“Spin the Wheel!” Ensign, Oct. 1974, 75
Our children are two, four, and six years old. We’ve been trying to teach them responsibility since the oldest was two, but I often found myself threatening, raising my voice, and using other parental measures I wasn’t very proud of.
One day, after noticing how much fun the children had with “spin the spinner” games, I devised a “get-the-work-done game” for the whole family—and it’s been magic for a record-breaking three months!
I bought a dimestore spinner and fastened it to the middle of a heavy posterboard circle. I divided the circle into 12 sections, wrote jobs that needed to be done on nine of them, wrote “Pixie” on the tenth, and put gold stars on the other two.
We play the game right after supper, since Daddy’s home then. Everyone takes a turn spinning. If you get a star, no job! If you get “Help someone else,” the job takes only half as long. Or the Pixie (the little ones love this) helps without letting anyone find out who he is.
Depending on the job, it is either done right then or during the next day. Even our little two-year-old tries to do the job she gets.
It’s just a little game, but peace and cooperation have replaced yelling, and our children can’t wait to spin for jobs each evening. It helps remind Mom, and Dad, too, that they need to do the jobs they get right away.—Janice Izatt, Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico