Cinderella Day : Motivating Kids to do Chores!
So Cinderella Day is kinda the best conspiracy on the planet. For real. If you are looking for a way to motivate your kids to do their chores with a better attitude you gotta try this! My kids do their chores, but like any kid it is a not their favorite. We did stumble upon this happy accident of “Cinderella Day” that is kind of the best to make chores fun for kids in my experience.
Cinderella Day was born in a moment of equal parts of the following
- “Oh Mommy, I wish I could clean and sing all day and then go to the ball!” ~ Sister J at 4 years old.
- Me realizing quickly that I could exploit that wistful moment for some help with the laundry.
It flashed really quickly that ‘The Ball’ would be very easy to create for her. “The Ball” for her is not meeting a handsome prince who wisks her away from an evil step mother – it’s really just her playing dress up and everyone making a big fuss out of it. That’s easy to do.
What isn’t easy to do is to get kids to help around the house AND be happy about it.
And in a move that surprised even me I pretty much created the best parenting tool in my arsenal – and it works on the boy too…. mainly because it involves food.
So Cinderella Day in a nutshell for our family is a day that we don’t have other stuff planned out. We tell the kids “Guess what?! Today can be a Cinderella Day! What do you think about that?!”
And they all go “YAY!! What do you want us to clean first?!”
Why? You ask. It’s simple – because they get to go to ‘The Ball” afterwards. What is “The Ball” you ask? “The Ball” is the kids getting dressed up / wearing whatever they want and going out to eat at any local restaurant of their choosing. My daughter has no respect for the fact that it is not Halloween on Cinderella day and she always wears her hoop skirted princess dress – polyester tiara and all. My son has no real interest in dressing up fancy – he often goes out for Cinderella day in a Costume – once it was a Transformer, once it was Darth Vader (I did mention Cinderella Day has never been on Halloween or anywhere near Halloween right?). More recently he likes to put on a ‘handsome shirt’ (aka a button down) and flip flops. Flip flops have been banned from school and also for going out to dinner because he kicks them off and then likes to go under the table to get them MULTIPLE times – which bugs me; hence the ban. On Cinderella Day though you can wear whatever you want – and he does!
So what is their end of the bargain for all this awesomeness? Totally simple – you gotta act like Cinderella. You gotta get your chores done, also all the extra chores we throw at you, AND (this is the kicker) you gotta have a happy attitude about it. I mean, Cinderella won in the end because she had a happy heart right?
I’m not sure how long Cinderella Day is gonna work – but for now, it totally does!
The true irony is that on a day that we don’t have anything else going on we would likely go out to a casual dinner anyway, just because Mommy and Daddy need to get out of the house anyway. Also, we have to do chores on those days anyway. Cinderella Day basically just makes something that needs to happen anyway (chores) a little more magical and with a much better attitude!
Now it is important to know you cannot abuse Cinderella Day, you gotta use it sparingly. You also gotta hold up your end of the bargain, the kids get to wear ANYTHING they want, no backsies. Also, the kids get to pick the restaurant, this is important. Below is the list my big kids made of their top three choices…… this was also the day we broke it to my very bright 7 year old that it is pronounced (and spelled) “Spaghetti”….. that hurt more than anything – I loved hearing them call it “Scabeti” but I guess I gotta let them grow up. *sigh*
We let them go with choice number one – because after all, nothing says “The Ball” to a 7 and 6 year old like “Souplantash” right? 😉
Do you do something like this? Do you have a fun parenting tip that makes life easier? I’d love for you to share in the comments section below! Also – if you ever try Cinderella day and blog about it – can you link our article and then let me know? I’d love to share on Facebook and Twitter! For reals – try it, it totally works!