Nine parents share the genius reverse psychology tricks they've used on their children.

There’s no denying that reverse psychology just works.

After all, with kids often choosing to do just about the opposite of what their parents want, who wouldn’t want to try it?

From getting a stubborn child to eat their dinner to even just getting your kid to brush their teeth for once, reverse psychology is a parent’s mind trick.

And best of all? It’s almost always foolproof.

Reddit users shared the best reverse psychology tricks they’ve used on their kids – and trust us, they’re genius.

Friendly competition

“My dad used to play a game to see who could match and fold the most laundry. He never once won.”

Sharing is caring

“My wife used to tell the kids that I didn’t want them to try new things because I didn’t want to share it with them.

“Sometimes they’d like it and I’d make a big deal out of it about having to share with them. Sometimes they’d say, “this one is all yours dad”. You win some, you lose some, but at least they would typically try things this way.”

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Get up

“When I was a kid I refused to get up in the morning. My mum said we were going to trick my dad into thinking I was still asleep. So she made me put on my clothes and then hide under the covers and pretend to be asleep.

“Then my dad would come in to wake me up and I would “fool” him because I was already dressed and ready. This worked on me for years and I never questioned it.”

Big shot

“Took my three-year-old son to one of those doctor’s visits where he was going to get a shot. He was worried about  the shot on the whole drive over, almost to the point of tears. We get to the doctor’s office and a nurse subtly lets me know that my son is not just scheduled for one shot, but five of them in the same visit.

“I turn to my son with an exaggerated smile and tell him, ‘Good news! They figured out how to take that one big shot you were going to get and instead break it up into these five tiny little shots so it won’t hurt nearly as much!’

“You could see the relief wash over his face. He stopped squirming and relaxed completely. He took the first shot and even smiled and said: ‘It’s true! The small ones don’t hurt!'”

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“The old tried and true, ‘Bye, I’ll see you later!’ as you pretend to leave the house whenever they refuse to put their shoes on works like a charm.

“My two-year-old that was just hiding behind the recliner comes a runnin’ when she hears that phrase. The seven-year-old has tried to call the bluff, but I just fluffed my way out to the car before she came running outside.”


“Mum had sworn a bit around the house. When I was four, while at the supermarket, I said the F word really loudly.

“Very quickly and intently, she asked if I had just said ‘Truck’ and said that was a bad word and not to ever say ‘Truck’ like that again.

“I thought that was the bad word so used that when being naughty.”

Quick clean up

“My child was reluctant when it came to putting away toys. However, he loves timed tasks and is very competitive. I’d instruct my child to put away all the red toys as fast as possible. Then blue. Then green. Toys away.”

Vegetables, please

“My mum had a friend that would put vegetables on her own plate and not the kids.

“When the kids asked she would be reluctant to share and say ‘that’s grown up food, but I suppose I can let you have a little.’

“Her kids grew up loving vegetables.”


“My mother tricked me into learning Spanish by telling me my brother was better at it than I was.”

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