Motivating Children to Do What I Want

It’s late morning on a Sunday.  My bride is off at a class at the gym and I’m home with our kids.  All three of them are watching some TV shows on one iPad together.  One of the boys is driving and my daughter has lost all screen privileges for the day.  (For my daughter this means that she can look over the boys’ shoulders, but she doesn’t get any control or choice in what’s on the screens.)  I’m reading fairly random articles from Hacker News.

As I was reading about Why We Hate Cheap Things, I thought that I should suggest to my daughter that she do some chores to accumulate some more money toward her goal of Bentley.  In order to do motivate my daughter I need to:

  1. Get her attention
  2. Make some suggestions of which chores she can do (that haven’t been done too recently)
  3. Remind her of her goal
  4. Remind her of her progress thus far
  5. Record what she actually does
  6. Tally up the rewards she has earned
  7. Show her how much closer she has moved toward her goal
  8. Encourage her to do more tomorrow, or later, or next Sunday

Now, I love my kids.  A lot.  And I’m a lazy person.  Also a lot.

It would be really nice if I could make an exception to my daughter’s lost-all-screen-privileges day and say “Here, look at the iPad or iPhone and figure out what to do”.  She could then use the device to go through each one of those steps above.  See…there’s some lazy parenting that still helps my daughter!

If this project is going to move forward then I know that it is important to me that the app actually helps to achieve each of those steps.  If I can figure out a way to create an attractive design that can accomplish these criteria, then it may move forward.

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