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Support children in doing non-preferred activities

Sometimes things just need to get done and our children might not be happy about it.

Here are five ways to support children in doing things they don’t like doing:

Preferred and non-preferred activities: Doing a preferred activity before a non-preferred activity helps a child feel seen, making them more likely to cooperate.

Allow transition objects: If a child is doing a task they enjoy or are in a location they enjoy and you need them to transition to something else, it can help to allow them to bring a transition object. This can look like bringing a rock from the park, to paint at home, bringing Legos into the bath, or bringing a favourite toy into the car seat with them.
Familiarize with non-preferred activity: Think of ways to discuss the activity they don’t like doing before there is pressure to do it. This can take the form of reading books about the activity, creating role-play scenarios with toys, drawing pictures, reading social stories, or just talking about it.

Use visual timers and warnings: Using 5-minute (and 2-minute, depending on the age) warnings before you need them to do something allows the child to mentally prepare for doing the activity. Because young children have a hard time grasping time concepts, it can be even more helpful to get a visual timer or 5- minute hourglass, so they can see the time passing.

Play detective: Consider your child’s perspective and think about why they may be resisting an activity, and see if you can solve the problem. For example, if water and soap are getting into their eyes during bath time, perhaps they would be willing to wear goggles.

Source: Hindustan Times