Getting my children to help around the house has become even more important now that bending over is something I'd really rather not attempt. The tallest of my children is something like 4ft 3in, so generally anything and everything they play with ends up at that height or lower - like on the floor. I've tried the money route - You get a penny or nickle for everything you pick up, or a quarter for a slightly or significantly more challenging chore. It works, but there's always the whine accompanying the task. "Do I hhhaaaavvveee to??" or "Mommy, he's not helping me" or something akin to that line...
I've also tried the yelling, threatening, the removal of toys, time out, and the occasional tantrum (mine) again to very little avail.
Tonight I tried something completely different and it worked! The family room was a mess. Papers, pens, markers, capri sun containers, pillows, and other crap-ola had been strewn across, around, underneath, inbetween... and I'd had enough. We happen to have two containers of RediWhip whipped cream-stuff in the fridge. Why? Blame it on pregnancy hormones - it looked good at the time. Well, the makers of this product were really truly ingenious in their design. When "poured" from just the right angle, it makes such a great hissing noise, straight up and down dispenses the treasure.. but just about anything to do with this can of white fluff produces unstoppable laughter with my boys. The fact that the dog likes to "eat" from the can also cracks them up - and she narely spills a drop!
So, that was my plan for tonight - they picked up something, threw something out, put something away, and were able to come into the kitchen for a "quickie". Just enough to get the taste, possibly with the "THHHHH" sound, and then back into action until the room was clean.
And I'll be gosh-danged - it worked!!