Any parent knows that getting children to stick to a basic daily routine can be difficult. Sure you might occasionally find an infant who for some reason just loves brushing their teeth or waxing the car, but for the most part it can be downright impossible to get them to do anything productive except sprint into a wall and laugh hysterically about it.

However, one Japanese dad by the Twitter nickname of Mr. Q believes he has found a simple and effective way to convince a child that brushing teeth and changing clothes are in their best interest.

■ Age-old problem

Like most parents I’m a productive member of society who makes a living writing about ice cream and cats that sit in funny ways, and I try to instill that work ethic into my two-year-old daughter too. For example, I know that if she would just relax and brush her teeth normally, she could free up considerable time which could be better spent on tearing up tissues or scribbling on the television screen.

I try to explain this to her but still she sulks and squirms any time I approach with a toothbrush. I even lent her my copy of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People to prove I wasn’t jiving her. However, she just yelled “kaki kaki” and drew apples and bananas all throughout the chapter on “Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood.”

■ Novel solution

Feeling at an impasse, I stumbled across a solution by Mr. Q here, who was seemingly in a similar predicament and came up with the following technique.

▼ “My daughter always wants to go to a place to play near closing time, but she doesn’t want to brush her teeth and get dressed. Whenever she gets cranky like this I give her paths to take using pictures and simple words and showing her that the top course is clearly the best option. This makes her start getting ready quickly. From the illustrations it seems like she can understand the outcomes.”

■ How it works

In the image we see three paths which his daughter may take. The top path shows her immediately brushing her teeth and getting dressed. This leaves a big chunk of time for play represented by a big ol’ happy face. The middle path has her first sulking followed by tooth-brushing and getting dressed, but then noticeably much less play time, as indicated by the squished-up frowny face.

The bottom path has her crying, brushing, and dressing but only a sliver of play time remaining because she spent most of her time crying instead. The visual representation of the relatively intangible concept of playing time seems to resonate well with the daughter according to Mr. Q.

It certainly seems like a plausible strategy and I’ll be sure to try it out on my daughter tonight. But since I’m at the office right now I think I’ll test this technique out on my employers and see if I can’t get that raise I’ve been hoping for.

Source: Twitter via Togech (Japanese)
Inset Image: Twitter (Edited by RocketNews24)
Bottom Image: RocketNews24