Our kid spends so much time avoiding homework and chores, that it is time for bed before either thing is finished. My wife and I find ourselves standing over her and spending all our time refocusing her and it is not fun for any of us. It is creating strife.

Punishments for not getting things done have not worked.

I'd love some fresh ideas.

  • Maybe some bribes would work? Get a B and we'll go to the cinema, get A and we'll go to DisneyLand? ;)
    – Dariusz
    Commented Jan 11, 2014 at 20:15

1 Answer 1


If punishments are not working, switch things around and offer rewards for doing the right thing. If she completes the task, she gets X reward. If she completes it quickly, she gets something better. If it's not done at all, then the standard punishments will be applied.

For example...

If you tidy your room, you can stay up a little later tonight. If you tidy it within half an hour, you can choose something for us all to watch. If you don't do it, you go to bed early.

The trick is to make the system transactional and predictable, so it's not seen as a series of punishments and rewards. She will (hopefully) soon realise that if she does X, she gets Y.

The other thing I'd say is to not stand over her. If you're there, paying attention to her, she's more likely to misbehave. Send her to do a job, then leave her alone to do it (or not do it). Then let her reap the consequences.

If she's been good, be happy and affectionate. If not, don't get cross, just tell her what's going to happen now. No discussion, no argument and no compromise.

Whether she likes it or not, you are in charge.

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