Sometimes, every parent has to deal with situations when their child doesn’t want to eat vegetables, pick up their toys, or go to bed on time. And all their attempts to try and make them do the right things end up with screaming, tearful kids, so neither the children nor the parents feel good in the end.
But most of this trouble can be avoided if you use reverse psychology methods. For example, prohibit your child to eat the oatmeal they don’t like instead of making them eat it. We always want the things we can’t get which is why it’s very likely that this food will soon be their most desired meal.
Reddit users told us about the methods and tricks their parents used to get the desired results.
We at The Elite Indian chose some simple but effective tricks to help parents educate their children in the most peaceful way possible. But remember, don’t use these methods too much — they’re still manipulation tools. Use them from time to time only in situations when there’s no other option.
- My mom had a friend that would put vegetables on her own plate and not on her kids’ plates. When the kids asked about it, she would be reluctant to share, saying, “This is grown-up food. But I suppose I can let you have a little.” Her kids grew up loving vegetables. I, on the other hand, sat at the dinner table for 3 hours as a kid, staring at the yucky cauliflower I refused to eat. @laik72
- One of my best childhood friends used to get punished by not being allowed to have salad if she misbehaved. She cherishes salads now and would always try to eat as much as possible during school lunch periods. Coincidentally, her now-husband used to be punished with no books and it had the same effect. I think it’s hilarious that they’d be hitting the salad bar and library like some black market. @cookiearthquake
- My mom would tell me she’d only let me eat soup after I ate candy and she’d only buy me candy that I didn’t like. After a few times, I stopped trying and begged her to let me eat the soup first. She gave me a smirk and told me to go ahead. This doesn’t sound as evil as it was. But trust me, I suffered. @turkeypr0
- Twice a year, I let the kids eat whatever they want and do whatever they want. It ends up being a lot of junk food. The first three times they did this, they ate so badly a few of them threw up. They now regulate themselves much better and choose quality snacks over quantity. @ZombieBoobies
- When I was a kid, I refused to get up in the morning. My mom said we were going to trick my dad into thinking I was still asleep. So she made me put on clothes and then hide under the covers and pretend to be asleep. Then my dad would come in to wake me up and I would “fool” him because I was already dressed and ready. This worked on me for years and I never questioned it. In hindsight, it’s pretty obvious that my parents just wanted me to get dressed without a fuss. @mfiggfi
- My dad used to play a game to see who could match and fold the most laundry and he never won. @stonerplumber
- I don’t know if it was truly reverse psychology or an exhausted response from desperation. We were in line at the grocery store checking out. The kid was 3 and the meltdown started and quickly became an on-the-floor tantrum. I looked down and said, louder than normal but not yelling, “Where is your mother? We need to find your mom!” She was startled because I am her mom and she was confused. But the tantrum ended quickly, and with hugs. @stephlj
- My child was reluctant when it came to putting away toys. However, he loves timed tasks and is very competitive. I’d instruct my child to put away all the red toys as fast as possible. Then blue, then green, etc. Toys were all put away. @divorced_dad_670
- My mother tricked me into learning Spanish by telling me my brother was better at it than I was. @mylittlesyn
- “I bet you can’t…” Both of them HATE the assertion that they’re not capable of doing something. “Can you put your toys away?” will almost certainly garner a hard NO, but “I bet you can’t put all those toys back in the box, no way you’ll be able to” will have them whizzing around, tidying like demons followed by a very indignant “See, I told you I could!” Cue fake surprise from me. They’re only 4 and 7, so I know this won’t work forever but so far, it works like a charm every time. @bibbobbins
- There was a forbidden book that I was not allowed to read on the shelf. My parents said I could only read it if I behaved myself. It was the summer holidays and I was playing games all day (after 6 hours of summer homework). One day, I was home alone and had the opportunity to grab it. I read like half of it in one go. It was 5,000 Years of Chinese History. It’s safe to say I was bamboozled. @oddstodd
- My son was really impulsive when he was little and would try to run away from me when we would be crossing streets instead of holding my hand. So I started to tell him that he needed to hold my hand so nobody would try to steal me. It worked. He felt responsible for making sure nobody tried to kidnap me out in public. @TimelyKaleidoscope
- Don’t ask if the kids want to do something, give them a choice between 2 things. When it’s bedtime and my toddler is extra cranky I ask her, “Would you like to pack away your toys or go to bed?” She always picks bed. I think for younger kids it makes them feel involved and validated in the decision-making process. @ThoseAreBlueToo
- I don’t know if you would call it reverse psychology, but I didn’t realize it until my dad told me this. When there were chores that needed to be done, he noticed that if he asked me to mow the lawn, I would complain and procrastinate. But if he asked would I rather mow the lawn or wash the windows, I’d pick one and just get it done. It shattered my brain when he told me when I was in my 20s. I use it when I’m coaching or babysitting all the time and it almost never fails. @AppealToReason16
- It’s not reverse psychology exactly, but when my first son was about 4 he would often burst into our bedroom way too early in the morning, full of energy. It was up to me to either get up and engage with him or send him off on some mission so I could grab a few more precious minutes of shut-eye. One thing I’m proud of was telling him to find out which of his legs could run the fastest. He was charging around the corridor for ages doing a kind of manic goose-step before he came back in panting, saying that they were both the same. @Georgeisthecoolest
- I’m potty training my son. He just turned 3. He’s proving to be harder and more stubborn than his sister was. When I put on his diaper, I say, “Diapers are for little babies, let’s go put your little baby diaper on.” He says, “I am not a baby! ” And I respond with, “Well, big boys go on the potty.” He’s on day 5 with no diapers during the day. @Toad32
Have you ever used any similar methods with your children? Or maybe your parents used them with you? Tell us down below!