You play the do-you-want-dessert card to get your little excuse-maker to help around the house.
When he starts to call your bluff, look to ChoreMonster. The free web-based tool (soon to be released as iPhone and iPad apps) motivates kids to do everything from clean their bedrooms to feed the dog with interactive checklists and graphics. With a few easy steps, you customize chore lists online.
When your busy bee finishes jobs, he logs in, ticks off tasks, and racks up points, which go toward real-life rewards (ice cream, video game time, a trip to the zoo). After reaching a certain number of points, it’s bonus time: The tool releases virtual monsters onto the screen for your child to interact with.
Think of it as the icing on the cake.