Thursday, December 06, 2007

Magic For Getting Kids To Do Their Chores

It’s common knowledge that Santa keeps lists of who is naughty and nice, and it is that knowledge that inspires many children to be on their best behavior this time of year. Wouldn’t it be great if their good behavior lasted all year? Imagine if your child made his bed without grumbling or used “please” and “thank-you” without prompting? It’s possible through a little Christmas magic that will last all year and establish a lifetime of good habits. This magic is delivered to you through Santa’s sister, the House Fairy.
The House Fairy checks the children’s rooms unannounced. Her presence is made known by the sparkly fairy dust she leaves behind and the small prizes for good effort and progress. The House Fairy is not a perfectionist; her inspections focus on the progress that the child is making. She knows that it takes time to learn how to keep one’s room clean. Of course, a grumpy attitude or a lack of effort may inspire the House Fairy to leave a note rather than a prize.
I love the House Fairy program for families with young children. It is the most comprehensive program available for helping young children develop good habits and organizational skills while having fun. Plus it is ridiculously inexpensive to join – for just $10 you receive a two-year online subscription that comes with all kinds of downloads for parent and child. You can find the House Fairy at www.housefairy.org. Pssst grandparents, this could be a great Christmas present for your young grandchildren.
Pam Young created the House Fairy when her three adult children were very young. You may recognize Pam’s name. She co-authored Sidetracked Home Executives: From Pigpen To Paradise with her sister, Peggy Jones. By the way, this book is “laugh-out-loud, tears-in-the-eyes funny.”
As much as I love House Fairy, Santa’s sister may not be inspiring to the teen or the preteen. But what if chores became missions to save the kingdom from peril? What if every good deed were part of a quest for all that is excellent and noble? Welcome to the mythos of Chore Wars.
With Chore Wars the Dungeon Master – the person who creates the online party – creates the chores and assigns them a value in experience points (XP), gold and treasure. Everyone in the party strives to earn these prizes through defined chores and missions. Along the way monsters may be encountered which the players may choose to battle. Getting injured in battle or losing the battle costs points. But earn 200 experience points and a character can change levels. Each player gets to choose his character and its avatar. The avatar choices add to creating the mythos of the Chore Wars world. Most of the avatars look like they stepped out of Lord of the Rings.
The creators of Chore Wars suggest that it can also be used in an office to help motivate your colleagues to complete a big project or the day-to-day work. The price for all of this will astound you: free. Optionally, you can purchase a gold membership for $10 that will eliminate the appearance of advertisements on the site, and allow you to keep a history of your party adventures indefinitely. You can log on to Chore Wars and start your own party at www.chorewars.com.
Let’s face, don’t we do the fun stuff before we do the mundane? House Fairy and Chore Wars put a fun spin on chores by weaving them into a world created by imagination. Rewards reinforce getting the job done. Both sites offer parents a reprieve from being the taskmaster when it comes to chores. And that sounds like magic to me.
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