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To expect a yr 10 student to put his clothes in the wash and make his own packed lunch. Teachers also please answer.

(188 Posts)
PaulSmenis Wed 25-Sep-13 08:31:25

I'm having a dilemma with eldest ds, nearly 15.

I have been too soft on him imo and told him that he will have to make his own packed lunch as from the start of this term.

So far, he can't be arsed. This puts me in a difficult position. I think part of my job as a parent is fostering independence. He is definitely capable of even just making a sarnie.

I'm torn between letting him get to the point where he'll realise that he needs to make his lunch for school and making it for him. I'm worried that his teachers will think I'm neglecting him! If I keep making it for him, he won't ever make it himself though.

Apparently there was nothing to eat yesterday, but we had cheese, laft over roast veg, seedy bread and fruit. So, a good lunch there imo.

I've also put him in charge of getting his laundry in the machine. So, that hasn't been done in time so his PE kit is damp.

DP and I are also busy and I think it's time DS should be starting to take responsibility over meals, laundry and other bits. Unfortunately, he really can't be arsed and I don't want to be a pushover. So, it's a case of stalemate.

Will I get a call from the school asking me wtf is going on?

Bearbehind Wed 25-Sep-13 08:58:29

this is the boy who used to keep his pyjama bottoms on under his school trousers because he was only going to have to change back into them later. There was also the changing into his school uniform before he went to sleep, to save him time getting dressed in the morning.

PMSL at this- he sounds ingenious enough to find a way of having lunch without too much effort- just make sure you aren't the one providing it!

Longdistance Wed 25-Sep-13 08:59:05

X post.

He just needs that push to do his lunch. Maybe get him to do it the night before?

pixiepotter Wed 25-Sep-13 09:00:00

I don't know.I think you needs to pick your battles.I have just dropped my eldest at UNI.They are grown and flown so soon, and they have to do everything for themselves then.You want them to thinkof home as a warm place where they were loved and looked after , not a battleground over petty issues.

ErrolTheDragon Wed 25-Sep-13 09:00:53

I do need to get my DD doing more... she did a lovely job cleaning the inside of my car yesterday but that was towards earning an iTunes voucher, she needs to do more regular stuff round the house just because she lives here and it needs doing.

lottiegarbanzo Wed 25-Sep-13 09:01:56

Well, not helpful but I think this is evidence in favour of training them when they're little and interested, not waiting until they're moody teens. However well trained though, teen whims may preclude making proper lunch or being tidy or organised for a while anyway. So I'd accept he's perfectly capable and just let him live with the consequences. Eventually he'll find a way.

HangingGardenofBabbysBum Wed 25-Sep-13 09:02:17

I will buck the trend and say that I think YBabitU.

Mine (yrs10, 9 & 7) put their washing out and away and tidy their rooms, but I don't expect them to do the washing or make their own lunches.

They often make supper during the week, they're all decent cooks.

But lunches every day? I think between homework, sports, extra curricular activity and being growing teens, they've got enough on their plates and I think it's my job to make their lunches every day; it means they get something sensible and soon enough they'll be solely responsible for feeding themselves every day.

And I think it's a nice thing to do for someone you love.

Bumblequeen Wed 25-Sep-13 09:02:40

I know of several women who still do everything for their teens as according to them "they will do a sloppy job".

My friends parents would hoover their bedrooms and I would watch in amazement. In my house, our bedroom had to be kept tidy. We had to place dirty laundry into the machine otherwise they did not get washed.

Once I got to a certain age, I felt uncomfortable with my mum handling my 'unwashed' underwear.

HangingGardenofBabbysBum Wed 25-Sep-13 09:03:10

Xpost pixie

cuggles Wed 25-Sep-13 09:04:14

Ok answering with my PE teacher head on...his kit is his responsibility and I would never accept any excuse involving a mum not doing it...certainly not in yr ten. Persevere with it all...i was ironing at that age and cleaning my room and other rooms and certainly maki g packed lunch! Stick with it...he may even thank you in the long run!...hmm!

PaulSmenis Wed 25-Sep-13 09:04:55

pixiepotter, I agree, but I am a pushover and DP is always pointing this out. DS is a good lad and I do want him to think of home as a warm loving place, but I also want him to make his own packed lunch.

He is perfectly capable of cooking when it suits him.

DrSeuss Wed 25-Sep-13 09:05:48

A teacher here- so nice to hear about a Y10 who isn't practically breastfed! At our school, we provide stationery packs in all GCSE exams in case they can't manage to bring a pen for a major exam! And we are not in a deprived area, quite the opposite. The head of year did actually ask if he should also provide a wet nurse to go round the exam hall and feed them all!

PaulSmenis Wed 25-Sep-13 09:08:15

He's a very resourceful and capable lad, as proven by his PJ bottom and getting dressed for school the night before solutions.

I just can't fathom why he can't whipe up a wrap for his lunch or actually put his dirty clothes in the laundry basket, which is actually in the bathroom next to his bedroom. confused

PhallicGiraffe Wed 25-Sep-13 09:10:00

Make sure his friends know that his mummy still makes his packed lunch for him :p

PaulSmenis Wed 25-Sep-13 09:12:23

Ha! Good one PhallicGiraffe. grin

fishandmonkey Wed 25-Sep-13 09:14:47

yanbu
if he doesn't make his lunch he will go hungry, or get a teacher to buy it for him (bit odd imo). either way, you don't have to make it which is the main thing. he'll learn to at least throw a few things in his bag, even if he doesn't make himself a proper sandwich.
as for laundry - if it's things like his pe kit or school uniform, which must be ready for school, then he might need lots of help remembering to do it in time. maybe get him into a routine e.g. every wednesday evening he must do a load of washing.
i think sometimes when mums do too much for their kids, the kids end up with the message that they are incapable of doing things for themselves, which can undermine their confidence and then when they do have to manage on their own they can find it overwhelming.

Vivacia Wed 25-Sep-13 09:15:05

These are very low expectations for a 14/15 year old.

I'd leave him to get on with it. If you're worried about what the school think, let them know what you're doing and ask for their support (ie sanctions for no PE kit, not lending money etc).

noddyholder Wed 25-Sep-13 09:15:39

My ds was like this. Lazy arse didn't want to do any of it. I admit I did loads and just showed him how todo most stuff He is at university now living in a shared house ad is doing everything so I think this sort of stuff causes unnecessary family angst. If he is hungry a few times he will do it!

Preciousbane Wed 25-Sep-13 09:16:22

You are totally reasonable, from 13 I was looking after younger dsis as my Mother was widowed and running the entire house. I am quite crabby that domestic servitude was from such a young age as my Mother has never been even remotely grateful.

So it is a sensitive subject for me and I have never wanted dc to do too much. My DS in year 8 packs and unpacks dishwasher every day and has to bring down laundry and he shares cat feeding duties. He washes out his lunchbox but I do make his lunch for him.

We also have occasional 30 minute bursts of chore time maybe once a week when a timer is set and we both rush about doing as much as possible.

sashh Wed 25-Sep-13 09:18:30

My friend's son has just started uni. He is living at home for his first year (due to finances).

She has just told him that she will only do his washing and ironing on a weekend and he will have to organise his own clothing, ie pull it out of the drawers.

I think she should not be dong his washing and ironing at all. I almost had to physically restrain her from making him packed lunches.

When your son is 18, and off to uni (or work) do you want him to be independent? If so this is the groundwork. Stick with it.

Weegiemum Wed 25-Sep-13 09:19:10

15 years old?

My dc are 9,11,13 (p6, p7, s2 - that is y5,6,8) and they all make their own lunch after tea each evening and bung it in the fridge. Each of them helps to make a meal each week (and 11yo ds regularly makes Bolognaise on his own), they all bake, and are responsible for getting own lunch on Saturday (toasties to noodles to beans on toast and dd2 is learning how to make cheesy pasta).

Washing - I shout for baskets when I need them (they all have their own) but if they want something quicker they have to 1) bring it and 2) tell me!

Does your 15 yo have other chores, OP? Mine also feed and clean out guinea pigs and rabbit, set and clear table, load and unload dishwasher and hang up washing. Hoover as required.

I sound like a slavemaster!!

stillstanding29 Wed 25-Sep-13 09:20:57

I don't know if you're being unreasonable but I think you may be fighting too many battles at one time. He doesn't sound like a natural job doer/organiser and I'm thinking you are going to have to nag and prompt and guide him which is time consuming and from the sounds of it frustrating. I would pick one thing to focus on at a time.

mrsjay Wed 25-Sep-13 09:24:37

in the nicest possible way I dont think the school would notice if a 15 yr old was eating lunch or not they dont really bother about that sort of stuff at his age, it is just a pakced lunch he is to make not a full 3 course dinner grin
keep at it he is old enough to get himself organised and as for the washing if it isn't in the washing basket it doesn't get washed P E kit or not I am on my last 15 yr old thank god and she is slowly learning that she has to look after certain stuff and if that is her PE kit then it needs to be in the washing basket a few days before she needs it and she has had to go to school with no note without it once and never again,

noblegiraffe Wed 25-Sep-13 09:27:51

I'm afraid the food you say would make a good lunch sounds distinctly unappetising to a teenage boy, and nothing like the lunches I see Y10s at school eating. Therefore I'm not surprised he ignored it and took in nothing himself.

Ask him what he wants for his lunch, put it on your shopping list and buy it for him. If he is then still not making a lunch you might have cause for complaint.

PaulSmenis Wed 25-Sep-13 09:32:19

stillstanding29, I've pretty much stopped shopping at supermarkets now and only buy local, sustainably produced produce. So, he's going to have to lump it.

PaulSmenis Wed 25-Sep-13 09:32:45

Sorry, I meant to address noblegiraffe there!

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