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?

ThinkIveBeenHacked Mon 07-Jul-14 15:04:23

Stop doing their shit. Laundry, beds etc.

Mrsjayy Mon 07-Jul-14 15:06:31

I sent one of the dds a text thanks for putting the bin out I only had to ask you twice oh wait grin sarcasm is the only thing that works in my house or ranting like a loon it shouldn't have to be like that,

AtYourCervix Mon 07-Jul-14 15:06:31

Tempting. I don't do beds but laundry is a good one to start with.

AtYourCervix Mon 07-Jul-14 15:07:07

No reply from either yet.

BigfootFiles Mon 07-Jul-14 15:08:06

How old are your kids? I'd go back to basics with a list of things that need doing with a named person responsible for doing it. Maybe with a tick box for them to indicate that it's been done. Be crystal clear about your expectations and what will happen if those expectations are not met.

I haven't a clue how to help, sorry, am lurking for tips! smile

Mrsjayy Mon 07-Jul-14 15:08:33

I stopped washing clothes and if unacceptaple piles appear in the basket they do it themselves

OurMiracle1106 Mon 07-Jul-14 15:08:43

Stop cooking for them. Or forget to do the food shopping? Or better still forget they want pocket money to go have fun

AtYourCervix Mon 07-Jul-14 15:09:23

16 and 18. Both finished school. Nothing on until september.

ThinkIveBeenHacked Mon 07-Jul-14 15:10:03

I saw a great thing on Pinterest where a sign in the house said

"To get today's WiFi password, do the following:
*Hoover a room
*Do the dishes
*Put a load of laundry on
*Make me a cup of tea"

Might something like that work?

AtYourCervix Mon 07-Jul-14 15:14:43

I'll do lists.

And stop washing.

And if things still don't get done? Turn off wifi?

NatashaBee Mon 07-Jul-14 15:16:28

I was also going to suggest turning the wifi off until everything gets done.

Deathraystare Mon 07-Jul-14 15:22:44

I don't think sarcasm works esp on the lines "I have tidied up for you, again". They are just thinking "Good. So that's done then". Best if you can tackle it right away "Please take your bowls out. NOW" The NOW is because you will get a load of excuses as to why they can't.

My brother goes down the sarcasm route. They don't care that he comes home late after a full days work and sometimes after school meetings etc. He makes some sarky remark about the mess that is left (SIL quite oblivious). He has to clear the filth in the kitchen where they have spilled stuff from snacks and drinks before he cooks their meal. I have told him he needs to go on at then as soon as he gets home. Gets them to clear up just before he cooks etc. If I tell him to leave them to fend for themselves they really would make a mess and upstairs, his daughter is quite prepared to sleep on just a mattress if he can't get past the crap on her floor to change the sheets. Now I am really untidy, but last time I was there I took everything off their table and removed all the fag ash (courtesy of SIL) and cat hair. I also made a vain attempt at washing the floor and cleaning in the downstairs toilet.

The kids are both now teenage, so not little kids. I get cross for him but he has let it get like that but I don't think he gets much support either.

elastamum Mon 07-Jul-14 15:25:42

Ohh I really like the idea of changing the wifi password grin

mosaicone Mon 07-Jul-14 15:25:51

I did a wifi password one on mine last summer when they were 13 and 15 (and 7 blush)
They were really unhappy. Never had a more popular pic go on FB, I was a legend with parent friends!

CrapBag Mon 07-Jul-14 15:50:45

I do a list for my DH if there are certain things I want doing and I have asked and asked, I present him with the list. It seems to work. grin

I like the wi fi idea. Keeping that for future use (for the kids, not DH wink).

OwlCapone Mon 07-Jul-14 15:53:28

"To get today's WiFi password, do the following:...

Oh, I like that!!

thornrose Mon 07-Jul-14 15:56:31

I bloody love that!

SistersOfPercy Mon 07-Jul-14 15:58:05

Are you Facebook friends? I am with DS, one afternoon he was sat on the sofa swigging orange juice (he was about 18 at the time) when I came back in to find him gone out and carton on sofa.
I posted this on his Facebook wall with the words "A helpful infographic for you'
His mates ribbed him all evening and he didn't do it again grin

Youdontneedacriminallawyer Mon 07-Jul-14 15:58:43

Today's wifi password Bloody brilliant!!! grin

Shouldwego Mon 07-Jul-14 16:01:24

Mmm, no hints OP sorry but looking for ideas.

I wonder if a virgin superhub can change password easily??

SquigglySquid Mon 07-Jul-14 16:05:59

Wifi won't work if they have phones. They can just get on the internet that way. I'd take away their phones as well if you're going to go that route.

Parsnipcake Mon 07-Jul-14 16:06:53

If you leave them to do their own laundry, they will often just pull stuff out if the dirty basket and wear it. So I helpfully go in their rooms and tip the dregs of their cups into the basket so the clothes are unwearable until washing ( not ribena! Unless I am very cross). It also makes them more likely to bring their cups down.

Wifi password and sky box card works well here.

MissDuke Mon 07-Jul-14 16:10:25

Wifi idea is awesome!

16 & 18. F##k that !

Cease all laundry henceforth.
Menu plan for the week and give them at least one evening meal each to cook for the family from scratch.
Wifi password for other daily/weekly chores and one off stuff like sort out old clothes for charity etc.
Yellow/red card system for common areas left like pigstys

Growing up [big family] we had a Master list of everything that needed doing at home on a daily/weekly/monthly basis. It was divided out among the whole family down to children U10. Personal or TV time didn't exist until it was done but because we had individual stuff to do, we could manage the timings ourselves.

Are you really 28 or has it been a few years since you updated your profile grin?

ElephantsNeverForgive Mon 07-Jul-14 16:14:14

Your lap top will reappear _when you put your washing away._

Replace underlined text with what ever simple task seems most difficult to grasp.

Happydaysatlastforthebody Mon 07-Jul-14 16:18:20

Bollocks to the mind games.

Sit them down and agree a list of jobs each have to go.

The best punishment is no lifts and no money. That always works with teens.

MellowAutumn Mon 07-Jul-14 16:19:15

My 15 year old told me I need to write a book 'Parenting by sarcasm'

chinamoon Mon 07-Jul-14 16:23:01


Saturday morning is everyone tidy up time. We all do it together. (I'm making us sound like the Von Trapps. We still grumble and scowl at each other, and they still try and barter for England to get out of it but it usually ends happily.) If we can, we make it fun by putting on good music, playing very stupid laundry games and having a good chat. Finish off with a cup of tea and chat about plans for weekend and who gets computer first.

Sunday early evening - same again. Get set up for the week ahead.

If they are bickering, they cook tea or hoover the stairs. No argument.

AtYourCervix Mon 07-Jul-14 16:26:13

I am 28 and a bit.

Meals are always a bit do-it-yourself as we are all in and out at different times and some of us are picky.

D1 is normally helpful if I specifically ask her to do something. But it feels naggy to keep doing lists.

D2 is autistic, bad tempered and so foul I avoid even asking her to do stuff. But that has to stop.

Tonight I intend writing some Rules.

AtYourCervix Mon 07-Jul-14 16:27:48

And D1 has just out-sarcasmed me in her text reply. Cow.

kelper Mon 07-Jul-14 16:30:11

What did she say? My ds is only 6 so sarcasm is lost on him, but he does a good line in utter desolation when asked to tidy anything! I'm not looking forward to his teenage years!

Stratter5 Mon 07-Jul-14 16:32:28

I fucking LOVE that Sisters

OP stop doing stuff for them, they need to learn how to do laundry, cook a meal, clean, and tidy before they go to Uni. Draw up a rota, make them each cook dinner twice a week (or they don't eat), do their own laundry together, and give them a room to clean and tidy every single day.

Stratter5 Mon 07-Jul-14 16:33:35

Oh, and whichever DD wants a lift gets to clean my car.

They generally get the bus now grin

Deverethemuzzler Mon 07-Jul-14 16:34:50

I think kids of all ages should be helping around the house.
BUT don't expect them to know what to do or to care if its done. They don't and they won't.

Don't spring it on them after years of not expecting them to do nothing. They will just think you are suddenly punishing them.

I say this because my DM suddenly rounded on me when I was about 13 and called me lazy and selfish and that she was wearing herself into the ground because I never helped. This became her rant.
I was mortified, ashamed, angry and bewildered.

It hadn't crossed my mind to hoover or dust. I didn't know how to iron or wash or cook because no one had ever shown me what to do.

It all felt really unfair.

I am not saying you have done the above, its just a word of caution really.

Try and keep it calm and reasoned. Explain the things that need to be done, make sure you they know how to do it and try and try not to tell them they haven't done it 'right'.

Easy for me to say, I know...when DS was being particularly vile he used to put dirty crockery and cutlery away and I would find it later, mouldy. It was heartbreaking at the end of a rough day.

AtYourCervix Mon 07-Jul-14 16:35:57

She pointed out that having had only 4 hours sleep, I was probably feeling tired and irrational and perhaps I should go back to bed.

SquigglySquid Mon 07-Jul-14 16:36:00

And D1 has just out-sarcasmed me in her text reply. Cow.

But what did she say? grin

Teenage girls are easy. Start going through her room. Ask questions about stupid things like notebooks or journals. There's nothing teenagers hate more than invasion of privacy. If they can't clean their rooms, you'll do it for them (and bin their stuff you don't feel they need).

kelper Mon 07-Jul-14 16:37:58

In that case, i'd go back to bed. And stay there!!!

Me too - 28 and 11 yrs old... dum di dum. smile

What did she say? grin


Maybe a version of this would appeal?

HillyHolbrook Mon 07-Jul-14 16:45:39

DM would write lists. I just didn't 'see' the mess she wanted me to sort if she didn't ask. If laundry was in baskets and dirty dishes in the dish washer, it didn't occur to me to do them. The house looked clean!

If I failed to do them, the dirty washing would find it's way onto my bedgrin This didn't work for DSis who was a massive tramp and would sleep in it, so if she didn't do the dishwasher on her turn, mum would wash enough plates and cutlery by hand for all but DSis, and present her with a pan of food and nothing to eat it with. She was quite a PA arse herself.wink

I still have a note she wrote one Christmas Eve for the two of us when our parents had to work, complete with illustrations of each step, detailing the days chores, and chores = £, a happy mum and a Merry Christmas grin

brdgrl Mon 07-Jul-14 16:48:24

In my experience, stopping the laundry service doesn't work. If you let them use the machine, they make a huge mess and you are back where you started, either cleaning up after them or trying to get them to do it! Plus they will wash one item at a time/overfill the machine/fling your own washing out to stick their's in. If you don't let them use the machine, you have an even bigger dripping wet mess. I had to abandon this plan.

Turning off wi-fi is OK, but if they have internet access on their phones, it won;t be that effective. And we've had spotty success in turning it off to only certain devices, so it ends up affecting us more than them! (Of course, if you get really frustrated, as I did recently, you can fling the modem in the bin and go without!)

Lifts and money seem to be the only commodity with a high success rate here...and once they get some money, you're screwed. [veryfrustratedandtotallyfedup]

ContentedSidewinder Mon 07-Jul-14 16:49:22

Have lists but not one offs, it has to be a routine.

ie on a Monday they do x Tuesday is Y, Wednesday is x and z etc

If you pay their mobile phone bills then you can threaten to cut them off, I know some companies allow you to cut them off for 24 hours.

My philosophy with parenting has always been "I get what I want and you get what you want" so they have to come shopping with no moaning to earn Minecraft.

I tell them that this is how it works in the real world too, your boss asks you to do work and in return you get money.

I have a routine list (I am a SAHM and the days blur into each other housework wise so I find it easier to refer to a tick list)

thornrose Mon 07-Jul-14 16:50:58

My mum expected me to do jobs willingly or not to bother confused what kind of a choice is that for a teen?

slug Mon 07-Jul-14 16:54:44

Wireless routers are quite small. First thing in the morning, while they are still in sleep sodden teenage mode, unplug the router and place in your bag. Then cheerfully go to work.

I have a friend who actually did this. He said day 1 was tantrums (his DS was 18) Day 2 was sulking Day 3 was defiance then on day 4 he came home to a house in a reasonable state.

When mine were 8 and 14 I used to pin up a list of things they needed to do before I got home from work (summer holidays) and if all was done to my standard I took them swimming for the afternoon, I was out of work after lunch each day. Best summer ever!
However the younger one has slacked off since and now lives like a slob in our back room, going to college and work full time. I may confiscate the x box controllers in return for him cleaning up his mess.

Slug - my Dad used to do that with the TV Cable grin Worked well for bickering over tv channels also.

Stratter5 Mon 07-Jul-14 17:26:00

Dear God, I'm not advocating letting them loose on your washing machines shock

Teach them how to sort the laundry, what programmes to put each pile on, then supervise the first couple of goes. It's worth the effort, believe me.

I also have a laminated list of everything that needs doing in the house, separated into morning, lunchtime, evening, and weekly. Stuff like feeding the animals, cleaning the tanks, litter trays, picking up in the garden, lawn mowing, hoovering is all on there. There's a separate list detailing how to do chores like tank cleaning, separating and doing laundry, how much and whT to feed the animals. It means if I have to go into hospital I know anyone could carry on running the house correctly.

AtYourCervix Mon 07-Jul-14 17:34:35

They know how and are perfectly capable but are just completely thoughtless without being told to do stuff.

Like this morning. 13 hour shift. Knackered. Gey home at 9 (late). Teenagers still asleep. Dogs not fed. When D1 is poked to get up and supervise them so they don't need shutting in the kitchen, she whinges. D2 just ignored me.

I put washing on. Left clean load in basket on landing. Neither D could get into bathroom without stepping over it. But when I get up it is still there and not hung up to dry.

Sink full of plates. Crumbs on worktops. Floors not hoovered.

Lobbing Mon 07-Jul-14 17:43:33

Changing the wi-fi password is even better if you've changed the name first.

I find mine will do more if I leave lists. These lists have to be detailed and have details like 'empty liquid from cups before placing in dishwasher'.

Bange Mon 07-Jul-14 17:45:30

how do you change the wifi password?


AdoraBell Mon 07-Jul-14 17:57:38

YY to today's wifi code, I'm stealing that one.

I haven't done my DDs' laundry for a few years now, apart from exam fortnight, they are so close, it would for me shame to have to murder them for their attitude now nearly 13.

Sisters that was genius grin

Who pays for all their stuff Cervix ? Could you dock their pocket money, stop buying what ever it is they must have food wise, while still feeding them of coursewink

AtYourCervix Mon 07-Jul-14 18:03:38

They both have jobs. D1 earns loads. D2 not do much. I suppose I just pay for stuff they want/need. Neither are particularly frivolous or greedy and don't demand or nag for stuff (blimey - did I do something right?)

AdoraBell Mon 07-Jul-14 18:10:39

Mine were not let loose on the washing machine. I gave them proper lessonsgrin

DD2 actually enjoyed the responsibility it was supposed to be a punishiment for being gobby, not a fecking reward for it and DD1 realized that flicking the switch without checking the setting resulted in her lugging a basket of hardly spun track suits to the line.

We also showed them how to use the vacuum cleaner properly. They were not amused. We were undeturred.

My mum had a terrible habit of shrinking my clothes or dying them another colour. Funnily enough it only started in my teen years that I can recall.
............... goes off to contemplate that there may have been an ulterior motive that completely escaped me at the time ....

Itsfab Mon 07-Jul-14 18:37:14

My 13 year old told me I nag to much and moans and pulls faces EVERY BLOODY TIME I ask him to do something. He had a day off school today. 3 hours home alone. I told him exactly what needed doing and what would happen if he didn't. It wasn't done. It hasn't happened. I just can't face the faces he will pull and the attitude. He has wore me down to the point that I give up.

I have stopped putting their clothes away - months ago that though do the very odd thing - and for the last week or so I have folded them up and left them in individual piles. Twice he has stroppily said he needs me to buy more pyjamas or pants and I have pointed to the pile or told him he has plenty in the lounge. He is getting it quicker than the 10 and 9 year olds.


This week, no pocket money at all.

Stratter5 Mon 07-Jul-14 18:39:04

YY to showing them, Adora, mine were taught thoroughly too. I'm pretty fond of my washing machine (it plays a little tune when done), and didn't want it fucked up by careless small people.

ThinkIveBeenHacked Mon 07-Jul-14 18:41:13

If you do take theor phone/tablet/laptop, hide it in the washing machine.

Milmingebag Mon 07-Jul-14 19:02:43

How about asking they get a job ( might be tricky for one of them admittedly) and contribute towards the running of the house since they seem to need a reality check?

Otherwise tell them that money that would pay for their luxuries will be diverted to a pay for a cleaner in a week unless they ...... ( insert list of jobs needed to be done).

Milmingebag Mon 07-Jul-14 19:06:35

Itsfab - never give out pocket money for doing nothing. Assign them jobs for which they are paid if done properly.

Itsfab Mon 07-Jul-14 19:07:32

Just make sure you don't forget to take them out!!

Hassled Mon 07-Jul-14 19:08:24

Sympathies - I currently have a post-exam teenager lounging around the house doing bugger all too. I've taken to leaving post-it notes with very specific (i.e stating the bleeding obvious) instructions before I leave the house which has helped a bit, but I do feel myself building up to a full-on hissy fit.

Milmingebag Mon 07-Jul-14 19:09:05

Also Itsfab - every time he gives you attitude = he makes his own dinner/has wifi turned off/does his own ironing etc.

Itsfab Mon 07-Jul-14 19:12:29


we tried payment per day - full pocket money for 7 days jobs, less for not. Weren't fussed when got less.

Always full money but had to do what was asked when asked. Didn't last.

I have a chart up - was called earn your pocket money and they had 1-2 jobs a day.

Last month I did a new chart - responsibility chart. They have 3 jobs a day and sometimes one job has to be done once or twice.

Last 3 or 4 weeks they have had reduced pocket money. Weren't bothered. Warned them one more week and they would get nothing. They still got it as something went wrong. This week nothing as I have no change but they won't be getting anything.

Sent email to DS about what I said earlier. No response. DH ill so i have a sandwich and will be doing nothing the rest of tonight.

Milmingebag Mon 07-Jul-14 19:18:15

It's probably time for you to go on strike then or remove all gadgets... grin

RevoltingPeasant Mon 07-Jul-14 19:24:52

OP at 18 dd is old enough to understand rationally that she should pull her weight. Sit down and talk to her, you do a physical and demanding job and you need to not come home to a houseful of crap.

Then you need to make an American-style "honey do" list, as in "honey can you do...?"

Maybe 2-3 things every day. Simple and not overwhelming. If she does it then buy her a takeaway at the end of the week. Rules and rewards grin

brdgrl Mon 07-Jul-14 19:49:16

oh stratter, you misunderstand. Mine have been shown exactly how to do all variety of household tasks. They can use a washing machine, prepare reasonably complex meals, iron, hoover, mop, wash the car...but it makes no difference when faced with having to do something they do not want to do.
DSS is perfectly capable and has been given instruction in washing clothes...but when i withheld laundry services his response was NOT to do his own laundry in a careful and tidy manner and to the best of his ability.
Sometimes you follow all the usual advice and the kid doesn't comply. And sometimes you end up with no currency whatsoever except goodwill...which is never a sure or permanent condition with a teen. sad

SistersOfPercy Mon 07-Jul-14 19:55:05

treadsoftly my Mother used to iron my clothes.
I wore a lot of band T Shirts, Metallica, Megadeth type shirts. She absolutely HATED them because they invariably had skulls and blood on them. She'd wash my shirts with the weekly wash but if she came across a shirt she especially didn't like she'd iron the print and ruin it.

When I think back it was a bloody horrible thing to do to me but it didn't really work as I had a part time job from 14 so I'd just go out and buy another. She still moans about my T Shirt choices now. I block her out grin

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?

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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

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.

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!

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

That's fantastic, TreadSoftly!

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'...

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!

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.

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.

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!

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!

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!).

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 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!

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!

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.

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