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Make Choosing Chores a Game

Distraction may overcome resistance and make your child more willing to move

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One night when my son had four or five things he had to do and no particular inclination to do them, my husband and I made a game of it. We held out our fists and asked him to choose one; each fist had an item from his "to-do" list in it. He picked a fist, we opened it and made a big show of "reading" the winning chore, and he went off to do it without complaint. As he went through the list, we added "break" to the fist-held options he had to choose from, and by the end of the evening he had done everything and kind of gotten a kick out of it, too.

If your child, like mine, is not unwilling to do things but often hard to get started, making a little game can distract from resistance and focus attention on the task at hand. Besides the fist technique, you can try a folded paper fortune teller, a roll of the dice with numbers corresponding to the to-do items, a game spinner marked with to-do items, or pulling a chore out of a hat -- anything that will tickle your child enough to move him or her in the right direction.

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