Usually children want here and now what they ask for. And they always prefer to delay to better times what they dislike.
This is a key point in education, I think: how to teach effectively to wait for what they desire and to carry through the assigned task.
The simplest shortcut would be to take advantage of our children’s preferences and force them to do what is not in their intention, setting some priorities by a trick called “compromise”. It’ sounds like “If you do this before, then you can do that”.
“This is a blackmail” my daughter once replies me while I was trying to trick her.
I prefer to call it “pact”, “agreement”, “exchange”. “Do ut des” Latins would say, but with such modern smart guys it’s not so easy.
I don’t want to blackmail my daughter every time she has to wake up, take a bath, have a meal, wear her clothes, take off the shoes, tidy her room, brush her teeth, go to bed…
There are so many boring things to do every day that I myself would delay some stuff sometimes.
Besides, all of us know children’s ability to turn an habit to their own use. After they accomplish the task within the compromise, they’ll pull out their own one: “I’ll do it if you let me do this”.
How can a child be convinced to do something he doesn’t believe useful or interesting?
Thus, to get out from this circle, my idea is to mix up together boring and exiting facts, so that doing one naturally involves the completion of the other.
We have to find a reasonable explanation that fits well the necessity of doing something and is preparatory to do something else more exciting.
So waking up on the morning can be hard but also exciting if we have scheduled some time for fun; bath time can be the only occasion to play with a particular toy; The dinner or the breakfast is the right time to tell each other how our day has gone or we expect to be; To let her choose a dress adds interest in wearing it; to take off the shoes after entering home allows to sprawl on the sofa or to roll on the carpet; in a tidy room we don’t waste time to search the toys we want play; brushing teeth is preparatory to read the favorite bed time story.