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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.

Motivate Kids to do chores

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.

Laundry kids

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.

Hubby doing the laundry

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?!”

For real.

Cinderella Day

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!

Cinderella Day

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!

kids at souplantation

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*

Cinderella Day Dinner

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? 😉

Cinderella Day

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!


Until Next Time ~ Kate
Categories:  Family, Kids
  1. bloggoneit says:

    Awesome idea I wish I had thought of when my girls were little. Now they are in the market for a live prince so I don’t think this plan will work very well for us.

    I will use it for my grandchildren, though, a long, long, LONG time from now!!

  2. Oh my! I love this idea! I’m going to see if it will still work with my 8-year-old daughter & 5-year-old son. We might need to come up with a different name, though, because princesses are not cool to either of my kids anymore. But they do love dressing up & going out to eat!

  3. love love love this idea!! This is something my kids would love and definitely get into. My daughter is always begging me to wear her fanciest outfits out and about and this would be a great motivational tool!

  4. I am not sure my big kids would fall for this, but my 4yo fo sho! He would pick a Transformer costume! Now to pick a clever name.

  5. laura says:

    what I love about this is that by you letting them wear whatever THEY want to wear, they are learning early to make their own choices, know they are supported, and feel comfortable with this. Which is great!! Love this idea. 🙂

  6. Maggie says:

    Love this! So fun and motivating! Will be trying some variation of this at my house soon!

  7. Angela Quisumbing says:

    Oh my goodness! I love this idea. My daughter (3.5) is a total princess. She cleans up after herself, sometimes, but it can still be a battle with her. I bet this would motivate her even more, especially to so it with a happy attitude! Thanks for sharing! I’ll have to try it out. Looks like the new blog is going great, congrats 🙂

    • Kate says:

      Thanks Angela! 3.5 is a great time to start Cinderella day! Our kids started at 4 and at 7 & 6 they are actually decent little helpers and still LOVE the concept! Thanks also on the congrats – it seems to be off to an ok start and I am having a lot of fun! =)

  8. Rachael says:

    haha, love it! We call those handsome shirts too 😀 and I had to also ban flip flops (the nice ones! we do live in socal) from church :/

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