Deep Down, Kids Want to Help
For boys, especially if it involves power tools.
The kids didn’t want to help with my project until they heard the power drill.
I realize it’s truly hard to believe, comprehend, or accept, but your kids actually do want to help. They just don’t want to help in that way, the way you want, the way you think they might want.
You can’t just ask them for help. Well, if you have some strange kid who likes to offer help (we did have that recently, but figured out it was an alien in the pajamas of our 11-year old), they might offer to help out, but if it’s helping out on a “project” or reading Donald Duck, the duck is going to win out every time.
Let them know how much you need them.
Kids love being useful and helpful. My kids don’t usually want to actually lift a finger or exert a calorie of energy without some incentive, but it is of (albeit deeply subconscious) interest to help their parents. They want recognition, attention and love. That’s really about it (that’ll be $650 for that nugget of child psychology, please).
Also, once they’re into it, they usually forgot what they were doing that was so important anyway. Kids often have the memory of goldfish, so if you can just tear them away from their Donald Ducks for a few minutes and your project isn’t too terribly dull (pulling weeds didn’t win me any awards), you might get their help, their love and, gasp, even their thanks.
Crazy, I know, but give it a go.