I feel like I should share the best parenting tool I ever learned. I can't even tell you where or when I discovered it, but it is probably the one thing that I use every day.
I'll call it - Giving Choices.
So, this is how it works. Instead of saying, "Come and eat!" I say, "Its time to eat, do you want to walk to the table or do you want me to carry you there?"
The first option is often met with a flat out - no. But, somehow using different words helps children cooperate - it gives them a choice.
Here are a few more examples...
Instead of, "Its time to come inside" (which seems so simple to say but kids never just do it) Try starting the same way, but add a choice..."Its time to come inside. Would you like to walk up the stairs all by yourself or do you want me to hold your hand?"
Instead of "Get dressed!" I say, "Its time to get dressed - do you want me to pick the clothes today or do you want to?"
Instead of "Pick up your toys!" I could say, "'Its time to pick up your toys; do you want to put them away fast or slow?" If the answer is fast you could set a timer.
Be sure to give two options you can live with - but it is really the best trick I know. Anyhow, whenever you are given a flat out - no - just rephrase. Try the option thing instead of reasoning.
When I was growing up there were some Saturdays my mom would ask us to either clean up our rooms or dance with her...so here's to dancing and having fun. Choices can be fun!
Painting: The Village Girl and The Imaginative Boy both by Robert Henri - who I love by the by