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AIBU or indeed "harsh"?

(25 Posts)
CocacolaMum Thu 01-Aug-13 21:10:44

Back story: Ds is 12 and in the past we have had a bit of trouble with stealing and lying. Although it was difficult to deal with at the time in hindsight it could have been worse and we seem to be coming through it all alright. The only reason I mention this is because the behavioural stuff has been so frustrating that I didn't want this story to be thought of as a one off..

Last weekend we had an extra busy saturday. Had to go into town, had SIL and her daughter to stay and as car space was an issue and DS asked to stay behind at home I thought I would let him but I asked him to please wash up for me so that when we got home with the food for BBQ I could get on with the food prep and also to not go on the computer (its still covered in viruses from last time he used it). It wasn't much washing up, would have taken all of about 15mins.

We got back to find that he hadn't done any of what I had asked him to do and had spent the whole time on the computer he had been asked not to touch. I didn't make a massive deal of it, just informed him there and then that because he hadn't done the washing up that day he was not only banned from computers for a week he was doing the washing up, drying up and putting away for the whole week too. He shrugged and said "yup fair enough"

Fast forward to today and despite protestations from him I have stuck to my guns and he has been doing the washing up etc every day. I have to admit it has been bloody heaven not having it to do myself but today he threw a tantrum saying that I was being way too harsh making him do all of that work everyday...

So, AIBU? when I was 12 I did washing up everyday as part of my chores as well as hoovering my room and cleaning the bathroom. Not as a punishment but just because! I do get him to help around the place but usually its drying up and tidying his room and even that's not every day.

(and yes I would like a dishwasher but there is sadly no space)

cacamilis Thu 01-Aug-13 21:13:45

yup too harsh, one punishment was enough. You're just frustrating him with two and how can you up the anti when he does something really bad?

Justforlaughs Thu 01-Aug-13 21:13:48

I just wish I had the perseverance to do this OP, I do tend to back down after 5 minutes a while

kinkyfuckery Thu 01-Aug-13 21:14:41


I would maybe suggest that you lay out the punishment before the crime though, so he knows what he is signing up for when he chooses his behaviour.

Definitely not unreasonable to expect a 12 year old to be able to help out - even when not as a punishment, but he's certainly not unreasonable to moan about it - that's what 12 year olds do wink

Mogz Thu 01-Aug-13 21:15:54

YANBU, I used to vacuum, wash up, do laundry, dust, tidy, iron, gosh the list goes on from the age of 10 and I didn't die from being over worked. Give the little oik a clip round the ear and tell him he's lucky to not be doing all the housework. Or tell him fine, no more housework, no more computer.

LaurieFairyCake Thu 01-Aug-13 21:16:54

Not harsh. And you have to stick to it.

separate from this he should be doing chores every day. I'd make that his chore from now on.

He's 12, it's not ok for him to sit on his arse while everyone else runs family life and does all the work

deleted203 Thu 01-Aug-13 21:18:27

YANBU. 2 separate transgressions - separate punishments.

Computer ban for the week is for being on computer when specifically forbidden to.

One week's washing up is for failing to do the dishes as he was told.

And mine do the dishes, drying and putting away every night anyway, BTW. There are chores in this house, like there were in yours when growing up.

AnnabelleLee Thu 01-Aug-13 21:20:01

It sounds harsh as a once off punishment BUT he should be doing chores all the time anyway.

YouTheCat Thu 01-Aug-13 21:20:53

Not harsh. 2 punishments is fair. If he had done the washing up but gone on the computer it would have been appropriate to give him a week's ban.

If he hadn't done the washing up but hadn't gone on the computer, then washing up for a week would be fair.

But he did two things wrong so he gets an appropriate punishment for both.

Dejected Thu 01-Aug-13 21:21:13

Not harsh at all. The punishment fits the crime and if you back down now he won't believe you will follow through any punishments in future.

Shamoy Thu 01-Aug-13 21:21:45

Sounds fine to me!

Dahlen Thu 01-Aug-13 21:25:19

YANBU at all. But even if you regretted making him do that, you could only revise it for the future. Never back down once you've made a parenting stand unless it is wrong and totally appropriate to say "I'm sorry, I was wrong".

FWIW, at 12 I was doing way more than that.

rainbowbrite1980 Thu 01-Aug-13 21:38:31

YANBU. My three and five year old have some jobs to do after breakfast - sweeping the floor, putting away clothes, just to learn that it's everyone's responsibility! Before anyone says I'm cruel, they enjoy it, it gives their self esteem a boost to be useful, and I don't care if it's done well, just that they make the effort.

WandaDoff Thu 01-Aug-13 21:40:48

Now he know you mean what you say, where punishments are concerned.

1-0 to you grin

FryOneFatManic Thu 01-Aug-13 21:47:39

Not harsh, totally fair. 2 transgressions, 2 punishments.

My 2 certainly know that I mean what I say when I ask for chores to be done.

They are aged 13 and 9, and I have asked them to do regular chores for a long time. Nothing they can't deal with, but it is to make the point that we all live in the house, all contribute to any mess, etc, so should all do chores to help run things.

Whothefuckfarted Thu 01-Aug-13 21:57:22

I don't think it was harsh at all.

In hindsight, maybe you should have said before you left,

'if washing up hasn't been done you will be doing it all week'


'if you go on the computer you will be banned for a week'

Stick to your guns anyway. Next time warn of the punishment.

Tabby1963 Thu 01-Aug-13 22:04:13

You stated the punishments, he accepted what you said. That is that. Don't back down please. Say what you mean and mean what you say.

In future, when you ask him to do chores on a Saturday, he will be more likely to do them because he will remember what happened last time he didn't do them. He then has a free choice whether to do them or not, and suffer the consequences.

It is a very necessary lesson he has to learn. Do Not Back Down.

ChippingInHopHopHop Thu 01-Aug-13 22:11:52

YANBU and I disagree that you should lay out the punishment if he does something (or doesn't do something) that he has been told to (or not to) do - IMO that's simply giving him permission to do as he pleases irrespective of what you have said, if he's prepared to do the 'time' if caught doing 'the crime'

Both punishments are reasonable.

He is of an age where he needs to be under no illusion that you are in charge not him - otherwise the teen years are going to be a total nightmare.

Any 12 year old living here would be on dishes every night anyway, as I was at that age. They'd probably moan about it, as I did too - but that's life isn't it. It sounds like he generally has it too easy!

Whoknowswhocares Thu 01-Aug-13 22:16:54

He is only playing the 'harsh' card to try and wrangle out of the punishments!
If you let him off now, then you will have a world of extra trouble in the future. Keep strong, you have been totally reasonable.

formicadinosaur Thu 01-Aug-13 22:16:56

2 crimes. Not washing up and going on computer. No computer is fine. He should be doing the washing up or drying anyway as a daily chore. Additional one additional chore is fine.

formicadinosaur Thu 01-Aug-13 22:17:33

I think you gave to follow through now.

Squitten Thu 01-Aug-13 22:19:38

I would imagine that if he doesn't think it's "harsh", then it's not a very effective punishment!

My response would be that he should remember that the next time he decides not to listen to you

ZillionChocolate Fri 02-Aug-13 08:55:09

Not harsh.

Crinkle77 Fri 02-Aug-13 13:28:19

yanbu now he knows his actions have consequences

Wuldric Fri 02-Aug-13 13:31:17


And no you were not harsh. Actions have consequences.

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