Slave Labour

Slave Labour

I’ve been creatively encouraging (Bribing) the children to assist in cleaning the house. All. Of. It.

Their creative reasons (excuses) are alot more interesting than anything I ever came up with.

Except the one about needing to go to the toilet. And staying there, for 2 hours.

Insanity is genetic, you inherit it from your kids

I have 2 toilets and 2 children. They don’t even have to take turns.

I’ve resorted to clutching the broom and singing Without You, Nillson

School Holidays are awesome, MOST of the time.

What do you guys do to encourage the kids to help clean up and be happy at the same time?

Slave Labor 1


109 responses to “Slave Labour

  1. right now my boys are emptying out the dishwasher–happily–because they earn a star towards watching a movie. i don’t know how long this will last, but so far it’s a win/win situation (with an extra win thrown in when they go up to their room & sit quietly for an hour & a half to watch a movie!)

    • Great incentive based motivation – #LoveIt *chuckles*

      I’ve been recently using similar methods, restricting access to any kind of technology until certain chores are completed πŸ™‚

      So far, so good!

      Thanks for dropping by!


  2. All four of mine are grown now and out on their own and I have been blessed with seven grandkids. Even at this age I don’t know that their is an answer for your question about what works. It may be because every child responds to some different things than their sibling does. The only totally correct answer may be that only God knows that answer.

    • lol! I sometimes clean the grout of my tiles with a toothbrush. It helps with the anxiety.

      Not that I advocate that, CBT is so much better, but still.. a few times a year.. the toothbrush comes out.

  3. From what I gathered lately and believe me I’ve researched! lol is allowances work and incentives seem to be a motivator πŸ˜›

    Thank you for following my blog by the way πŸ™‚

    • Yes and YES.. I have come to the same conclusion (Sort of)

      Andy, it’s wonderful to have followed you. I clicked a link from a link to another link and then there you were, and I followed with the intention to visit, BUT

      then there is the problem of me being a slackard blogger and well… you know the rest.. lol

      You have however managed to entertain me via twitter.. lol So thank you so much for that, and I guarantee whatever comments led me to follow you in the first place were surely impressive…



      • Hi! Thank you for following me after your adventure of links after links lol πŸ™‚ I hope you’ll enjoy my future posts!

        Let me know if my method works, should you try it. So far it’s working well for me πŸ˜€

    • lol, Dave, I am sorry for taking so long to respond to your comment #ThunderBrain and [INSERT] #WhateverExcuseHelpsMakeMeLookBetter *forehead slap*

      They are WAY too smart to fall for trickery… lol. They have even caught onto the bribing business and have taken to calling me out on it.

      ‘Mum, You can’t do that, it’s illegal!!’ *snorks*

  4. I have three children: 29, 22, and 5. (No, that’s not a typo.) Each has been different.

    I think that you have to figure out the strategy with each child (“horses for courses,” as the one commenter wrote). The “carrot” approach is probably the best, but sometimes even that doesn’t work with my five-year-old. It’s also good to let children experience the natural consequences of some of their decisions. (Of course, you can’t allow them to suffer the natural consequences of dangerous decisions.)

    Anyway, best of luck with the kids!

    • #Yes – re each being different. With their own personalities and quirks.

      Now… if I could just get both of them to be excited about cleaning at exactly the same time, we’d be good.. lol

      I recall recently we were getting ready for an outing.

      Usually I would go in and organize their clothes, shoes, bags etc and place it on the end of their beds. – You know, Just to be helpful and demonstrating my usefulness,

      This occasion, I didn’t.

      Lots of racing about, and shouting:
      ‘Where’s my shoes!?!’

      ‘Cammy, are you wearing my undies!?!?!’

      ‘Where is the hairbrush!?!?’

      ‘CAMERON, did you stick my hair ties on Buzz Light Year again!?!?’

      Then finally… this;

      ‘MUM! Why are you just sitting there doing nothing?’

      A blank stare on my part, while comfortably seated with a nice glass of fresh juice resulted in us leaving about 45 minutes later than planned….



      When they got no reaction out of me they blamed each other for a while, BUT when we got home, they put their shoes straight into the shelving in their cupboards…


  5. The happiness comes AFTER the cleaning – eg “We are not going to the New Year’s Eve Party unless you have done this, that and the other”. No pain, no gain – it’s the way of the world. πŸ˜‰

    • #Yes #Yes #Yes!

      Hard work produces reward!


      They got their room cleaned up quickly this evening, and I am happy to report my Loungeroom and dining room is relatively clean #YayBananas.

      I did chase them around consistently telling them to pack up their previous stuff before getting out the new stuff. That worked a treat!

  6. I have yet to find a way to get the house clean by my little sweeties, but I did figure out a way to get leaves raked. I simply build a fire in the pit on a cold day and tell them that they will continue to freeze, and there will be no flames if they don’t feed it constantly. It is working as I comment. πŸ™‚

    • lol.. we don’t have leaves. We do have palm fronds. No leaves though.

      Also we have a Gardener, he comes and does everything for $60.

      I’m waiting for the day the children tell me to keep their pocket money for doing their chores… lol


      They better not.. lol


      • That’s the Household cleaning fumes.. lol (Don’t drink)

        Thanks for dropping by Susan

        Hope you have had a great New Year

      • It seems we are all the same… watch out for those fumes, I got caught in the showers and almost passed out. I was hauled bodily from the shower cubicle by my husband… “No more shower cleaning!” I’m not fighting that one πŸ™‚
        Blessings, Susan x

      • lol Susan, I am pretty sure I was about to faint with my head in the linen cupboard this afternoon. I have recently brought a heap of ‘Naphthalene Sachets’ and placed them liberally enough to give the entire laundry that ‘smell’…

        I recently encountered a woman on the radio – her name is Shannon Lush and she has a whole range of ideas for cleaning – not using any harsh chemicals at all. She’s amazing.

        I’m implementing a few already.. πŸ™‚


  7. Withhold food and water. Works every time! LOL just kidding…just feeling a little snarky today. I’m lucky because my four yr old and one yr old can still be tricked in to thinking cleaning up is a game. Plus the 4yo loves money so that makes for great bribes. She pairs socks like a boss.

    • Lol Dawn! My Mr 7 and Miss 9 are fairly self sufficient and they sneak to the fridge when I’m not looking!!

      ‘Pairs Socks like a Boss’ – #LoveIt

  8. Bribery has worked very well for us. The promise of earning a little money towards her next Monster High doll, or a trip somewhere she likes is a good motivator.

    Fear has worked too when it comes to cleaning her room. I tell her she can do it, or I can do it. But if I do it, the big stuff, dolls, other toys, etc., go into a trash bag never to be seen again. The small stuff, well let’s just say the vacuum has eaten a lot of doll accessories. Fortunately I’ve only had to make one favorite toy disappear permanently for her to know I’m not kidding.

    • All very sound advice Jeff. I’ve tried them on some level, and they have had various success depending on the size of the carrot involved.. lol

      Threats.. well.. we recently brought a Irobot floor cleaning Roomba thing ($900). I tried to convince the children that if it ate up the stuff they left on the floor, it would melt it, as it had acid for blood.

      The looked at me and laughed.. lol.

      Amusingly, they do make a game of running around gathering things up off the floor RIGHT before it is about to munch them. I guess the novelty hasn’t worn off yet eh!

    • I have to admit, the children were very excited to assist all the time when they were toddlers.


      Outside of the school holidays, things are much more routine (helpfully so) During the school holidays, things are little more disorganised,

      I think it would really help if I came up with a bit of a schedule that included more than outings, meals and bath times…


    • My children used to LOVE helping to clean up, and still do sometimes. They do protest on occasion. Mostly when in the throes of doing something else.


      • Looking back at how my first daughter ( now lives away ) had issues with tidying , & reading your #positiveparenting , I whole heartedly agree that in general, a parents own attitude plays a massive role . Thanks

      • I absolutely agree – our attitudes greatly influence our children in so many ways…

        I really want for the children to understand and get into the routine of routinely tidying up because it’s safer, cleaner, more comfortable etc…

        In small routine doses this works well. During school holidays (especially at the start) When everyone is home for a large part of the day, this becomes more of a challenge for us. I think if we take responsibility for planning the time better and am more diligent with reminding them to pack up one thing before pulling out another, the Lego to Foot encounters should reduce. lol

        In my experience getting cranky is never effective.

        Thanks for dropping by πŸ™‚


      • It’s just 😦

        This post was initially a light hearted banter about one of the little idiosyncrasies of school holidays. Now I’m going to have to tag hunt humor and watch cute cat clips on YouTube to recover!!

        #Praying I don’t have a #NervousBreakdown the next time I spot a Lego or Matchbox car in the doorway!!

      • OOPS 😦 ! Sorry! Can you imagine then how it was when they showed that nasty video clip on TV, day in and day out (and others besides to do with road safety) over our holiday times. Fortunately we have been spared this year; funding cuts I suppose.

      • No need to apologise, there is great benefit in the reflection of such things at times.
        I can imagine, and it must have been terrible. I do understand wanting to educate people about the seriousness involved (both with toys on the loose and driving responsibly).

        None-the-less, there are positives to be found in everything and seeing that clip may have just helped me be a little more diligent and prevent some horrible event!



    • Lol @ ‘Yet to come out of it’

      Yay for not being the only one!

      Thanks so much,, Hope you had a great Christmas and a wonderful year ahead of you as well πŸ™‚


  9. When I was a kid, fear worked, money worked. Apart from that I would like to mention that at no time did I understand why it was so important to clean the house all the time, given that there was no possibility of it staying clean and knowing that none of my efforts would ever meet with satisfaction. So either the carrot or the stick – whatever takes your fancy!

    • I think the Carrot is a good strategy. I really limit their use of Ipads, Wii’s and other technology, and so have started using that as an incentive.

      I’m trying to instill the understanding of keeping a clean space for the sake of it being clean and comfortable to spend time in. Also, it makes it easier for them to find stuff…

      HOWEVER, during the school holidays especially, the CONTINUOUS mess drives me nuts, so there is more firm ‘get it done or go without’ than explanation..

      Reading your reflections on NOT understanding why it was important to clean the house.

      I gotta tell you. I KNOW WHAT YOU MEAN!!… lol

      *looks around helplessly*

    • *chuckles* LOL Dave,

      I’m not very good at that the scowling, cranky bit… lol They usually either giggle because they find it amusing, or they cry if I am really upset with them, and then I feel guilty and we end up completely disregarding all chores. *snorks*

      On a serious note, I know it is not useful to growl, though sometimes I really struggle with NOT scowling if I am particularly frustrated,


      I might trial out A NERF gun and see how that goes eh? Probably end up playing for the entire day and getting no cleaning done at all.

      Hunting for the #Light@theendoftheTunnel

    • Lol. That’s an idea. Though Kotah is 9 and will come up with something about necessary exposure to some bugs and claim that unless there is a bad smell there is no risk of disease…

      Paper, Files, Books, Toy and Unfolded clothing messy probably wont kill anyone, but it’s sure annoying to look at.

      I always struggle to keep up with it during the school holidays.

  10. Well ML, you are highlighting an age old problem that haunts parents the world over. Having said that and having been thru all that in the past, bribery works, if you offer enough, the swinging broom works, if you connect often enough, dumping it in their respective rooms and refusing to feed them until its cleaned up sometimes works. Basically ML its a trial and error process, horses for courses all that sort of thing. I am sure my comment has helped you heaps, if not given you a bit of a giggle. Happy New Year.

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