You need to be very careful when using reverse psychology on people. If it not always that it will work in your favour, sometimes it can backfire you.

Some parents who succeeded in apply reverse psychology to their children have some information that they have shared with everyone. So, let’s see what and how this formula works in reality.


Took my 3 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 1 shot, but 5 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 5 little tiny 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!” We actually made it through the third shot before the effect wore off and reality kicked in. Still… I counted it as a victory.


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, “that’s grown up food. But I suppose I can let you have a little.” Her kids grew up loving vegetables. I sat at the dinner table for 3 hours staring at the yucky cauliflower I refused to eat.


When I was a kid I refused to get up in the morning. My mom said we were going to trick my dad into thinking I was still asleep. So she made me put on 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. In hindsight it’s pretty obvious that my parents just wanted me to get dressed without a fuss.


One of my best friends through childhood used to be punished with no salad if she missbehaved. She cherishes salad now and would always try to eat as much as possible during school lunch. Coincidentally, her now husband used to be punished with no books, it had the same effect. I think it’s hilarious that they’d be hitting the salad bar and library like some black market their narc parents couldn’t reach hahaha.


Not reverse psychology exactly, but when my first son was about 4 he would often burst into our bedroom way too early in the morning, full of energy. It was up to me to either get up and engage with him or send him off on some mission so as to grab a few more precious minutes of shut-eye. One I’m proud of was telling him to find out which of his legs could run the fastest. He was charging around the corridor for ages doing a kind of manic goose-step before he came back in panting that they were both the same.


I don’t so much know if you would call it reverse psychology, but I didn’t realise it until my dad told me this. When there were chores that needed doing, he noticed if he asked me to mow the lawn, I would complain and procrastinate. But if he asked would I rather mow the lawn or wash the windows, I’d pick one and just get it done. Shattered my brain when he told me when I was in my twenties. I use it when I’m coaching or baby sitting all the time and it almost never fails.






My son was really impulsive when he was little and would try to run away from me when we would be crossing streets instead of holding my hand. So I started to tell him that he needed to hold my hand so nobody would try to steal me. It worked. He felt responsible for making sure nobody tried to kidnap me out in public.


My dad used to say that when the ice cream truck was playing music it meant he had run out of ice cream. Wait, that’s not reverse psychology. THAT’S JUST LYING, DAD.


“I bet you can’t…” Both of them HATE the assertion that they’re not capable of doing something. “Can you put your toys away?” will almost certainly garner a hard NO, but “I bet you can’t put all those toys back in the box, no way you’ll be able to” will have them whizzing round tidying like demons, followed by a very indignant “see, I told you I could!”. Cue fake surprise from me. They’re only 4 and 7, so I know this has got limited time, but so far works like a charm every time.



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


It seemed like the minute my son realized he was going through puberty, he developed a need to show everyone how strong he was, usually by carrying things. Now, my son was a rather small, wiry, hyperkinetic kid – not at all a football player or weightlifter type. Yet I noticed starting when he was around 13 that if something heavy or heavy-ish needed moving, he was always right there, with a need to show he could do it. I took full advantage. I don’t think I lifted anything heavier than my purse until he moved out. All I had to do was mention that I was going to put X in Y place (put the suitcases in the car for vacation, carry that gigantic load of laundry upstairs, etc.), and pretend like it was too heavy for me and he would appear as if summoned from the universe to do it for me. The reverse psychology aspect was my saying “Oh my! That looks heavy!” and him proving to me that “No it’s not!”


“No, you cannot take this after school science extra curricular activity. They have robots, lasers, explosions, and other dangerous stuff like that”.


Hi I was a victim, There was a forbidden book that I was not allow to read on the shelf. My parents said I could only read it if I behave myself. It was summer holidays and I was playing games all day (after 6 hrs of summer homework). One day I was home alone and had the opportunity to grabbed it. I read like half of it in one go. It was 5000 years of Chinese history. Safe to say I was bamboozled.





Do you want your dinner now or in ten minutes – the illusion of choice.


My parents always told me my broccoli were the flowers of the queen and that I really shouldnt eat them, or else the queen would get very upset! I, ofcourse, ate the whole brocolli in a few seconds.


I learned this thing called “The Ok trick” while working in a call center. You ask someone a question, and follow it up with “Ok.” People tent to respond to a positive with a positive, so calls would go like this: Me: Well, we’ll have to terminate this account then have you reopen one to add your card back in, ok? Customer: Ummm, ok. Found out that this works super well on children. Me: Hey bud, five more minutes and then it’s time for bed, ok? Bud: Uhhh, ok.





Whenever my co-worker would feed any sort of meat to her kids, it was “chicken.” Because they wouldn’t eat anything but chicken. Piece of steak? It’s chicken. Pork? It’s chicken? Chicken? It’s Chicken.


When my children were younger, I’d say “Hey if you do _______ (insert chore), then I’ll buy you dinner tonight” They would get all excited and then go do the chore. Afterwards they’d say, “wait, you buy me dinner everynight”


My mum would always yell at us “if you don’t do X, you have to go to bed without socks!” I never wore socks anyway, and I’m ashamed to admit that this worked