Four tricks to getting your kids to do it the first time you ask

Posted on October 11, 2011


The blogger is in
Of course I’m an expert: I have a blog.

Welcome to the third instalment of WTF Wednesday. I’m not an expert, but I play one on the Internet.

Today’s question comes from Laurie Cumbie who writes:


As a mother of five I find myself repeating every request of the kids over and over….how can I overcome this non effective way of asking for their help?

Dear Laurie,

Let’s see, at an average of, say, 4 requests per kid, 3 repeats per request and 5 kids, you’re looking at roughly 60 repeated requests per day.

My first response is to say quit your whining — I have one kid and probably repeat the same request 100 times in a single morning. But my job as an expert, er, blogger, is to provide thoughtful advice you can use. So, um, do as I say not as I do.

There are a few strategies that you can employ to overcome this non effective way of asking for their help. They are as follows:

  1. Tell your husband to ask for their help and you curl up with a bowl of ice cream and a good book.
  2. Deputize the oldest 2 and give them the power to coerce the other 3 by any means they deem necessary.  Just make sure the authorities understand that you had no idea they were going to do THAT.
  3. Bribe them. Now I know what you’re thinking: you don’t want to reward them for stuff they should be doing anyway. That’s not what I mean. Bribe them with stuff like the right to use the bathroom with the door closed. bribe your teenager with the freedom to be at school without her mother popping by just to say how much you love your Pookie Poo, or with the opportunity to attend her senior prom without you as a chaperone.


4.  Don’t ask for their help. Problem solved. You’re welcome.

Glad I could help!

What’s your question? The doctor is in, he’s just not in here.