While I might be a bit bewildered by this all-things-perfectly-pink-princess phase, I have found there are a few perks… well, at least aspects of this phase that I can work with.
First, there is a fantastic opportunity for bribery. While there are a lot of parents with great big sticks up their butts about this, I have no problem with positively reinforcing the behavior that I want.
Tiny has a chart of chores and behaviors that we are trying to mold into behaviors. If she gets 40 stickers she earns a trinket. To earn these stickers Tiny has to do things like brush teeth and get dressed on her own, put away the silverware, help with sweeping, move dry clothes from the dryer into a hamper, and eat dinner like a person instead of an animal.
And she is extremely eager to earn the Disney Mini Toddler Princess toys (a few pictured below). So far she has Jasmine, Tiana, Elena of Avalor (although she’s from a different mini toy series), Belle, Rapunzel, Ariel (with mermaid fin), and Snow White, among other princess-themed rewards.
Secondly is that Disney movies are filled with cleaning-themed songs and montages. While gamifying clean-up is almost always successful with little kids, making clean-up a princess-themed activity has brought it to a whole new level in our house. Today, for example, I challenged Tiny to get all of the clippings left on the floor from scissor practice within three songs (for two stickers, which meant she finally earned a new dollar store tiara). She put on a pink tutu and an apron, got out her toy broom, made her three song requests, and finished in record time. There was no fight, no whining, no pleading. She was excited to be a cleaning princess.
So if you have a little princess at home, maybe you could try it out! Here are some of our favorite song to get the cleaning party started. After all, doesn’t singing make every chore just a little more fun? (Now if only I could get those pesky forest creatures to come help when I sang!)
- “Happy Working Song” – Enchanted
- “Whistle While You Work“ – Snow White
- “Heigh Ho” – Snow White
- “Working Song (Cinderelly)” – Cinderella
- “The Music Lesson + Sing Sweet Nightingale” – Cinderella
- “Almost There” – Princess and the Frog
- “When Will My Life Begin” – Tangled
- “Human Again” – Beauty and the Beast
- “Cleaning the House” – Sleeping Beauty
And, although these are not strictly ‘princess,’ they are great if you’re creating a playlist of songs to get your little princess cleaning.
- “A Spoonful of Sugar” – Mary Poppins
- “Chim Chim Cheree” – Mary Poppins
- “Higitus Figitus” – The Sword and the Stone
Turning cleaning time into a fun game not only taps into their desire to be a princess but it lets you, the parent, capitalize on and participate in their desire for pretend play. Everybody wins, right?
This is a great post by The Maids about cleaning like a princess; it might help you come up with some ideas for convincing your princess that cleaning really is a game. Gamifying chores is usually successful with little persons.
Not sure how you feel about bribery? Here are some articles with a variety of perspectives so you can make up your own mind and decide what’s best for your family.