If you have teenage step-kids who stay every-other weekend, do they do chores?

(59 Posts)
SlinkyB Sun 05-Jul-15 18:15:12

Just that really. I have a 15yo dss, and have two small kids (1 and 4) with DH.

Dss barely does anything around the house, apart from empty the dishwasher if it has been on.

Just wondered if this was normal?

Petal02 Sun 05-Jul-15 18:20:14

We had DSS stay with us Thurs-Sun EOW, plus a mid week night, right up til he started Uni. He never had to do anything round the house, DH insisted he was a guest. Whilst this is common in Disney situations, i don't think it's healthy.

SlinkyB Sun 05-Jul-15 19:30:17

A guest?! shock We're the opposite; often state that this his house as much as ours/his other home.

Did it not piss you off? Do you mind me asking if you have children with your partner? Just, I keep saying that ours will have to do chores and don't think it's fair dss gets away with it.

Petal02 Sun 05-Jul-15 19:44:15

I believe DH liked 'guest' status as it made it easier to put DSS on a pedestal, he was so desperate to ensure he continued visiting.

Yes, it drove me up the wall, and I think it's a miracle our marriage survived. No, I don't have children of my own, but I grew up in a happy step family.

wheresthelight Sun 05-Jul-15 20:22:12

My step kids aren't teens yet but they have chores to do while they are here. They are not guests, they are part of the family and therefore they are expected to chip in and help

BippityBoppity Sun 05-Jul-15 20:31:04

I don't have SC, I'm a RP but my opinion (for what it's worth) is that I would like my DC to do the same amount/type of chores at their dad's as they do here (I don't think it should be the exact same jobs necessarily - it's up to their dad to set the ground rules in his home).

I've always wanted them to have two homes, rather than one home & a visit to dad's.

Unfortunately, XH doesn't feel the same - he worries if he asks them to do anything they'll resent him. I've offered to back him up if the DC do moan about it to me, but he'd prefer not to take that chance.

K888 Sun 05-Jul-15 20:58:51

Yes I do think they should do some chores. I had DSSs x3 every weekend and they were never asked to do any chores, except as you say, very occassionally empty the dishwasher. It all contributed to an unhealthy setting - Dads house is the 'easy' and 'fun' house.

But then if there is no help, we as step mums are even more underappreciated - I don't know about you but I cooked every meal, cleared up, did their washing, their Dad washed up, hoovered, all while they had their feet up with the XBox. Not exactly conducive to feeling great as a couple either!!!

SlinkyB Sun 05-Jul-15 21:59:49

All and any opinions appreciated Bippitty! Yes, I think DH is worried that if we make dss do chores, he won't come here as often. He does make him keep his room tidy though, and shouts at him for leaving empty glasses/cans etc around.

Crikey K888 you have three? I'd be thoroughly annoyed at none of them helping.

I just know I won't be raising bone-idle layabouts, and get frustrated when he comes and does nothing around the house.

Renotry Sun 05-Jul-15 23:23:04

Just wanted to add that when I used to visit my father's house as a child I always did chores. Hoovering, dishes, beds etc. From a fairly young age as well, and no it didn't make me not want to visit. I wanted to see my father, washing a plate won't change that lol.

So I guess if it was my step mother replying to you she'd say that her step children were expected to do chores when they visited on the weekend and that was completely normal. We weren't guests.

ElliesPhotography Sun 05-Jul-15 23:28:48

I personally think they need to help at home, they don't come for "holidays". My partners sons come every weekend and they don't have to do nothing at all! I ignore it. Saves me stress. Well they will grow up into spoilt brats, not my problem.

Melonfool Mon 06-Jul-15 00:57:12

Oh god, such a difficult issue here.

dss 14, eow and one week night overnight and one just after school (and all the time his DM doesn't want him - so he's been here full time for the last two weeks).

His set chores are dishwasher, lay table, clear table, keep own room tidy, hang up his school clothes, put away his clean clothes, get changed when he gets in from school.

He does none of them without being told a million times. His bedroom is a tip barely fit for human habitation.

Dp does expect him to do it all but doesn't notice if he doesn't and doesn't tell him off.

So, answer no he doesn't, but yes he should - and, no, he's not a guest, he lives here, just not all the time. And I worry about the 'dad's house is fun' thing, and we've explained to him that it only seems that way because he's not here very much.

amarmai Mon 06-Jul-15 01:18:53

sounds like you're running free hotels . Very unfair for permanent resident children seeing the sks get off scot free. At the very least make the step kids father be their servant , not you.

CoolAs10Fonzies Mon 06-Jul-15 08:13:28

not teenage dsc but ages 3,5,7

they live here 50% of the time and everyone does chores.

clearing the table after meals
dishes
bedroom tidying
sweeping

in fact yesterday, all 4 children (incl my dd) were given the washing basket (clean) and were tasked to sort the pants and socks into piles.

it was pandemonium but they worked really well as a team.

Each of the children get 5p for completing chores

mrssmith79 Mon 06-Jul-15 08:20:47

When dsd was a teenager there was an expectation that she cleaned up after herself, made her bed etc. We didn't expect her to do anything over and above that - plus, she usually stayed Saturday night (trashy tv and takeaway on the sofa) and through Sunday (lie in, lunch out somewhere .and visiting family).

SlinkyB Mon 06-Jul-15 08:47:40

Ellies so you agree the sc should do jobs, but ignore the fact they don't? To save you stress? Do you have kids of your own?

I'm certainly no-one's servant, and will never have a hotel-like home. I was brought up by a hard-working single Mum, and my sister and I did all our own washing and ironing at age 11. It's not in my nature to run around after anyone, regardless if they're my family or not.

Melon actually your list sounds like ours wrt what he is expected to do. I just don't tend to mentally include stuff like keeping his room tidy and putting his clothes in the wash basket etc, as they only benefit him and not the rest of the house. My two boys will be expected to hoover and dust, and cook meals once they're old enough.

We do have to nag remind him to do everything, inc brushing his teeth and emptying dishwasher/clearing table, but I'm guessing that's a teenage thing. He does chores at his Mum's and gets paid for them. Not sure I'll be paying mine to do communal chores when they're older, they should be doing it to pitch in and do their bit to keep their home, which they help make dirty, nice!

SlinkyB Mon 06-Jul-15 08:50:35

CoolAs that sounds great! My 4yo still loves cleaning with Mummy...I have a horrible feeling this will change in a few years though! grin

Petal02 Mon 06-Jul-15 08:59:38

We definitely ended up with DSS thinking that ‘Dad’s house is the fun house’ – but that’s exactly what DH wanted! His desperation to be the most popular parent was so acute that he couldn’t see the bigger picture. So DSS was bought all the latest gadgets, was fed endless pizza, never even had to clear plates out of his bedroom etc etc., so he used to love coming to our house, therefore DH considered he had parented successfully. Only stepmums with Disney partners would understand this.

There were odd occasions when DH would insist DSS was a ‘family member’ rather than a ‘guest’ but that depended on the circumstances, ie if being a ‘family member’ would produce a more favourable outcome in a situation, then that’s how it would be. I used to tell DH that he should decide whether DSS was a guest or a relative, and stick to it, rather than cherry-picking the best bits from either option.

Ragwort Mon 06-Jul-15 09:06:20

Could this just be a 14 year old boy/girl issue rather than a 'step parenting issue'. I have a 14 year old DS and although I have done everything possible to 'encourage' him to do chores nicely and without constant nagging - it is an endless battle and quite honestly he is a lazy git. The usual punishments don't seem to have any effect at all.

He does none of them without being told a million times. His bedroom is a tip barely fit for human habitation - yes, you could be talking about my DS.

Ragwort Mon 06-Jul-15 09:07:12

My 4yo still loves cleaning with Mummy...I have a horrible feeling this will change in a few years though! - ha ha, my DS loved it at that age - roll on ten years and he is not so keen. grin

SoupDragon Mon 06-Jul-15 09:14:24

I think it's tricky when they are only there for a short time. Chores that are part of life and take little time (setting the table, filling/emptying dishwasher etc) are probably the ones to allocate to them.

I'm a RP and the DC see their father once in the week and every other weekend so very little in the grand scheme of things. If they were there for a longer period of time it would make sense to give them more time consuming chores although I would wish XH luck with getting them on board as I've had bog all success at home without having copious amounts of nagging.

PeruvianFoodLover Mon 06-Jul-15 09:17:05

I think the issue of "guest vs family member" in the NR household is entirely in the hands of the RP, tbh!

I've read posts on the Lone Parents board from RPs who moan about their exs making the DCs do chores, or join in with household tasks "because the DCs see so little of their Dad and he makes it boring for them". Some RP undermine the NRP by allowing the DC to choose not to continue with contact in those circumstances.

Not all RP want their DCs to be integrated into the NRP family, and if that is the case, it's usually better for the DC to be treated as a 'guest' in the NR household. I appreciate that makes things difficult for any resident DCs, though.

SlinkyB Mon 06-Jul-15 09:34:22

Petal yy to cherry picking between guest/family member. I think DH may subconsciously do this, depending on the situation or mood he's in. Some weekends we're all about the takeaways and dvd's/treats, others are more mundane and that's when I get frustrated at dss just lounging around on his phone whilst the rest of us are cracking on with a few chores. He's also here less and less as he prefers to be out with his mates.

Rag I too was wondering if it was a boy/girl thing, but was worried I'd get lynched or a load of people saying its got nothing to do with that. I'm certainly making the most of the help from the pre-schooler!

Soup you've hit the nail on the head there; it is because he's only here for a relatively short time (Fri-Sun night, EOW, plus a week here and there in holidays/when his Mum goes away). Will take your advice and ask him to help out at mealtimes more. He's pretty good at running up to the shop to get milk/bread when we need it too.

Peruvian I think dss Mum wants him integrated here. She left DH 10 years ago and has since re-married and had another child. Not sure what her views are on him helping around the house here or not, but she has been known to send DH photos of the state of ds's bedroom when she's at her wits end!

Petal02 Mon 06-Jul-15 09:45:00

Life really used to grind to a halt on access weekends - we couldn't decorate, go supermarket shopping, have any other relatives round to the house - it had to be intense, DSS-focussed time. Anything mundane had to be deferred.

However ...... whilst DH used to be very smug about his position as Favourite Parent, things seem to have changed slightly since DSS went to Uni. When he comes home in the holidays, he stays with his Mum, who's approx 20 mins drive from us (and DSS has a car) and he rarely contacts his Dad. Don't get me wrong, I certainly didn't want to be reverting to access weekends during the Uni holidays, but considering the ridiculous lengths DH went to, to keep him on side, (not to mention the £140 per week we pay for his Uni accommodation ...... ) its rather strange things have panned out this way.

BlueBlueSea Mon 06-Jul-15 09:59:02

I have three teenagers, one is DSS. None of them really have any set chores. They are expected to tidy their rooms and put their washing in their washing baskets, still a battle just for that.

My teenage DD tends to do more than the boys, purely because she is often in the kitchen chatting to me and I will ask her to empty the dishwasher or set the table as she is there. She also likes watering the garden etc.

I do very little cleaning, I have a cleaner/childminder who is in the house each day when the kids get home from school and she does all the cleaning and ironing. So getting the kids to do chores is not really needed.

SlinkyB Mon 06-Jul-15 09:59:11

That doesn't surprise me in the least Petal - I was a step-child but only saw my biological father during holidays. He would spoil me rotten with all manner of material things.

It's only as an adult you realise the sweets, treats and clothes aren't important. Being there for your child and nurturing and teaching them is (not saying your dh didn't do these things, just that my dad didn't).

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