Institute in Basic Life Principles

Giving the World a "New" Approach to Life!

How can I get my siblings to cooperate when I ask them to do something?

Work Under Your Authorities

When someone is ordered to do a task rather than asked to do it, there is an instinctive reaction to the request because of an inherent resistance to expending energy. However, the reaction also can come in response to being given an order by someone who is not in authority, which may certainly be the case when a brother or sister orders his or her siblings around. Don’t make demands of your siblings unless you have been given the authority to do so by your authorities.

Focus on Teamwork

The words let’s do something are far more inviting than the words you do something. They reveal that you want to spend time with your sibling and that you are not asking him to do something that you would not be willing to do yourself. Don’t just give orders to your siblings; encourage teamwork! When your sibling finishes the task, he should receive your praise and approval.

Be Loving and Respectful

Demonstrate sincere love and respect to your siblings. “All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them (Matthew 7:12). (See also Matthew 5:3–9 and I Corinthians 13.)

Motivate Them to Achieve Worthwhile Goals

Realize that your siblings are going to be asking two questions about any job you give them: What do I gain if I do it? and What do I lose if I don’t do it? Figure out the answers to these questions before you say a word to them. When you make your request, answer these two questions to their satisfaction. As needed, explain the rewards of completing the task as well as the negative results of not completing it.

In his classic book on motivation, Frank Bettger reveals the secret of getting people to take action. He states that if you help a person find out what he really wants, that person will “move the world” to get it. Remember that advice when you want to motivate your siblings to do something.

  • Teach your sibling what it means to have a servant’s heart. By your example, show him what it means.
  • Focus on Godly character qualities that can be strengthened in his life as a result of doing the chore or carrying out the assignment.
  • Point out ways that his assistance will contribute to the success of the family.
  • Explain to him the long-term personal benefits of developing diligence, dependability, responsibility, etc.
For Further Study

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