It’s that time of year again, here in the cold and snowy Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Since we are surrounded by Lake Superior, we get lots of “lake effect” snow, a phenomenon caused by cold winds blowing across the lake, picking up moisture and dumping it on high land masses, like us. We get an average of 200 inches per year and now (as of February 6th) we have gotten 176 inches. See the snow thermometer here.

Last weekend we had to once again, shovel roofs off at Lac la Belle. We’ve shoveled our roofs here at home in Calumet a couple times already.


We did a video on using the “wire trick” to clear roofs one time here.

So, how do we motivate the kids to willingly help out when it comes time to shovel roofs? Do we resort to threats of 60 lashes with a wet noodle? Do they really do it willingly? Do we pay them for it? (sometimes, if it’s a rental unit.)

Yes they (usually) do it willingly as long as we don’t spring it on them. In other words, it works best when we talk about it and plan it ahead of time in our weekly family meeting. See my post on meeting here.

In fact, a big part of cooperation comes from knowing it’s coming… not surprising them, but setting expectations and communicating them beforehand. When they know, and expect, to be required to help out, and you plan the work ahead of time with their input, at a meeting, it becomes easy. No surprises = better cooperation and happier kids = happier mom and dad = happier family.



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