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Tricks parents use to motivate kids

Many parents with older kids have tricks under their belts -- certain things that worked to motivate their children. Newsday's Facebook and Twitter fans share their favorites.

"Counting to 10 while changing her diaper. That way, she knows when it's going to be over."

-- Jennifer Gentile Kafka, Merrick

"Don't use Twitter. Don't use Facebook. Finger-paint. That's my tip."

-- Frieda Albert, Lindenhurst

"Never make empty threats."

-- Melissa Goedtel, Islip Terrace

"When they are begging or whining in the store for a new toy or whatever else they want, I tell them to put it on their birthday or Christmas list. Nine times out of 10, it works. I've yet to see a list. My daughter is 13 now, and I started this with her when she was 2. I now use it on my 5-year-old son."

-- Cassandra Mauck, Bayport

"If we went to Sears on Sunrise Highway in Massapequa, my son would always want to go to Toys R Us across the parking lot. So, I would give a hard look across to the store and say, 'Oh, no, the sign says it's closed.' He is 34 now, but we always joke about things being closed."

-- Joanne Sarnelle Ferrarese, Massapequa Park

"I spell things to my kids instead of saying them, and they learned a lot that way."

-- Danielle Ribando, North Babylon

"When my daughter was 3 years old, she thought there were monsters in her room at night. At the time, we had moved in with my sister's family, and my daughter slept on the bottom bunk of my nephew's room. The first night there, the usual yelling at the monsters to leave did not seem to satisfy her. So I spotted my nephew's fish tank with his two goldfish in it. I said, 'You know, really, no monsters would dare come in this room.' When she asked why, I told her that there are fish in this room and that fish eat monsters. She just looked at me with disbelief. Well, she loved to feed the fish, so I reminded her about how the fish food was actually 'dried monsters.' I elaborated that while she knew from feeding them that they loved dried monster, fresh monster was even better, so no monster would dare come in while the fish were in the room. Well, her face lit up and for the rest of the time we lived there, she was no longer afraid of monsters. Of course, when we moved out, I had to buy a fish tank with two goldfish! She's now 23, a law student, and can't believe she fell for that, hook, line and sinker (pun totally intended)!"

-- Peggy Reynolds, Mineola


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