How to Trick Your Children Into Doing Chores

A few days ago, I talked about how hard it is to find a chore system that sticks, but we were going to come up with something really smart this summer.

But packing has taken higher priority, and the chore system is still under development.  While I was packing, I found this taped on an old bookcase in the attic.


It made me laugh.  It was a little study program we started several years ago, and even though the system lasted only one summer, the kids did learn that summer.  The thing is that even if we’re not so great at sticking with a strict program, my kids do know how to work, they sort of know how to study, and they are great helpers.

Since we’re moving this summer, we’re going to need a less formal approach.  Today I needed the boys to help me sort through their clothes that were going to the thrift store.  My boys are always unloading and loading or putting a load of laundry away or mowing the lawn or taking out the garbage or cleaning the bathroom.  I make all of them read every day.  And guess what?  That’s good enough!

I think flexibility and creativity are going to be my two best friends this summer, and they really helped me get Ricky and Deborah going.   I needed to pull everything out from under my bed so I told Ricky and Deborah, “We are going on a treasure hunt!  There is treasure under my bed.  If you pull everything out, you will find the treasure!”   Here they are.


Here they are


Deborah brought a battery to me and asked,  “Is this the the treasure?”   Then she asked me that question with everything else she found.  I finally realized that I was going to have to provide an actual treasure or else we were going to have some angry children on our hands.   Our dollar store bag provided a few toys, and I threw them under the bed.  The kids were pretty stoked when they found their treasures, and we got the bed area cleaned out!

What creative systems have you used?


One comment

  1. Ha ha. The only way to get them to work is to trick them into it. Now I know how to get them to do all of my chores.

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