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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

10 Genius Ways Moms ‘Trick’ Their Kids Into Behaving Better

The secret to clean bedrooms and well-behaved children is through these easy tricks!

In a perfect world, I would tell my children to pick up their toys and they would do so with speed and a smile. In the actual world, getting the kids to pick up often involves a combination of nagging, cajoling and, yes, sometimes a little trickery.

My favorite trick when the play room is really a mess is to hide a quarter under a pile of toys and let the kids race to find it by clearing the toys. To avoid hurt feelings, I make sure the kid who didn’t find the quarter finds the dime that is also hidden. It is the best 35 cents a gal could spend.

I figured I’m not the only mom with some tricks up my sleeve, so I asked around and got some great ideas to try:

1. “To keep my son in bed at bedtime, we got him a flashlight and made a big deal out of saying he could look at books in bed, as long as he doesn’t get up. He used to be up for at least an hour, getting in and out of bed. Now he falls asleep within 15 minutes with a book in his lap and thinks he is getting away with something.” -- Maria Stevens, mom of two

2. “I was tired of fighting with my son about brushing his teeth, so I wrote him a note from the tooth fairy saying she wouldn’t leave money for dirty teeth. Totally worked.” -- Annie Willett, mom of one

3. “My kids were horrible about staying at the table during dinner, so I made a new rule that whoever is the last one to get up gets to pick dessert for everyone. The fact that I have a toddler whose favorite dessert is ice cubes really works in my favor.” -- Hannah Mick, mother of three

4. “My 4-year-old started trying to unbuckle the straps of his booster seat, so I told him that the car won’t run if he isn’t buckled in. He tried to test it so I slowed down and acted like I couldn’t tell why the car was stopping. He clicked it back in and hasn’t tried it again.” -- Stacey Moore, mom of two

5. “In our house there is an elf who comes and sometimes leaves coupons for more computer time in clean rooms. The elf doesn’t come very often, but the hope of the elf is a good motivator.” -- Sheila Anderson, mom of four

More from P&G everyday: 25 Bad Habits Moms Need to Break -- NOW!

6. “My son will do anything to avoid going to bed. So I made him a deal that he can stay up later, but only to do homework. It is a total win-win: He doesn’t fight doing homework and doesn’t fight bedtime as much because he thinks he is getting away with something.” -- Julie Field, mom of two

7. “When I get sick of my twins bickering, I tell them that we are going to play hide-and-seek. They hide, in separate places, and I seek. Eventually. After 10 minutes hiding under the bed, they forget what they were fighting about.” -- Anita Brownly, mother of two

8. “We have a family rule where we have to do the 20 minutes of cleaning with everyone helping. My kids can’t tell time so it’s usually 30-40 minutes of cleaning.” -- Kelly Weaver, mother of three

9. “My daughter believed that pureed frozen bananas were ice cream until she was 4. Then she had the real thing and the jig was up.” -- Sandra Peterson, mom of one

10. “I pretend that comic books and graphic novels aren’t really books and that I don’t like them. This makes my son, who isn’t a great reader, find them more desirable. So he ends up begging me to buy them and I pretend to oh-so-reluctantly buy it. Then he reads all afternoon. Sucker.” -- Ellie Lockwood, mom of two

I am so going to steal some of these ideas!

Do any of these suggestions inspire you?

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