As any parent will know, persuading children to cooperate with requests such as those to tidy up after themselves or to go to bed on time and stay in bed can be highly challenging. If your natural reaction to a lack of cooperation is to shout and scream or impose a punishment such as standing on the “naughty step,” then it might be worth thinking again.

In certain situations, one of the most effective ways to encourage children to make the right choices and behave responsibly is by taking away the things that they value – albeit temporarily. If a youngster refuses to tidy up his or her toys, for example, then simply remove the one that they are most fond of for a specified amount of time – perhaps a day or two. For slightly older children, meanwhile, you could try removing privileges such as letting them watch a favorite TV show if they fail to comply with your requests.

The important thing about using this method of denying a child’s favorite things is that you must warn the child what will happen beforehand and you must be specific in terms of how long they have to complete the task you have assigned them and how long they will be deprived of their favorite toy or privilege. Also, don’t rise to the inevitable complaints that follow, always follow through on your threats and let your youngster know that if they make better choices next time around, they will meet with more positive outcomes.