How To Trick Your Kids Into Doing Anything


Tired of begging your children to comply? Want to learn how to trick your kids into helping out more?

I distinctly remember the family gathering when I saw my mom convince my then four year old cousin to willingly eat a piece of broccoli.  And by convince, I mean she straight up hoodwinked the kid.  As a child, I would have been horrified at the sight – realizing that I too may have been a victim of her veggie manipulation.  However, as a mom, I was in awe. 

I begged her:  “Teach me everything you know.”

In modern day parenting, we are all ultimately trying to raise normal, successful and kind adults without them hating us or needing lots and lots of therapy some day.  In my efforts to do this, I have enlisted chore charts, reward systems, visual timers – anything that might achieve our daily goals of getting out of the house with appropriate clothing (ok, any clothing), footwear (not picky here either) and a nutritious meal in our stomachs (Greek yogurt with M&Ms counts, yes?) a little easier.  And yet, these charts and timers really just give me something new to yell about, which in a way is refreshing, however still annoying.

One evening after dinner, my daughter asked, “can I help with the dishes?”  My first reaction was a knee-jerk no. Sharp knives, ceramic dinnerware and glasses (ok, wine glasses) abound and I was not feeling like breaking out the vacuum to clean up any more messes that day.  But before I could come up with an excuse, that memory of my mom and my cousin popped into my mind.  And instead, I replied “actually, loading the dishwasher is really something for adults. You probably wouldn’t be ready for that.”

I saw the wheels turning in her brain.  Game on.

“I think I can do it.  I’ll be really careful and you can put the knives in.  I’ll even rinse the dishes first!”

A few more lines about it really being a job for bigger kids and then even my son became interested.  Within a minute, they were both begging – BEGGGGGGING – me to do the dishes.  I sat back and watched as they worked, as a team no less, to successfully rinse dishes and load the dishwasher.

Apparently genius runs in the family.

trick your kids



  1. Haha! I LOVE this! I’m definitely going to have to remember this trick. I too tend to get into yelling and afraid more of the mess than teaching them to help but in the end….it turns out ok. 🙂 Great post!


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