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Aunty Aidan on Motivation through Unpleasant Tasks
Aunty Aidan on Motivation through Unpleasant Tasks

Photo courtesy of Poppy Thomas-Hill.

A note to the uninitiated: Aunty Aidan is Aidan Montessori School's cheeky advice columnist. Have you got a question for her next column? Please email the grande dame herself - she's always happy to help.

Dear Aunty Aidan,

How can I motivate my child to do those unpleasant yet necessary tasks?

Tired of Nagging

Dear Tired,

None of us - no matter our age - is thrilled to do work that isn't glamorous. And yet it needs be done: making the bed, doing the dishes, brushing our teeth.

Using controlling language with your child and putting a NOW at the end of the demand garners more resistance than cooperation. Keep it simple and neutral and align your expectations with your child's skill set. Begin with an empathic statement and follow with a brief, meaningful rationale. Guide with, "What I propose is..." or "This is how our family does ______."

There will still be some light nagging -- though it might become less tiresome.

Aunty Aidan