Want to get your little kid excited about helping out around the house? Give them an official title. I tell you this as the mother of a renowned “orange monitor”, a position I gave my daughter when she was five. Her job was to alert me and her dad when we were running low on oranges, and then at the store, select new oranges and bag them up.
She took her responsibilities very seriously, learning about the different types of oranges and a doing a taste test to determine which we should buy more of next time (I believe the Cara Cara won?). It was great — she had something to take ownership of and our house had a full supply of citrus.
We all love fancy titles — children included. When I posted this photo of our little worker in the Lifehacker parenting Facebook group, other members shared the “official” positions they’ve given their own kids.
“My 11-year-old daughter is the ‘quiche master’,” Emily writes. “She makes quiche for dinner once a week, and keeps a spreadsheet of the different protein/cheese/veg combinations she’s tried.” (Yum!)
Tami tells us that in her home, the kids take turns being the “cleaning auditor”. This person must go through each room with a notebook and “audit” the chores that have been done. (There’s a checklist with items such as “beds are made”, “drawers are closed” and “floor is cleared of toys” — it’s very official.)
When Tami receives the completed checklist, she sends it back with chores that need to be “in compliance” before the final inspection. The kids love it, especially her five-year-old who wears a special auditor’s hat when he’s on duty.
You, too, can motivate your kid by giving them a title. The more specific the job is, the more passionate they’ll probably be about it. (Remember on Friends when Phoebe was in charge of cups and ice?)
So what will it be? Director of Tupperware organisation? Baseboard cleaning specialist? Entryway shoe coordinator? OK, these might need a bit of work. But the point is you’re trusting your child to do a job you know they can handle, and then watching them own it.
Note that this parenting hack does have a shelf life: Your 17-year-old daughter will probably just roll her eyes when you try to get her excited about being the CEO of garbage removal.