Works For Me: A Little Manipulation Never Hurt Anyone

Wfmwheader We mommas use whatever tools we have at our disposal, right?  And if the testosterone coursing through the veins of our little boys can be harnessed for our convenience, we should go for it, right?

I sure do.

Recently I stumbled across a really easy (and oh-so-funny) tip to get my boys to help me with things like carrying laundry baskets, moving furniture, bringing in groceries, etc….without a moment of arguing.  Here’s an example of how it works:

Me:  Stephen, I need some help moving these boxes to the garage. [Long pause here while I appear to be re-assessing.]  You know, never mind, I think these might be a little too heavy for you.

Stephen: [Popping up eagerly from the couch.]  Too heavy?  Those aren’t too heavy!  Let me try!

Me:  [Insert overly dramatic skepticism here.]  Are you sure?  There are a lot of them.

Stephen:  Aw, that’s easy, Mom, I can do them all…

Presto.  I get eager help from the boys, and they get an ego boost.  Works for me–every time!

Have an idea you’d like to share with all of Bloggityville?  Leave your link below.  WFMW guidelines can be found here.  If you don’t have a blog, you’re welcome to leave your WFMW tip in my comments section.

Remember that next Wednesday is WFMW: The Car Edition. Give us your best tips for handling life on the go. How to entertain the kids in the car, or keep up with your little league gear, or how to stock an auto first aid kid…let us know what works for you.

67 thoughts on “Works For Me: A Little Manipulation Never Hurt Anyone

  1. Tammy L says:

    Lol! I do this with my almost-3-year-old. 🙂 Today I was telling him what a strong boy he was when he was helping me. 😉 You should have seen his smiles! 😀
    Thanks once again for hosting WFMW. You are so gracious, and I know I’m not the only one who appreciates it! 🙂

  2. Jessica Snell says:

    At our house, with toddlers, I steal from Bob the Builder, and ask my daughter, “Can you do it?” for the happy response of “Yes I can!” as she runs to put away whatever I’ve asked her too. Yep. 😀 Glad to know that sort of thing works as they get older too!
    peace of Christ to you,

  3. KD says:

    That’s how I got my kids (and now grandkids) to go to the potty when I needed them to go. I would say “we need to go to the potty before we leave, but just remember it’s my turn to go first”…it got them everytime. They always want to be first.

  4. Mrs.B says:

    How funny!
    I also wanted to say how much I appreciate your hosting WFMW! I love participating and learning all the great new tips!

  5. Anne-Marie says:

    Oh, this is perfect…with 4 boys in the house, I suspect it will come in most handy! I’m thinking it might work with some of my girls, as well!

  6. Deanna says:

    how funny, I will have to try that! I love WFMW by the way! I only found your site a coupl eof months ago, and I have read them every week since, though this is my first time posting. It took me forever to think of a good idea to post about! I hope to do so more often now.
    Thanks and God bless!

  7. Salvina says:

    I do it with my boys too – and to tell you the truth, with my husband too. Ego-stroking, it’s naturally in the male’s genes I guess! 😉

  8. ThoughtfulMom says:

    Darn it. I forgot to add (spiffy bandage) after my name.
    Not quite enough sleep, I guess. Sorry about that.
    I’m thrilled to know how to get bigger boys to move heavy items. I’ll store that away in my brain for future use. 🙂

  9. mom2fur says:

    That’s really funny. I had a trick to make the kids think cleaning was fun. They were really into video games, and I told them to pretend the spray bottle was a weapon, and the dirt was the enemy.
    Trouble was, sometimes they’d make messes just to clean them up with their ‘weapons.’

  10. the Butler's wife says:

    OH! I LOVE THAT!!! I have raised 3 boys and I think you are on to something. What a positive way to reinforce our kids and yet get them to do what we want with no arguing. You go girl!!

  11. Liz says:

    heeeeeyyyyy my mom must have done that to me because I think I remember her thinking out loud that something might be “too hard” for me to do. lol!

  12. Penny says:

    Oh yeah. That’s helped me in many ways, not just physical. The old “this might be too grown-up/hard/delicious/fun for you” trick is one of the great tools of motherhood (and wifehood). Is wifehood a word?

  13. Lissa says:

    Oh, it drove me crazy that my mom could get any male to do anything under the sun when I was a kid. As I got older, I suddenly realized that it’s a lot easier to bat my eyes and appeal to that male ego rather than change a tire! 🙂
    I think you’re on the right track, Shannon!

  14. Christine says:

    I can’t wait to try this strategy on Son 1. Never too young to be manipulated, I always say.
    Looking forward to the car edition! Zoom-Zoom!

  15. Emily says:

    I’ve actually tried something similar with my two-year-old, but it only worked a few times and then he decided he didn’t care. 🙂 Maybe when he’s older!

  16. Faerylandmom says:

    Mothers of sons, take heed! I grew up with girls, so I didn’t know the value of this tactic until my son turned three. IT WORKS!
    Note: May also be used on reluctant husbands — especially when you’re pregnant. *evil grin*

  17. proverbs31 says:

    That’s great! 🙂 I do this with my kids all the time. Drama Queen just turned 4 and I’ve been saying… “Oh, but now that you are four I bet you can do that because you are SOOO big11” or “No, no, I don’t think you can do that…you’re not so big.” And they both work most of the time. Actually I can’t take credit because it’s hubby who started it and taught me how to do it. 😛

  18. Carrie says:

    This would work for my little Bam-Bam (6), but not for my other son (he’s 9 and tries his best to avoid work at all costs). It’s so cute though!
    I finally thought of something to join in on WFMW with, yaayyy!

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