If your kids fight you tooth and nail about bedtime, cleaning up after themselves and doing simple household chores, rest assured, they’re totally normal. Like adults, kids want to do what they want to do.
Unless there’s something in it for them.
Not that you should start showering them with lavish gifts every time they clean their rooms, but think about their favorite activities—watching TV, playing video games, using cell phones and so on. These are privileges, not rights. Instead of handing them to your kids, make it an even trade.
Parenting experts like Dr. Phil recommend setting up a system where kids earn privileges by meeting basic expectations—i.e., putting clothes away, finishing homework, getting to school on time, whatever. They won’t like it at first, but in the end, they’ll gain a healthier perspective on the give-and-take nature of reality.
They’ll argue that it’s bribery, but stay strong.
© 2008 The First Thirty Days,