49. How to bribe a bored 9 year-old into doing her homework

A girl who really knows her onions

I can count on two hands the number of times I have spent whole one-on-one days with my nine year-old stepdaughter. This is because she has two younger brothers, who are very much omni-present, and a very loving dad, who she sees every weekend.

But for two days only, it’s just Me and The Girl, because her brothers went back to school yesterday and her girls’ school doesn’t resume activities until next week.

Unfortunately, one of the tasks I have been left with is to get her to do her homework. It would be easier getting shit from a wooden horse.

She will avoid this chore by any means possible. Yesterday morning, for example, I caught her rasping her eyeballs with a cheesegrater and hammering rusty nails into the tips of her toes. Anything was preferable to picking up a pen, or opening up the laptop and Doing Homework.

‘It’s such a chore,’ she complained.

‘You have no idea what a chore is,’ I replied. ‘Walk a day in my shoes.’

‘OK, ten,’ she challenged. ‘I’ll do your chores if you help me with my homework.’

And so the deal was struck.

Yesterday was an especially heavy chores day because we’d been away for a week visiting grandparents. There was a mountain of washing to do; a colossus of ironing; plus shopping to do and meals to prepare.

'Don't you come all iron mighty with me, Missy'

'When Mum sees these photos I'll get an ice cream'













But to be fair to her, she got stuck in. After loading the fridge with the product of our shopping trip, she loaded the washing machine, got out the ironing board, pressed not only her clothes but everyone else’s, peeled some potatoes, then finally made me a sausage sandwich.

'Three for me; one for him'










‘There,’ she said. ‘Now can you help me with the homework.’

‘No problem,’ I countered. ‘Point me to it.’

She opened her laptop and pulled up a page entitled ‘Flora and Venus.’

'You may leave now. I've got homework to do'

‘What do you know about them, Beef?’ Child 1 asked.

‘Er, one is a butter-like spread, the other is the second planet from the sun,’ I replied.

She rolled her eyes in that ‘Oh, per-lease’ way she has, and took the laptop back from me.

‘You stick to ironing; I’ll stick to Roman goddesses, eh?’ she said. Then shooed me from her room with a contemptuous wave of her hand.





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3 Responses to 49. How to bribe a bored 9 year-old into doing her homework

  1. haha, love it! It’s a struggle sometimes with my 8yr old daughter to do homework……and chores. Whereas my 10yr old son is a different kettle of fish, so helpful & I don’t even need to ask him to do his homework….boys are a dream..girls are a nightmare!

  2. Terry

    Funny to read different kids acting completely opposite to each other, my girl can’t wait to do anything, shopping, chores you name it she is there can’t get enough of it. Actually gets in the way at times. Every kid is different no two the same, it’s what makes them so amazing. My girl likes to work my boy likes to destroy stuff.

  3. ha! My 9yr old boy does nothing! Well, nothing other than create mess. He is currently wandering around twiddling his hair and dropping crisps on the floor, lol. If i give him a job to do he gets bored within a minute.