has been such a help to our family! My husband and I have become increasingly interested in gentle, effective ways to teach our 2 1/2 year old what behavior we expect, and _Kid Cooperation_ has really given us some great tools! Elizabeth provides wonderful ideas for making cooperation palatable for kids so they can accept Mom and Dad's leadership more easily. Within a few days of reading this book and practicing her suggestions, our son's behavior and mood improved dramatically, and my husband and I were much more calm. We are continuing to see the benefits, and we recommend this book to everyone we know who has kids! It really puts the whole family on the same team, working toward a common goal of helping the kids become responsible, compassionate, respectful adults.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book truly has changed our lives!!! Finally, mornings and bedtime are no longer battle grounds resulting in tears and mom and dad feeling guilty!!I was skeptical but who knew that giving my 3 year old son a choice like "do you want to brush your teeth first or get in your pajamas first?" would result in him eagerly doing what HE CHOSE? The chapter on self esteem was a real eye opener!! I was embarassed reading it at times because I saw myself in many of the "bad expamples"! A great book for parents!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a mother of 5 children, 4 8 1/2 year old and a 4 1/2 year old. I bought the book on an impulse from an online sale, which I have never done before. The book was easy to follow chock full of great tools and a wonderful supportive way to adminster love, kindness and firmness. I have been complimented repeatedly on the bahavior of my children in public as well as myself for keeping my COOL in not cool situations.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a very skeptical person but I was hooked by the title (since I and my wife feel guilty for yelling at our kids so much)and ordered the book looking for help. This is the best and most practical book I have ever read on dealing with kids...and it works! As a 'Christian' I can say that this does not conflict with Biblical principals and would love to see it offered as a course in Sunday Schools. One may disagree with a point or two but the book is so FULL of 'good stuff' that if one disagrees with whether to 'spank' a child or not it's no big deal. I plan on recommending it to all my friends and I plan on studying the book now that I have read it. It is very liberating to have knowledge and skills that I didn't think were learnable. PRACTICAL, PRACTICAL, PRACTICAL. Please read this book for your kids sake. No... I don't even know the author or work for the book company but I am grateful for her work. Pleased in Tennessee.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book gives you all the tools to need to raise good kids and enjoy the process. The basic tools are easy to learn and effective to use. It contains simple ideas that make sense and work wonders. For just one example (there are many), I used to yell at my kids to clean the kitchen and do their homework. Now I just ask, 'What are you doing first, your homework or the kitchen?' They pick! It sounds simple I know but it's amazing how often it works. I AM yelling less and they ARE cooperating more!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Hundreds of times I've heard people say, 'I wish kids came with an instruction manual.' This book is exactly that- an easy read, that offers detailed advise on how to effectively communicate with your kids in order to get them listen. The author uses a lot of examples which make it easy to apply her suggestions to your situation. I read it once and I review it often. I have 2 boys, ages 5 and 1. This book has given me amazing skills that I've been able to use with each of them. I would definitely recommend this book to ANYONE who has children, or who cares for children. It's a sanity saver!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I often find it hard to get through books because I am so busy and exhausted from being a mother and fulfilling the rest of the responsibilities in my life... I found this book very easy to read and the concepts were presented in such a simple fashion that it has also been easier to apply than other things I've read. I am also a family consultant and lecturer and encourage people I work with to read the book and try some of the ideas
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wow! Finally a book that really helps with you understand and manage your relationships with your children, the children in your care, or even your spouse or significant other! Several aspects of Ms. Pantley¿s book, KID Cooperation, make it a standout in the crowded field of `self-help¿ books addressing children¿s discipline. Ms. Pantley uses easy to understand language ¿ not techno-jargon or politically correct phraseology. KID Cooperation is actually a page turner (no kidding) just because it is so easy to digest. The solutions given were practical and realistic, including common sense things we adults need to be reminded of from time to time. The examples of actual situations and the way real people have handled them effectively was particularly helpful. The end of chapter summaries were a good way to reinforce the key points contained within the chapter, very useful for readers like myself who cannot always read a chapter from start to finish uninterrupted. Most importantly, when reading KID Cooperation you realize you aren¿t alone, that your children and your family are not unique and many of us share common challenges in child rearing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Parenting would have to be the most difficult (yet rewarding!) job in the world. Of all parenting challenges, discipline is probably at the top of most parents¿ list. Every parent wants to raise kids who are responsible and caring people. But HOW on earth are we supposed to achieve this? Often the only blueprint we have for discipline comes from our own parents, and involves methods such as spanking and shouting, which are neither effective nor respectful to children. Thank goodness for Elizabeth Pantley and her wonderful book Kid Cooperation: How to stop yelling, nagging and pleading and get kids to cooperate! I must admit to being somewhat sceptical when I come across claims such as those in this book title. ¿If it sounds too good to be true then it probably is¿, rings in my ears. However, I am DELIGHTED to be able to say that this book not only lives up these claims but MORE. In Kid Cooperation, Elizabeth Pantley shares parenting skills that are LIFE CHANGING! I do not say that lightly! This book will change your life! The wonderful thing is that the skills outlined are easy to learn and implement, they actually WORK, and probably most importantly in my opinion, they are kind to and respectful of children. Elizabeth¿s style is very readable, positive and not at all preachy. She allows you to determine areas needing improvement in a way that leaves you feeling both hopeful and positive. The first chapter comprises a quiz to determine your current discipline style. Are you permissive, democratic, balanced or autocratic? (I erred on the ¿too democratic¿ side!) The good news is that, whatever your current style, you CAN find help in this wonderful book. The remaining chapters contain the gems of wisdom which fulfil the claims on the front cover! Chapter 2 teaches the keys to successful parenting ¿ take charge; think; when you say it, mean it; use skill. Chapter 3 covers cooperation and how to achieve it in your home. Chapter 4 discusses punishment versus discipline. Chapter 5 teaches ways to build your child¿s self-esteem. Chapter 6 is all about sibling relationships. Chapter 7 deals with parent anger. Chapter 8 discusses ways to look after yourself and the relationship with your parenting partner. Chapter 9 consists of some common discipline questions with several suggestions on how to deal effectively with each. Each chapter ends with a very helpful ¿reminder page¿, which can be copied and placed in appropriate spots around the home. This really makes learning the new skills manageable! Throughout the book, examples of situations and dialogue (some from the author¿s own family experiences) make understanding easy. Many readers will see themselves and their kids in the examples (I know I did!) Elizabeth makes it simple to identify ineffective parenting AND to replace it with techniques that actually WORK. I have personally used many of the skills taught in this book with my own child and am thrilled to report the improvement in harmony in our household. Some examples which have been particularly useful to us are the ¿5-3-1-go¿ (when leaving a playground for example), making objects talk (great for things like teeth cleaning time!), and using happy faces and sad faces on a daily chart. I thoroughly recommend this book! My ONLY complaint is that I didn¿t get it when my child was younger!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I own a huge library of books for parents, and I believe that this is the best one written. It's so full of practical ideas for parents. The descriptions are clear and easy to understand. You don't have to wade through the author's ideas and try to figure out how to apply the information to your family: it's all laid out for you: say this, do this. But the author doesn't claim that all kids or all parents are alike - she gives plenty of options so that you can tailor the material to your own family. When I started using this book - BINGO! - my kids started cooperating with me. The title is right! I DID stop yelling, nagging and pleading. What a wonderful, peaceful experience!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is the most practical book on parenting that I have ever read! It gives you specific parenting skills which can be developed to deal with certain behaviors. The book explains 'why' our kids act the way they do. The end of each chapter is summarized on a page that can be copied and posted for a reminder of the skills you're developing. The book is full of great information. . . I highly recommend not only this book, but also 'Perfect Parenting', which is also written by Elizabeth Pantley.