How to Con Your Kid: 15 Simple Scams for Mealtime, Bedtime, Bathtime -- Anytime!

Wouldn't it be great if kids just did what they were told? Since they often don't, here's how you can trick them into doing what you need them to do (16 Photos)

David Borgenicht and James Grace on Apr 5, 2012 at 6:17PM

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15 Smart Ways to Con Your Kid


a David Borgenicht and James Grace on Apr 5, 2012 at 3:14PM

Sure, kids are smaller than you and, theoretically, not as smart as you. And, sure, you are the grown-up, so whatever you say goes, right? But in the real world, that's not how it works. Sometimes you need to trick, distract or redirect your child so that he falls into line, according to David Borgenicht and James Grace, authors of the book How to Con Your Kid: Simple Scams for Mealtime, Bedtime, Bathtime -- Anytime! Whether you need to get out the door on on an airplane, here are 15 supersmart ways to con your kid.

How to Get Your Kid to Brush His Teeth
Children should brush their teeth twice a day. This is, of course, easier said than done. Until the age of 5, they don't really have the coordination (or patience) to do it on their own. (Mostly, they don't have the patience.) Here's how to get it done.

Basic Cons
--Be the dentist's chair. Have your child lie on your reclined body -- his back to your chest. Pretend to be the dentist examining his beautiful teeth. Brush them while you're there.
--Ask your child to show his favorite toy how to brush. Have the toy give encouragement. For example, Cookie Monster might say, "Me want to brush teeth but me no know how! Who will show Cookie?" Brush your child's teeth as a demonstration for the toy and then allow your child to brush the toy's teeth afterward.
--Pretend the toothbrush is electric, even if it's not. Turn it "on," making a buzzing noise as you brush.

Short Cons

"Do you want me to brush your teeth, or do you want to brush your teeth yourself and then I will brush them?"
"Do you want to race? The winner is the one who brushes the longest."
"Do you want me to start with the top teeth or the bottom teeth?"

Next Up: Wish We'd Known: 20 Things No One Told Us About Raising a Toddler
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