[twitter]I washed dishes from a young age. My brother, sister, and I were in a formal rotation to clean the kitchen after every meal taking turns to be paired up to do the duty.

My wife doesn’t want to give our kids chores in that same way. “They have a lifetime to do dishes and clean up,” she says. While ours are getting off “easy,” some parents have trouble convincing the kids they should pitch in. Scientists even studied the chore dilemma for parents noting that if you want kids to participate you should ask them to be your “helper.”

Around here, Zacharie turned the tables on us this week by pursuing a chance to pitch in. He wants a chance to earn some extra money and help out. He wants to set the table, clean the playroom, and work in the yard. He’s negotiating a $1 fee for each task. A little steep in my books, but if it gets him to pitch in, help out, and get motivated, I’ll bite.

So when I mentioned I needed to get out and clean my car over the long weekend (a task I had let linger far too long), he jumped up and down with his hand in the air announcing “Oh, I’ll help! I’ll help!”

Mission accomplished. I took out the big bucket of Armor All materials we would need and kicked back in a chair in the sun to perform my supervisory duties.

First things first, lose all the trash that had been piling up in the back seat. Junk mail, straws, snacks, fast food wrappers, it was all back there. I just use the passenger side as a garbage collector, so I had Zacharie squeeze in there and toss it all out.



Then came time to vacuum the floor mats. This is a wonderful kid activity. Vacuuming is fun to them, the Armor All AA12V1 Car Vacuum is compact and light and fits in their hands. You plug it into your car adapter and off they go squeezing in behind the seats where Dad can’t. Awesome.

“Okay. Daddy. Everyday I’m going to do this for you,” he beamed between vacuuming back seats. “Everyday your car is dirty I’m going to do this,” and went back to making his own vacuum noises while sucking up rocks and dirt.



When it came to wiping down the dash and windows, I decided to chime in and finally help the poor kid. The disinfectant wipes scrubbed and polished all the door panels, the backs of the chairs they kick, as well as shining up the front dash.



I put the camera away before we tackled the outside of the car.


In the end, Dad got a shiny car just in time for it to rain on the second half of the long weekend, and Zacharie earned a dollar for pitching in.

He’s already asking when we get to go out and clean it again, remarking from the back seat on the ride to school this morning that he could see dust in the air. Well, now that he’s been trained and I have an artillery of cleaning supplies from Armor All, I just need to get a fresh beer to sip while I “supervise.”


Now here’s your chance to win a great Spring Clean Challenge Package from Armor All (Zacharie not included) and get your kids to do all the hard/fun work for you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Win This Armor All Spring Cleaning Kit From DadCAMP

Thanks to Armor All for supporting Team Diabetes Canada
in exchange for this branded content and contest.

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  1. Joe Boughner May 21, 2014 at 8:54 am

    Words can’t express how badly my car needs a cleaning. If I can get the kid, who is the source of most of the nastiness, involved? Gold.

  2. Judy C (Judy Cowan) May 21, 2014 at 8:54 am

    By making chores fun and using a chart to track help and when they get so many stickers they get to choose a reward.

  3. Dada Mike May 21, 2014 at 9:10 am

    So far, the thrill of pleasing the At-Work Mama, keeps my toddler eager to clean up. It’s not sustainable, but I’ll take all the help I can get.

  4. angela m May 21, 2014 at 9:44 am

    My kids have their set chores like making their beds and sweeping.

  5. Darwin May 21, 2014 at 9:47 am

    We make it a game. We set a timer and we see how much we can clean in 15 mins. The winner gets an oreo.

  6. Andrea Amy May 21, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    We generally use bribing lol. We bribe with staying up late, slurpees, timbits or other things that we can use as currency for them. They are 4, 5 and 6 so tend to be bribed for fairly cheap at this point lol

  7. Josh S May 21, 2014 at 11:13 pm

    An allowance helps motivate

  8. Eldon May 22, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    Buy new toys whenever they do x amount of chores!

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