There's a photo from 9Gag that's been spreading like wildfire on Facebook this week. It features a hand-lettered sign listing three household chores. In exchange for doing all of them? The signmaker's kid stands to get a copy of today's Wi-Fi password.
I think it's pretty obvious why this thing has gone viral. It's GENIUS! It is written not as a bribe but as a reward. And a grand reward indeed. Now if only this would work for all teenagers!
Here's the problem. Little kids like "helping." The problem is when they "help" you give the dog water, you need to follow behind them with a towel. When they "help" you sweep the kitchen, you end up getting smacked in the eye with the end of a broom. And so on.
Little + willing does not equal helpful.
But then they get bigger. And suddenly they actually have the potential to really do something! Not only can they fill that washing machine, but they can reach the knobs to turn it on! Only now that they're able to do stuff around the house, well, they don't exactly love it. Or even like it. At all. And who can blame them? I'd love to sit on my duff with a book all day too (I haven't figured out how to make a living at it yet, but if you have any ideas ...).
I think we can all agree that kids should chip in around the house (chip in, not do it all). It will make them better citizens. But how do you get a petulant teenager to get off their butt and lend a hand? If holding the reward of Wi-Fi access over their heads isn't working, perhaps this will get your teenager moving:
1. What do you mean you can't text your friends? Oh, riiiiight! Remember that contract you signed when we got that phone for you, where you promised you would do all your chores?
2. You have no clean clothes? Funny. I didn't see any dirty ones in the hamper. (Resist anything more than that. Walk away and let them think about it.)
3. Yes, you may have dinner! There's bread in the cabinet, and peanut butter in the fridge. I'll return to making full meals when the dishes that you left in the sink on Friday have been washed.
4. I put that signed permission slip in your room. If you can unearth it from the mountain of dirty clothes, empty soda bottles, and crumpled pieces of papers, before it's due, you can go on the class trip!
5. Yes, you can go to the mall (drive the car, have a friend over, etc.) ... when you have your room clean (the dog fed, the towels washed, etc.). See how much nicer it sounds when you say "yes"?
Go ahead, add yours. How do you keep the kids cleaning?
Image via steve greer/Flickr