Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Confession Wednesday

Tactics a 5-year-old will employ to get out of cleaning her room:

Calling Grandma
Making presents for mom out of cardboard and markers
Sobbing woefully
Making her room messier
Faking sleep, somewhat convincingly
Attempting to cuddle up to mom
Sneaking into the hallway where she can watch us watch the Olympics
Assuring us she will die from hunger any minute now

I do have a few tricks up my sleeve, but since it's Wednesday:

How the heck do you motivate your kids to work independently?


Anonymous said...

Sounds like she is trying to outlast you. No food (or whatever she cares most about)until the room is clean and each "delay" results in a five minute timeout, delaying the food (or whatever) just that much longer. You have to be tough and recognize that even the sweet cardboard gifts are a "delay" tactic.

Bean said...

It's funny, but I have found that my kids love Job charts! If they have done their job they get a sticker. If they have done all their Jobs for the week I take them out and get them something special. This has worked for my kids.

Anonymous said...

Way to hit a hot topic! I only have a few suggestions because I struggle with this as well. One friend had a little packet of skittles and she told her kids to put away everything that is yellow and then they all got a yellow skittle.
One thing I found was that my kids are motivated individually. One child is motivated by rewards. Another child is motivated by praise. The other three are totally unmotivated.
I try to think of things that normally I say "No" to and use that as a motivation...I am not beyond bribery. As far as Liv is concerned I would probably employ the same tactics to get out of my house work if I could.
My husband just came home from work early because he is sick and is now headed up to bed. How nice for him.

Tana said...

I threaten with the words "Do you want to go clean Grandma's house?" That will usually take care of it. (Dusting 420 teapots just isn't fun)

mamapineapple said...

Sorry I do believe she comes by this quite by genetics hmmmm sounds so familiar1

Anonymous said...

We set a timer and if the room or chore isn't done before the timer goes off then there is a punishment or a reward depending on the child.

angela michelle said...

I like to say, "You can do X (watch Olympics, snuggle me, whatever) as soon as you're done." Then just put them in the room, shut the door, and wait. Hopefully they'll eventually learn it's better to just get it over with since their stalling tactics aren't getting any attention. I would definitely say don't participate in the negotiations.

Mrs. B said...

mamapineapple, I think it's definitely genetic. It's just hard to tell which parent to blame! (Lucky she gets such great genes from her grandparents.)

Christy said...

This way takes all day for the room to actually get cleaned but there is very little whinying and complaining. I tell my children to go in their room and pick up one thing. And I don't mean one item but for my son I'll tell him, pick up all your clothes that are on the floor. Or all the books. Or all of something. I have found that telling them to "go clean your room" is just way too overwhelming. But one task is usually doable. And I just do that all day long. Hope this helps!