I've just sent a horribly PA text to my children.

(94 Posts)
AtYourCervix Mon 07-Jul-14 15:02:25

Along the lines of.... 'thanks for tidying up.... oh wait, you didn't'.

In my defence I am v tired, working nights and they are both doing nothing at all and haven't even washed up.

How the bloody hell do I make them actually do some housey stuff? Do I write lists every day?

Itsfab Wed 16-Jul-14 13:13:27

Bogeyface - you have a very good point. I have run around to a ridiculous degree after my children and now it get the faces and the rolling of eyes whenever I ask them to help. DD used to be every tidy when small but at 10 her bedroom is a nightmare.

I have 9 and 13 year old boys and the younger will do his jobs without any fuss but I am fed up of having to remind them every single time. They are written down so they only need to look.

I no longer put their clean clothes away or pick up dirty clothes as much as possible. There is a note saying they have to take their dirty washing downstairs if no basket as they have missed it and I won't wash them otherwise. I fold their clothes and leave them in piles in the lounge. Two days running DS1 asked me to buy pants and PJs as he had none. I pointedly looked at the pile of clothes. He now takes them daily. DD and DS2 usually take at least 2 to see them. It is a small thing but I will take it.

I wish they would stop wearing so many clothes though. New PJS and trousers every single day with clean pants every morning and night isn't necessary. I have told DS1 if he has pants on every night he can wear his PJs at least twice. This happened once then he got confused hmm.

Bogeyface Wed 16-Jul-14 00:12:44

Thinking further, I wonder if we as mothers create the problem in part? Or rather, dont see it coming?

There is no email or news flash "Your child is now old enough to do X and in 6 months will be able to do Y". You start with doing everything for them and it becomes second nature. You pick up the toddlers discarded lunch plate when you take your own out, you put their washing on in the appropriate colour wash etc and suddenly they are 16 and you are still doing it. Thats why they leave their stuff lying around, you have always tidied it up so they take it for granted, and to a point so do you. I am sure thats what happened in my house.

There should be an app that tells you "Today your child is fully capable of doing the dishwasher including putting away stuff in the top cupboards" "Today your child is capable of understanding how the washing machine AND tumble dryer works" "Today your child will realise that your one weakness is his health. He will fake a migraine. Do not fall for this"

It would make a fortune!

Bogeyface Wed 16-Jul-14 00:04:40

Mary I disagree that they dont see the mess, they just dont care enough to do anything about it.

My son was like this (probably still is but lives with his GF so not my problem anymore and she is very bossy in a good way!). He would acknowledge the mess but say that it didnt bother him, and it didnt. He cared less about the mess than he did about putting the effort in to clean it up. I can sympathise, I am at heart the same. Some people are natural housekeepers, I am not. It is a real effort and pain to me to do cleaning and tidying, and although I try, I generally fail. I do it because I have to because of the kids. If I was on my own I think my house would look like a teenagers bedroom!

Maryz Tue 15-Jul-14 23:53:50

I honestly think they can't see mess. I really do. I think there is a gap between a teenager's eyes and brain, and it filters out anything they don't want to see.

That's the only way I can explain how a perfectly normal, pleasant 18 year old can eat her lunch in front of the tv and walk out of the room leaving plate, glass, crumbs and a crisp packet in the middle of the floor.

I mean, if she was on a beach she would pick up her litter [baffled].

If asked, she will do anything; but she just doesn't seem to notice.

And that's not to mention ds2 who appears to be blind and stupid and doesn't do it even if asked, but that's another story.

Bogeyface Tue 15-Jul-14 23:50:39

I think you have to give them each specific jobs so you can see which one hasn't bothered.

Also, this.

With DD2, DD3 and DS2 I give them each a specific job so it is easy to see at a glance who was lazing about (DS2 usually, with half a job from DD3!)

DD2 is great at doing her jobs, I havent had attitude from her yet and she is almost 13. But I get masses from DD3 and DS2, who are 9 and 8 respectively. I think it is to do with personality as much as age. But then DD2 is working for her Kindle! I bought one and then got one for Xmas, so I gave her the one I bought in exchange for her emptying the dishwasher and folding and putting away dry laundry (no mean task in a household of 8!).

Bogeyface Tue 15-Jul-14 23:47:15

Get her to make friends with someone with a baby.

Honestly, the best thing that happened to DD (almost 17) was making friends at college with an 18 year old who has a 1 year old. When she stayed over one weekend she came back declaring she was "totally knackered!" because her friend expected her to help out. Absolutely fair enough imo, but DD was shocked at the amount her friend had to do, and what she would have had to do if DD hadnt been there to cook the meals and help with the laundry. She was uber impressed that her friend was able to a physically demanding course as well as look after her baby before and after college (also, he isnt a good sleeper, I am impressed too).

Since then I might get the odd sigh if I say "Can you just do the dishwasher please?" but she gets on and does it and I get nothing like what I used to get!

Dodikemp Tue 15-Jul-14 22:54:40

I'm reading in awe and wonderment - my DDs are 3 and 1 and reading this thread I'm already dreading what's to come, especially as I know what a teenage bitch I was!

YoutheCat - that is definitely the way to sibling harmony. Doesn't create a team mentality but at least you can get on and do your own chores when it suits you and be held to account if you haven't or have done a crap job.

YouTheCat Mon 14-Jul-14 15:05:45

I think you have to give them each specific jobs so you can see which one hasn't bothered.

Spottybra Mon 14-Jul-14 15:01:29

Tread, that's amazing.

I'm going to start a younger version of that for my 3and 4yr old in the holidays if they want to watch tv. The rule is no tv until the room is tidy (there is a massive toybox to throw their toys in). Tidy up treasure hunt for today's tv password!

Spottybra Mon 14-Jul-14 14:58:14

Turn off the wifi, unplug the tv, stop paying for their phones.

That gets things moving with the 16yr old in this house. Social media is the main cause of 'I'll do it in a minute'...

NatashaBee Mon 14-Jul-14 14:55:28

That's fantastic, TreadSoftly!

brdgrl Mon 14-Jul-14 14:52:52

Tread, that is amazing.
I think I'd be murdered in my sleep if I tried it, but my last days would be fun!

Brd- I think this is one of those times to permanently remove the Xbox and give it away and make a show of doing so.
I agree...my DH isn't quite to that point yet, though, but he is getting there. I'm afraid he doesn't mind being called a cunt as much as I mind hearing him called a cunt!

I've just discovered that my cousin and his wife, change the wifi password weekly on a Saturday.

His kids are given a photocopy of an undated [so they can't google for the answers] Times crossword when their chores are done. The password is one of the solutions, and usually one that they have to work out several clues before they can get all the letters.

His daughters who often row bitterly over crap work together as a team in mutual harmony ish to get the clues so they can get it over and done with quickly.

I'm waiting to see what the evil genius's are going to come up with next. Quadratic equations probably.

deakymom Wed 09-Jul-14 23:52:10

change the password to their phones and the wifi you can get a lock box for the phone line better yet pull all the fuses

Milmingebag Wed 09-Jul-14 23:31:14

Brd- I think this is one of those times to permanently remove the Xbox and give it away and make a show of doing so.

Shock and awe.

ILiveOnABuildsite Wed 09-Jul-14 19:00:20

parsnipcake evil and inspired! I like it. Bet it works too.

Itsfab Wed 09-Jul-14 18:53:50

bdrgrl - if that was my child the xbox would be removed for a very very long time.

Words have just been had with DS after his attitude and he is only allowed one hour on his lap top a night.

stumpweasel Wed 09-Jul-14 18:45:34

We're at the very beginning of the teen years, so am reading avidly for tips. We get the strops already and "why would you do that" already prefixes a lot of conversations.

Both DS's are meant to do the washing up on Saturday and Sunday mornings but we're bad at policing this. Esp DH who is generally a fab Cinderella to my mad work-aholic self. But I'm going to insist on them doing this, they have to be able to cope.

Every Saturday morning DS's have to put a load of washing on so they learn how to use the washing machine correctly.

I do remove all their tech if they don't behave - it's the only thing that works effectively. They moan dreadfully about being bored but I'm not being their doormat. My earnings fund their school trips, their clothes, the roof over their heads. And if necessary I will disconnect the router/modem, hide the satellite services card and the Playstation controllers.

We're in this together.

brdgrl Mon 07-Jul-14 20:44:42

yes pixel if they care less than we do they know we will cave.

brdgrl Mon 07-Jul-14 20:43:22

Don't want to hijack thread with my own pleas for advice that works.. but for purposes of illustration...DSS lost xbox for a while after an accumulation of offenses. He got it back two days ago but with a limit placed on it of 21 hours a week. At this very moment I can hear him upstairs arguing with DH and calling him a cunt for this.

Pixel Mon 07-Jul-14 20:23:46

I stopped doing dd's laundry a couple of weeks ago. She hasn't noticed yet.

Her room is a complete tip too, you can't even see the floor. Trouble is my resolve not to touch it always falters eventually because we are renting and have regular inspections. I just couldn't bear the letting agents to see the state of it whereas dd couldn't care less.

Lara2 Mon 07-Jul-14 20:18:55

I went down the sarcasm rote with DS1 - the 'hotel' send him all manner of apologetic texts about the rubbish catering department, the noisy cleaners etc. He hates them so much he actually started doing what I asked! grin

missymayhemsmum Mon 07-Jul-14 20:04:46

Wake them before you leave with a 'please darling would you do x y and z by the time I come home from work at 5.30. Love you lots, have a lovely day
Follow up with reminder txt in case still asleep.
Blow your stack completely and storm out for the evening if jobs not done when you return.
If done, offer praise and thanks, how nice it is to come back from work to a tidy house, how you enjoy sharing your home with such lovely young adults. Open and share wine.

weeblueberry Mon 07-Jul-14 20:00:16

Are they your step kids? Am just wondering if they're being especially defiant because of this. Do they listen to their dad if so?

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