This is the opinion shared in the Whole Dog Journal article.I don't think kids could be made to understand the timing of the commands. I would use caution with tug as a game for children and dogs.
8. Children should not play tug with your dog unless and until you are confident they can play by the rules. If you do allow children to play tug with your dog, always directly supervise the game.
Depending on the child and the dog, another option for some might be "flirt pole."' I personally felt even my youngest grandchild was safe to use it (while supervised) with my mini when he was a pup. They had a blast playing with it! I think it helped build the bond between them. And I found it helped teach them both self-control.