(NEWS CENTER Maine) — It’s a fairly common issue: One member of the family (let’s be honest, it’s usually Mom) thinks she does more than her fair share of the housework. Over time, she starts to resent that the other members of the family don’t do more and/or don’t even seem to appreciate all that she does.

The question becomes when we want to change something in the family dynamic that’s big and entrenched, what do we do?

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Jack Burke says, “We all have somewhat entrenched operating systems at home and we don't like them changed. Our viewer, Ange, wants to change the system by getting more housework and appreciation from the males in her home.”

Burke says there are three basic approaches to changing the system.

  • Go Negative: Go on strike, make a scene, demand, refuse to do for them. This is exhausting and rarely successful.
  • Use Seduction: Offer things in return for compliance. This is the “Eat your broccoli and I'll give you a cookie" model. This model is also exhausting and not very successful.
  • FISH! – This is an up-front, fun sales technique, modeled after a fish market in Seattle in the late 1990’s.

FISH involves four principles:

  1. Choose your attitude, and choose a different one if the current one isn’t working for you.
  2. Play, and remain in a playful state of mind.
  3. Make their day, and go out of your way to make them happy especially if they are grouchy or irritable.
  4. Be there, and give them your undivided attention.

In summary, Burke offers, "Work Made Fun Gets Done!"