Why is it so hard to motivate your kids?

I went to a parenting seminar that helped you determine your kids’ temperaments using charts and colors. These categories were represented by red, yellow, blue, and green. Each category contained some typical characteristics for certain temperaments. The premise was that each child is basically wired a certain way, and that’s the way they are, and you can’t change it, you just need learn to wisely respond to them.

 After studying the charts and the colors, the characteristics and the tendencies, I became a little dizzy and determined that my four kids didn’t easily fit into the red, yellow, blue or green groups. My kids’ temperaments were more representative of some kind of tie-dye category.

I did appreciate the coaching given to see my kids as unique and to learn to recognize and deal with those temperaments. I needed to learn how to encourage them and not exasperate them. I did want to respect those uniquenesses, but a top priority of mine was to deal with how every one of my kids was wired to be “lazy!” I knew that they were capable but they didn’t seem to know how to do certain household chores until I would say, “there’s dessert for anyone who takes their plate and silverware and puts them in the dishwasher.” The next 45 seconds reminded me of time lapse photography!

So, yes, I recognized that my four kids had different temperaments, but getting them to have productive days was not just a matter of realizing who was the “BLUE temperament category: focused, compassionate and needs alone-time, etc. Temperament was part of the equation. The other aspect of the parenting challenge was motivation.

As I pointed out in my example of the instant clean-up skills that came out of my kids at the mention of dessert, I came up with a system in my house that got all of my kids of varied temperaments to choose to get things done on a daily basis. I landed on a secret sauce that created a whole new DNA in my home. I discovered incentives that got their attention and spoke their language.

I put together my All Done Day parenting plan initially as an experiment. I wondered if there was a way to direct, train, AND empower my kids to be – well, better, more capable human beings, on a day-at-a-time basis. I knew that my kids had this ability to waste time and be lazy, but if they could do that, and do it well, why couldn’t they take that saved up energy to do things that were actually productive and helpful? And the bonus to them was that they were executing those purposeful daily plans, not just because mom or dad said so, but that there were built-in opportunities to grow – and they enjoyed the outcome that they desired! Unbeknownst to them, they were also developing good habits that would follow them through life.,

When I landed on the right incentives, that I guess I chose in part because of their temperaments, they were uber-motivated to get their daily plans done. They would earn their All Done Day coupons and redeem them for items from a uniquely designed list of options that I knew would motivate them most. Whether this would be screen time, special outings or activities, a longed-for toy or gadget, or a sleep-over with a friend, I quickly found what each of my kids would “work for.”

It became a quest for them to choose to win on a daily basis so that they could earn that incentive that was in their sights. They had the control of whether they would succeed. As a parent, I had to let them fail at times, but I was careful not to scold them.  I would encourage them that “tomorrow they could try again, and I just knew they could make it, and they did.” It was so much more fun to be the cheerleader than the nag that I used to be.

Does this pique your interest? I love to share my All Done Day concept because the results were so amazing in my home. You can change your home too!

I’ll bet you know at least one parent who would be interested in the All Done Day plan. Please forward this blog post. I hope you have the temperament that causes you to do that RIGHT NOW!

One of my favorite sayings is “Everyone Wins with an All Done Day.” Get my book All Done Day; How to Win at Everyday Parenting and find out how you can start helping train great things into your kids, one day at a time.

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Ann Lahm

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I love the opportunities to support parents and Moms in particular, that All Done Day has provided me.

Ann Lahm

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