Children, particularly toddlers, are more able to follow our instructions when we word them in a way they can easily interpret. In addition to the great tools “when/ then” and “either/ or,” a strategy I call the “Everyone with…” is a great way to increase toddler cooperation.

Here is how to use the tool:

Identify the task you need your child to complete and then indicate what happens next in the following formula:

“Everyone with _________ (clean hands) is __________ (eating a snack).”

There are several great variations to this tool substituting “Everyone” with “Children,” “People,” or “Kids.” You can also switch out the “with” for “who.”

Here are examples following the format I used in my Toddler Phrases Post:

For Bedtime:

“Everyone with pyjamas on is listening to this great story.”

“Kids who brush their teeth are snuggling with me!”

For Getting Out The Door:

“Everyone with shoes on is going to the park.”

“Kids who get in the car seats will pick a song to play!”

For Daily Jobs:

“Everyone who tidies their toys is making this puzzle with me.”

“People with clean hands are eating this yummy dinner.”

For Potty Time:

“Everyone with their pee out is going to Auntie’s house.”

“Kids who have peed are ready to go bowling.”

For Safety:

“People who walk by the pool get to swim longer.”