I’m in awe of those parents and teachers who manage and motivate kids at the same time — the ones who have them scrubbing the floors and loving every minute of it because they somehow make it fun. Am I the only one who’s too tired to think of yet another way to make chores fun? I like to think I’m a pretty mellow mom, and that I have a decent sense of humor. But when it comes to getting the kids to do stuff, I want them just to do it because I say so. Sometimes, thinking about it more creatively than that is one detail more than I want to manage.
I’m obviously shooting myself in the foot on this one, because we’d all have more fun if we were playing rather than arguing. I really like Regina from Maryland’s take on this:
Reading about the reverse psychology hack got me thinking about using what motivates each child. My oldest daughter who is super-competitive can’t pass up on any sort of competition. “Go get dressed, please.” “No, I don’t want to.” “It’s a race to see which one of us gets dressed first. Ready, set, go!” If I can start the race before she has time to object, she simply cannot resist the urge to compete. This one doesn’t work for my youngest daughter, but for whatever reason, she can’t resist a conga line. So, whenever she’s in the mood to run in the opposite direction from a bath, getting dressed, etc., we simply start singing our conga line music and doing the conga line dance (two sideways steps and two forward steps) and again, like a magnet, she just can’t resist. The beauty is that it changes the dynamics from what could have been a battle to a much more enjoyable experience.