Sunday, June 13, 2010

Helpful hint: Summer edition

Maggie Ross has three sons and a daughter whom she raised to be functional, self-sufficient adults able to cook well-balanced meals and sew on buttons. But while they were learning these life skills, they squabbled. And argued and fought and bickered.

At home Maggie tolerated it (most of the time) but when they were camping, she wanted peace. So being a clever parent who understands the psychology of motivation, she resorted to magic.

After every meal, Maggie washed the dishes and the kids dried – without being asked. In fact, Brent, Craig, Deb, and Buddy grabbed tea towels and practically fought each other for the opportunity to help. Maggie's secret?

Whoever dried the "magic" dish got a chocolate bar.

Maggie used the magic dish throughout every holiday, and the kids never figured out which one it was – although, amazingly, each of them got it about every fourth meal….

photo by Peter Griffin


  1. bribery and chocolate -- powerful combination.

  2. Chocolate and anything – magical combination.

  3. I am SO using that......What a neat mom, and a lovely written story. Lisa

  4. NOW you tell me! All my kids are grown and gone...
    But I'll pass this advice on to all the young mums I know.
    Thanks Rachel. Great story.

  5. Every generation can use a dose of magic!