Parents have lots of tricks. We bribe our kids with snacks in return for good behavior, we play games to get chores and homework done, and we spell words aloud in front of our children so that they won’t catch on to what it is we’re talking about.
My husband and I use the spelling trick all the time. My daughter has learned that when we start to spell, it means something fun is coming soon. I could say, “Well, you could let her ride the T-R-I-C-Y-C-L-E, or you could get out the P-O-N-I-E-S for her.” Even though my daughter has no idea what we’re communicating about, she jumps up and down and says, “Yes, I want to! Let’s do that!”
Silly parenting tricks don’t always work. Kids will eventually figure out that they can be as naughty as they want as soon as you run out of cookies. Sometimes your child has a better game they want to play, and no amount of coaxing will induce them to help, and you’ll end up doing the laundry alone. And someday, they’ll learn to spell; some sooner than others. My daughter, for instance, could decipher a coded conversation about dinner when she was two. Once, after one of these secret communications, she nonchalantly informed me, “I do like P-I-Z-Z-A, Mommy."