July 17, 2019

The Power of the Dreaded Five-Letter Word “Chore”

After a blissful day of play, my 6-year-old suddenly announced, “I love being a kid.”

This warmed my heart and acted as a much-needed pat-on-the-back. I mean, I MUST be doing something right as a parent if he loves being a kid, right?

Little did I realize how soon my naive bliss bubble would pop.

He loved being a kid a bit too much. Why grow up?

If there is no incentive for becoming an adult, being out on your own, taking care of some responsibility, why would anyone in their right mind run with their arms wide open for that job?

It started with a crankiness he’d crank up even higher with each mention of The Dreaded Five-Letter Word. That word-that-shall-not-be-uttered as far as my son is concerned. That word the mere thought of which would turn my otherwise well-behaved, fun-loving kid into an eye-bulging, vein-popping, tantrum-throwing toddlerish ball of protest!

Have you guessed it? Don’t let your kid see this…


My usual fun & games with my son had been reduced to a life of crime. Bribery. And even the bribes weren’t cuttin’ it.
I knew from earlier brain-bangs that he, like any person, is motivated by what he considers valuable and pleasurable. If I could offer a carrot he enjoyed, then I could rest assured he would WILLINGLY rise to the occasion and perform his duty.

So where did I go wrong?

He grew… and his mind grew with him. His concerns, wants, desires, and interests changed.

I had lost sight of what he finds enjoyable now, and it most certainly isn’t always what he found enjoyable 3-6 months ago.
Have you ever bought the “must-have” Christmas present in October, only to find the idea stale by Christmas? I’ve heard of ideas going stale, obsolete… but in 3 MONTHS ?!!

Kid’s minds evolve at lightning speed. Forget traveling faster than the speed of light, try faster than a bright child’s mind!

Is the dreaded C-H-O-R-E your most effective choice of words? What’s the carrot he’s WILLING to work for today?

And yet another Super Power for Parents to evolve: The Super Power of observing what motivates your child in the NOW.



  1. Brilliant ! ! !

  2. Joe Taylor says:

    Yes. It certainly is and was a challenge! So when ever I wanted my children to do their chores it became a game. When I was cleaning they’d ask to help and I’d let them and ask their advice if I had done a good job or not. It was fun reversing the flow.

  3. Heck of a good job. I sure appreciate it.

Speak Your Mind