getting your kids to do what you want

How To Get Kids to Help Around the House: 21 Hacks

Does your child help around the house? No matter what their age, there are things you can do to raise willing and capable helpers, as these 21 hacks demonstrate.

Does your child help around the house? No matter what their age, if a kid can walk, they can help. (And even infants can “practice” things as a game.) Unless you have a maid or a cleaning service, getting help around the house from family members is essential. However, it’s also easier said than done, …

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How I Got My Kids To Help With Cleaning

Do your kids help with cleaning? Or is getting them to pitch in a constant chore? My new secret weapon has finally got my kids happy to help with weekly housecleaning!

Do your school-age kids help with cleaning at home? Or is this a constant battle in your house, as it was in ours until recently? I don’t like all the regular upkeep that goes with maintaining a house with a family. And my husband does his fair share, including lots of jobs he knows I …

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Clothespin Chore Chart: How-To’s, Inspiration, and Tips for Success

Do your kids need a morning-routine reboot? Or help remembering after-school chores? This clothespin chore chart tutorial has tips and examples to help them create their own!

Are your kids starting to get squirrely for the end of the school year and the start of summer break? Do you find their school-year routines and ability to self-regulate breaking down? Those skills have long since flown the coop around here, so we tried something new this morning: a brand-new set of clothespin chore …

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How To Teach Your Kids Gratitude

Kids not quite as grateful as you'd hoped? With these tips on how to teach your kids gratitude, your kids can become more grateful too!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone celebrating in the United States (as well as expats overseas) today! In honor of this national day of giving thanks, I’m thrilled to share a guest post written by a blogging friend of mine, Michele Tripple. If ever there were a Supermom, this amazing mama is definitely one in my eyes! …

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The “Pizza Cow” Morning Routine Contract

Does your morning routine need a reboot? Have your back-to-school efforts fallen short? Desperation has us trying something new: a Morning Routine Contract.

If you’re one of those families who magically and effortlessly gets your kids back to a school-year routine at the end of your summer holidays, you need not read further (unless you want a good laugh at the rest of us). But if you’re in the 99% of us who struggle in this area, here’s …

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Bucket-Filling For Your Kids

Do Unto Otters

Do your kiddos practice bucket-filling on a daily basis? Have you even taught them about bucket-filling yet? You probably have, and just don’t realize it. But in this season of celebrating miracles and light and goodness, many of us are focusing in our families on bucket-filling anyway. Even if we don’t do so in the context …

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Teach Your Kids Responsibility: Ten Super Hacks

Do you always feel overburdened? As if you’ve got too much on your plate, because responsibility for the entire world somehow landed on your shoulders? Would you like to free up a few brain cells for something else? If so, then it’s high time you turn over some of that responsibility to your kiddos. Experts …

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How We Became Chore Chart Converts

(And How To Make Your Own Chore Charts!) I used to think having a chore chart was silly. My mother never used them, so why should I? Now, we’re a family of converts. What happened? Summer. And with it, a complete breakdown of most of our normal routines. Does this sound familiar? Despite my periodic …

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Why Mama’s Crazy Rules Matter

Kimmie starts kindergarten this week. She can’t wait. She is soooo ready. Her first day of preschool, she marched right into the building without a backward glance. Kindergarten will be the same way. That is, as long as she survives the bus ride. Don’t get me wrong; she can’t wait to ride the school bus, …

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Prepping for our First Family Camping Trip

This weekend marks our first family camping trip. My husband and I used to camp (or at least hike) every summer, back in our pre-parenthood existence. The further away from home our car-camping and occasional backpacking trips took us, the better. We’ve been kept awake all night by the foghorns near the Bay of Fundy …

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Reset Buttons Broken? Try Using a Code Word

Oh, the ironies of parenting. Not twenty-four hours after publishing my last blog post, on finding your kids’ reset buttons, I found myself mentally running through my own checklist, searching in vain for one of my own tricks that would work on a five-year-old who stubbornly resisted each and every attempt I made to help …

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Finding Your Kids’ Reset Button: My Top Ten Hacks

It’s one of those days (hours, minutes), and you’re at the end of the rope. You just wish your kid had come with an on/off switch, circuit breaker, or some other way to turn her off. Then you could power her down, reboot her, and start all over with a clean slate. Or maybe it’s …

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On Toilet-Training Your Monster

Both of our children have been way ahead of the curve in some areas (mostly academic), but have taken a more leisurely approach in others. Kimmie was nearly eighteen months old before she mastered the art of independent walking, and for Essie that skill didn’t come until the age of sixteen months. And then there’s …

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Mindful Decluttering: 5 Tips on Decluttering Your Home

Is decluttering on your new year's list? These five mindful downsizing tips will help you get all areas of your life back under control, once and for all.

How’d you do on your New Year’s resolutions last year? My New Year’s goal for last year is still an ongoing effort, but remembering to use the Calm Mommy voice when I want my kids to cooperate is becoming more second-nature. My goals for this year center around being more mindful each day, saving myself …

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Less Is More: Three Ways We’re Cutting Back and Living Better This Holiday Season

Even though the first week of December was rainy and dreary in our neck of the woods, the girls and I have had a super start to our month. Part of the credit goes to the fact that I’ve made some very conscious decisions to simplify our lives, both for the holiday season and beyond. …

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Want Something Done? Try Counting

My husband is a math teacher. He lives, breathes, and eats numbers. Thus it’s not too surprising that numbers are floating through the atmosphere in our house on a pretty regular basis, or that Kimmie and Essie have been a bit ahead of the curve in learning to count. But early in our parenting journey, …

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When Your Preschooler Won’t Cooperate: Big Kid + Big Privileges = Big Responsibilities

Awhile back, before I published my post about letting Kimmie watch movies, I sent a draft of it to my friend Liz, who blogs over at Everyday Ecologist. In a subsequent phone conference, as we chatted about the slippery slope of kids and screen time, Liz said something to the effect of, “I can’t wait …

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