Motivation: How I Get my Kids to Behave

Okay, so this title might be slightly misleading.  It’s an attention grabber though, right?  My oldest daughter is eight years old and we have spent most of the last eight years trying to figure out how to get her to comply with our rules and be a productive member of our family with the least amount of whining, screaming and talking back as possible.  We have always felt that our downfall was not finding the right “currency” to motivate her.  She just doesn’t care about things that other kids care about.  If we take away TV she happily reads a book.  If we take away all of her toys (yes we have done this) she happily reads a book.   If we take away her book she happily stares at the wall like it’s the most interesting thing she has ever seen in her life.  We have also tried having her work towards earning outings, toys and privileges.  This rarely works.

A few weeks ago I think I finally hit on something we can use to our advantage.  Sibling rivalry.  The annoying “not me”, “she did it”, “it’s her fault” business.  I found a way to use this to our advantage.  I noticed that the girls were incapable of using a toothpaste tube without making an enormous gooey mess.  I taught them how to do it properly as well as how to clean up the mess when they didn’t do it properly.  I just could not get through to them because they were too busy blaming the mess on the mysterious “not me” person that lives here.  So, I bought two brand new tubes of toothpaste.  I wrote their names on them and told them that I was going to find out once and for all who was making these messes.  They were thrilled!  Finally they could prove that the other sister was the messy one.

The result.





Two perfectly clean toothpaste tubes.  One small victory for mom!  How else can I use this to my advantage? Have you tried similar strategies?


About Tanya

I am a stay at home mom of two little girls. I love to bake and create fancy cakes. Read more about my life at and see our latest family blog

Posted on January 17, 2012, in parenting and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I love it! I hope the “not me” monster stays away for a long time.

  2. One less battle in the Blanck household! Woo hoo!

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