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How to teach children to cooperate



For people such as parents, teachers and day care providers, getting kids to co-operate is crucial for a productive and stress free work day. Co-operative children respond to directions, work well in a group to complete a task or solve problem rather than throwing tantrums. Teaching the art of co-operation is a crucial but difficult task that will serve kids throughout their lives.

Step 1:  Understand the mental limitations of a child of a certain age. A 4yr old can’t do what a 6yr old can, and match your expectations with the abilities of children and set tasks accordingly to avoid disappointment and frustration.

Step 2: Clarity helps. Tell children precisely what is expected in very calm and clear voice. If necessary, demonstrate the proper method of doing a task so the children know just what to do and how to do it.

Step 3: Perform the task appropriate to the age group alongside the children. According to Pennsylvania State’s Better Kid Care program rolling a ball back & forth works for toddlers or pre-schoolers; origami or paper planes etc work for older kids.

Step 4: Appreciate the efforts made by children through clapping or verbally recognizing their contribution. Incentives such as a wall bulletin about the co-operative skill scale where kids could earn a sticker or a star also works well as a positive reinforcement.

Step 5: Discuss issues in implementing the exercise as they arise. An open discussion helps establish trust and instil a sense of responsibility among children. Verbalize the issues and involve the children in helping solve or sort the issue as per the situation and form the requisite problem sorting strategies. In case two kids begin arguing, get them to give their inputs aloud without interrupting or judging. Encourage each and every child to find a solution and then discuss the solutions. The goal should be to help the children talk the problem out and identify a solution agreed upon mutual grounds, as per the recommendation of the Better Kid Care Program

 

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