It's About Them

Young People … Our Greatest Resource

Tip #4 of Seven Tips for Getting Along with Your Kids

We are publishing this article on this blog as a series. We might or might not cover all the tips sequentially, but you will be able to separate out all of them by clicking on the “Parents” or "Difficult Child" link under Categories. Although these tips are part of my book, If My Kid’s So Nice, Why’s He Driving ME Crazy?, they really are applicable to ALL young people, not just difficult ones.

Tip #4: Make Tasks Fun

There's no rule that says that chores and tasks have to be miserable and never-ending. It's a fact, however, that more conflict occur within families over issues of tasks (including homework) than anything else.

If Your children have a set time to complete chores at home, try implementing the Caught You! Award. Set a timer to go off sometime during chores, telling the youngsters that, whenever the timer goes off, they will win an "award" (like a prize, extra allowance or even a later bedtime) if they are "caught" doing the chore. Not only does this approach make it more likely that chores will get done, it makes them fun to do.

Another fun way to approach tasks for young children is called Slip and Draw. Every time a child completes a chore or a homework assignment, give her a slip of paper to sign (be certain to "certify" all the slips ahead of time by initialing them on one side with a colored pen). The slip is then placed into a coffee can with a slit cut in the lid. At the end of several days or a week, have a grand drawing for a nice prize. (It helps if the prize is displayed in a very conspicuous place.)

Youngsters quickly figure out that the more slips they have in the can, the better their chances of winning. The more slips, the more completed tasks, and FEWER problems.

 James Sutton, Psychologist

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June 23, 2006 - Posted by | Difficult Child, Parents

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