Asking teenagers to do stuff.

(21 Posts)
OwooenBled Thu 15-Nov-12 22:44:24

I work with the blighters all day. Their brains are still developing so keep instructions short. If you fire off a load of instructions they only hear the very first part. Say their name first to 'tune' them in to what you are saying. Don't look them in the eye - they don't like it! Try it for fun, I can tell you you'll get the following responses in shouty, eye-rolling teenage tones 'What?!'/What are you looking at?/Are you looking at my spots?/What have I done?!

slambang Mon 12-Nov-12 19:44:54

I find this works.

Me: You need to do XYZ. Tell me when you're going to get it done by.
Ds: Erm not yet.
Me: Ok, tell me the time it will be done by.
Ds: OK (thinks of the longest time in the future he can get away with)

Later (when of course it hasn't been done) I remind him again and ds doesn't have a leg to stand on complies.

brighterfuture Mon 12-Nov-12 19:37:38

I sometimes ask them to do the jobs when their friends are around as they are too embarrassed to say no and make a scene. I've had a whole gang of teenage boys taking my washing in off the line grin

flow4 Mon 12-Nov-12 09:44:35

grin seeker. Sooo true! Basically, any habit you don't get sorted with teenagers before they're two-and-a-half is going to fail! wink

Which is hard. Some of us who were so sleep deprived in our DCs' early years that we couldn't guarantee to bring the right tots home from toddlers', so it was utterly hopeless to think we might manage to establish any good habits!

itsallinmyhead Mon 12-Nov-12 09:22:18

I have a dishwasher...it seems to be on the blink a lot...it's also DD! grin

I remember a few years back (when I was a single parent) DD told me her friend didn't need to do anything at home, that her SAHM done it all...I told my DD that as I work full time, our house doesn't work the same way & unfortunately, for her, I was her mother and her friend's mother was not.

I've tried to instil a little responsibility in my DD since she was old enough to understand a household needs to pull together to work but even she admits she's lazy!

Quite frankly though, this is the only bugbear I have. She's studious, courteous (most of the time), doesn't give me sleepless nights over 'teenage relationships', drinking, smoking etc....so I ^ try^ to suck the slovenly side up...trying

seeker Mon 12-Nov-12 09:11:45

If people live together in a community, then everyone contributes to the community.

HappyTurquoise Mon 12-Nov-12 09:09:09

I find neither works unless they see that the rest of the family is doing their bit. They have to feel it is fair, so need to be reminded that parents are at work, or doing a multitude of other tasks and what their siblings do is not their business They are also influenced by friends for the better or worse. I offer a trade of them vacuuming, dusting and/or sorting laundry and caring for pets keeping their rooms tidy through the week in exchange for their friends coming round for dinner. (Also, I do these jobs too to keep on top of it and see what they miss, bake cakes, cook food they like and provide treats, iron, tidy, deep clean when I can).
If they don't do this, their pocket money is stopped, or they don't get the lifts they want, or I confiscate phones/ strictly limit screen time.
When friends come round, I ask them all to help set the table, serve drinks, and sort dishwasher and wipe the table. DH helps clear the table and I usually wipe the counters and sink, so they can see us helping.

It really doesn't work that well saying 'Do it now' - who wouldn't as an adult or almost adult take a bit of umbrage. No one likes being told what to do.

Instead I do countdowns, warnings in advance and anticipate (like with toddlers) as teenagers are so self focused - in a good way as they're developing their own personalities - so that they have time to respond.

So for example I know dd is going to want to go out with her friends/have a friend over at the weekend so on Friday I say don't forget your music practise has to be done, room has to be tidy, washing in the washing basket, plants watered before you have your friend over.

seeker Mon 12-Nov-12 08:31:30

The best time is when they are about 2.

I could have written your post about dd1 itsallinmyhead. Apparently none of his friends ever had to do anything and he was incredibly hard done to.

Best day of his life when we got a dishwasher. grin

flow4 Mon 12-Nov-12 08:24:02

Dishes... Don't talk to me about dishes... I had years of conflict with my boys about washing up, and basically got stuck in a situation where I cooked, I asked, I asked again, they did one or two items reluctantly then mysteriously disappeared, I nagged, I shouted, I did the rest of it, I did all the dishes that accumulated before the next meal, I felt hard-done-by... And it all started again.

Then 3 years ago I bought a dishwasher. Best thing I ever, ever bought!

itsallinmyhead Mon 12-Nov-12 00:31:11

I task my DD (14) with one chore, one...the dishes.

My DD doesn't only believe she has it bad, I actually saw a Facebook status which read

'When something really starts to get on your nerves that it makes you not care about anything anymore'

2 seconds after I mentioned that when she does the dishes, I expect them to be done properly (to which she rolled her eyes).

I was fuming! I am 36 weeks pg with quite a few pg related illnesses, including very painful SPD & despite it hurting to do so, I do most of the rest of the housework, including cooking (that is a killer, having to stand chopping etc). My DP broke his wrist a few weeks ago so struggles to help, though is generally great.

I normally remind my DD about dishes needing to be cleaned so the next meal can be made but this made me lose my rag.

I told her that I was no longer the maid and from now on I wouldn't be reminding her to do something she knows is expected to help out. If dishes aren't cleaned, food wouldn't magically appear.

She discretely deleted the offending Facebook status and told me she'd get on with the dishes & that she was sorry....

....it didn't last, DD still thinks that if she ignores the dishes, they'll go away...Meh!

Theas18 Sun 11-Nov-12 23:18:18

We go for, generally " this job needs to be done before event x " ie before you watch mersin please put the sheets on your bed etc. mostly works.

Even better are whole family jobs though " right I'm putting the dinner on, if you want eat before too late you kids need to agree who sets the table ,makes drinks and clears away" . If we are all working towards a common goal it works well.

What don't have a good handle on are te general " clear out and tidy your stinky room" type thins as they don't care - there isn't any gain to be had from completing the task. So it doesn't get done..

flow4 Sun 11-Nov-12 22:13:19

Oddly, I find "Will you do X?"works better than "Can you do X?" with my DSes.

I remember reading something years ago about men not responding well to "Can you..." . Apparently, on some level they think "Of course I can. Does she think I can't? Well then, I'm offended!" So they don't hmm grin

brighterfuture Sun 11-Nov-12 18:51:32

Whenever dc ask for a lift somewhere or to be able to go out, have a friend over etc. I always say ok but only if.....I then put the condition of all the things I want done before. This works pretty well.

I would like to do number 2 and sometimes I do but usually I get so exasperated that I just tell him to do it now.

Agree that neither works. YABU to them whatever you do.

<puts padlock on nail varnish box in anticipation of dd becoming a teenager.--

MsElleTow Sun 11-Nov-12 16:52:39

I think the second one works best TBH.

DH usually is off the "Do it now!" school of thought and it rarely works. They do it half heartedly and can get quite stroppy!

izzywizzyisbizzy Sun 11-Nov-12 16:52:35

The only thing works is going on and on and then taking privelidges - ask nicely either they say no or don't get around to it, tell them and there is a row.

Ive taken to withdrawing lifts - ie, can you unload dishwasher - ok in a bit, bit passes, lift needed, when the dishwasher is done, stomp, sulk, strop, me stands firm until dishwasher is done.

parsnipcake Sun 11-Nov-12 16:49:37

Nothing really works in my experience. I'm just looking forward to visiting their houses, trashing them, moaning about their food, emptying their fridge and leavi g without washing up ( with all their nail varnish in my bag).

OatyBeatie Sun 11-Nov-12 16:35:54

I think the second is better. It still doesn't work, but at least it doesn't infantilise them -- and it gives you a definite point in the future at which you can reasonably (but still not successfully) say "Do it now."

AUBINA Sun 11-Nov-12 16:33:54

So what, in your opinion works best.

Ask them to do it when you ask, choosing your moment, when they're not already doing something else.

Ask them and give them a time it's got to be done by, eg tea time.

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