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To expect a yr 10 student to put his clothes in the wash and make his own packed lunch. Teachers also please answer.

(188 Posts)
PaulSmenis Wed 25-Sep-13 08:31:25

I'm having a dilemma with eldest ds, nearly 15.

I have been too soft on him imo and told him that he will have to make his own packed lunch as from the start of this term.

So far, he can't be arsed. This puts me in a difficult position. I think part of my job as a parent is fostering independence. He is definitely capable of even just making a sarnie.

I'm torn between letting him get to the point where he'll realise that he needs to make his lunch for school and making it for him. I'm worried that his teachers will think I'm neglecting him! If I keep making it for him, he won't ever make it himself though.

Apparently there was nothing to eat yesterday, but we had cheese, laft over roast veg, seedy bread and fruit. So, a good lunch there imo.

I've also put him in charge of getting his laundry in the machine. So, that hasn't been done in time so his PE kit is damp.

DP and I are also busy and I think it's time DS should be starting to take responsibility over meals, laundry and other bits. Unfortunately, he really can't be arsed and I don't want to be a pushover. So, it's a case of stalemate.

Will I get a call from the school asking me wtf is going on?

mrsjay Wed 25-Sep-13 09:33:34

fair enough paul there is nothing wrong with a cheese sandwich unless he doesn't like cheese of course

PostBellumBugsy Wed 25-Sep-13 09:34:11

Mine are younger and do everything you are asking your DS to do. I would say the lunch options may need a re-think. I tend to have stuff that is very easy to assemble, so that they can just shove things into their lunch bag & go.

My DCs would be in big trouble if they didn't make their beds (hardly difficult just have to put the pillows straight & pull up the duvet), put their dirty clothes in the wash basket and ensure that their towel is hung up after bath / shower.

They are also expected to help out with loading & unloading the dishwasher, mowing the lawn and hovering.

Stick with it PaulSmenis, you are doing a good thing by encouraging your DS to take some responsibility for his life. It will take him a while to get into a routine though & have a think about getting some more "easy" options for lunch.

ErrolTheDragon Wed 25-Sep-13 09:36:38

>They are also expected to help out with loading & unloading the dishwasher, mowing the lawn and hovering

my DD is quite good at hovering.... hmmgrin

chocoluvva Wed 25-Sep-13 09:36:46

Would he be bothered remember to grab something from the fridge for lunch if it didn't involve having to prepare it? Eg, fridge raiders, sausage roll, scotch eggs, + banana and apple?

PaulSmenis Wed 25-Sep-13 09:38:23

DS does do other housework, but under duress and with supervision. I had an ex who's mum had done everything for him and I don't want DS growing up thinking that a partner should be a substitute mum!

Sarahplane Wed 25-Sep-13 09:38:51

From 14 I either had to bring my washing through to the laundry basket or wash it myself because my parents got sick of having to pick it up from my room. My dd is 7 and washing goes in a basket in her room and then she brings it through to us when we nag her. Your ds is definitely old enough.

I think with his lunches you're best to ask him what he wants buying for them and then he can make it. Or give him some money to go buy stuff himself to make his lunch.

PaulSmenis Wed 25-Sep-13 09:42:57

Sarahplane, I actually offered to give him some money so he could go and buy his own lunch.

I did something similar with clothes and trainers a while back and he came back with books. He actually needed clothes and trainers, but didn't want to go with me.

Anyway, I said that I'd give him the money to go and buy stuff for lunch, but I would need to see the receipt. He told me that he was "deeply insulted" that I would ask for a receipt and said he wouldn't go.

noblegiraffe Wed 25-Sep-13 09:43:00

Well, given that his mates would probably take the piss if he turned up with a roasted vegetable wrap, it does seem like he's lumping it.

If you want him to eat lunch, and you want him to make it, then you need his buy-in. And seedy bread probably isn't going to cut it.

cashmiriana Wed 25-Sep-13 09:47:12

My Y10 DD1 makes her own lunch, does all her own laundry, does a large part of the family laundry, cooks family meals at the weekend, helps me prepare meals during the week, looks after her own bedroom, cleans the bathroom, hoovers, dusts etc when asked. Of course school work, music, and sports practice come first, and when she has exams I will excuse her from the general household duties, but it's not difficult to sort dirty washing and operate a washing machine, just boring and time consuming,

My Y5 DD2 does her own bedroom, has a laundry basket for her dirty washing and is expected to deliver it to the washing machine twice a week, puts her own laundry away, dusts, sets and helps clear the table for meals, and does her own packed lunches apart from the sandwich which I still do for her.

PaulSmenis Wed 25-Sep-13 09:48:00

I really don't understand what's wrong with fresh seedy bread. When I have got him what he wanted he didn't eat it.

I was getting white bread and sandwhich filler which he said he would eat.

mrsjay Wed 25-Sep-13 09:49:47

I dont think there is anything wrong with your food It is your son who can be arsed to make himself a sandwich for his lunch I think you have given him options and he still can't be bothered, he wants YOU to make it paul dont give in,

noblegiraffe Wed 25-Sep-13 09:53:42

You don't understand what is wrong with fresh seedy bread because you like it enough to buy it!

It is possible that your DS isn't bothered enough by food to make the effort to make something to eat. I'm like that, if food isn't instantly available, I'll not bother. I hate cooking and if my DH didn't cook, it's entirely possible I'd live on microwave ready meals.

When I was a teenager and had to prepare my own meals, I had pot noodles.

PostBellumBugsy Wed 25-Sep-13 09:53:54

PaulSmenis, why don't you take him to the supermarket & get him to choose his own lunches.

I admire your food principles but maybe you could put them to one side while you get your DS on track with taking responsibility for himself.

Take him to the supermarket and tell him he has a budget of X, with which he needs to find himself enough food for a week's worth of lunches.

Tell him you are not going to judge or criticise his choices, as you want him to take responsibility for himself. Let him get his own food & find a place in a cupboard and the fridge for him to store it. It may not be perfect or what you would choose for him, but it will be his first steps to managing a budget and making food choices.

Have the debate about sustainable food with him on another day.

stillstanding29 Wed 25-Sep-13 10:00:40

R u trying to get your DS to do his laundry and make his sandwiches? Or are you more caught up in winning the battle about laundry and sandwiches? He's a teenager you are the adult. Are you looking for a solution or are you looking to win?

PaulSmenis Wed 25-Sep-13 10:01:11

Well, there are certain issues when it comes to getting him food he'll actually eat.

The main one is that he still can't be arsed to take it to school with him!

The second is that he'll often eat it before he gets a chance to take it to school anyway.

Yes, I do have food in the house and we'll cook dinners and he eats them.

You're probably right about the sustainable food debate, but he seems happy enough to eat most of it. I'm just trying to do my bit for the environment and instill some good values. blush

HooverFairy Wed 25-Sep-13 10:01:34

I don't think your expectations are too high, but with all due respect I think you're imposing your control over him despite you trying to make him independent. You say there was food in, but it's clearly not very appetising for a teenage boy so there's no wonder he didn't look at it. You also say that you'll give him he money but you want to see the receipt!? He's a teenager, not a convict about to run off with the family silver! I think you need to take a chance - ask him what he wants, then buy it for him at the beginning of the week; or give him the money and help him assemble his lunch until he has the hang of it. That way you can still check up on him but you'll also be helping him.

I very much doubt that he can't do it! I think he's testing and pushing you. You need to give him a bit more supervision with it, eventually he'll get sick of what he deems interference once he knows what he's doing and do it himself.

The PJs thing is hilarious! I'm a teacher, and yes, I've been led to believe students are starving to death when actually they were just after a free lunch. That's teenagers for you, I'd mention it at parents' eve.

chocoluvva Wed 25-Sep-13 10:07:04

Hmm - it sounds like you're being very patient and reasonable with him - you've asked him what he'd like to eat and he hasn't eaten it, you've provided easy food that most people would like, you've offered to give him money to buy food, you've talked about the importance of good nutrition and learning to become more independent.

He either doesn't care about what/if he eats if it involves any effort on his part or not fitting in with his mates or he's enjoying winning this battle you're having with him.

I think you're wasting your energy. If I was you I wouldn't mention lunch again until he does. Don't offer him money. I know it's annoying and frustrating seeing him go without lunch or eating rubbish but I think you're sweating the small stuff here. It might take him a while to realise for himself that it's better for him, for all sorts of reasons to spend a small amount of time getting himself something for lunch, but eventually he will realise this for himself and do what's required.

chocoluvva Wed 25-Sep-13 10:07:57

x-posted with hoover

Great minds think alike!

PostBellumBugsy Wed 25-Sep-13 10:09:15

Ok, if he can't be arsed to take his own food choices to school - then that really is his own look out.

If he'd rather get school lunches and you can afford that, then I think you have to hand over the money or buy the vouchers or whatever scheme your DS's school has. What was the receipt request for?

PaulSmenis Wed 25-Sep-13 10:10:52

We had been getting him to write lists of things he'd like, but if he can't even be bothered to pop them in a lunch box, then I don't know what else to do. Perhaps he just doesn't get hungry at school?

stillstanding29 Wed 25-Sep-13 10:12:41

I didn't mean that nastily. My teenage boys drive me to distraction at times and I think it's easy to lose sight of the smaller issue because you can get so bloody pissed off with their overwhelming unreasonableness (if there's such a word).

FannyFifer Wed 25-Sep-13 10:13:57

Good god, my 8 year old makes his lunch & washes his clothes.

mrsjay Wed 25-Sep-13 10:14:26

I would give him dinner money if he is being so fussy or make him pay out of any pocket money he has life is far to short to be fighting with a 15 yr old about his lunch box I agree with the other posters who said similar to me sometimes dd makes a sandwich sometimes not I really honestly dont want to be fighting with her what she is eating at lunch time she puts her money in the lunchmoney machine and probably eats chips,

PaulSmenis Wed 25-Sep-13 10:21:08

Yeah, the whole lunch and laundry thing has probably got out of hand. At least he doesn't sleep in his school uniform or wear his pj's under his school trousers now.

I suppose I got all anal about health. I was giving him lunch money last term and his bag was full of empty sweet and chocolate bar wrappers. Cue the parental guilt trip!

Ho hum. I'll take him shopping again and hope he bothers to take some food to school with him.

Dysgu Wed 25-Sep-13 10:21:58

You seem to have done a lot to try to get him to do what you want but how does he feel about it?

Does he understand that he is going to ave to be able to organise himself or does he just think it is your 'job' to do everything for him?

Does he talk about what he would like for lunch - white bread and sandwich filler? If so, then you bought it, he didn't eat it. That was his choice.

He is a big boy now. He can cope with the consequences of not taking lunch to school and having a damp PE kit. If it bothers him enough, he will do something about it. He has the skills to make a packed lunch/use the washing machine (I presume) so, if I were you I would back off. You are making this your problem when it is his. let him find the solution himself (which, to you, is obvious).

On a side note, as a KS2 primary teacher, I am always amazed by the amount that parents 'do' for their children. Every day they seem to turn into some for of pack animal and are loaded up with their child's book bag, PE kit, lunch box. Do these children not have working arms of their own? We had parents question whether we really 'meant it' when we asked them to stop bring in their Y6 children and putting lunch boxes on the trolley etc.

DP and I both work full-time (although not sure that makes a difference as my DMum was SAHM and we all helped out at home from young age) but my DDs (aged 4 and 7) can already

-sort laundry as they take it off (two baskets on their landing (whites/others)
- load washing machine and put a wash on (with supervision due to detergents etc)
-sort clean laundry (we are working on folding) and put away in drawers
- put together packed lunch (DP makes sandwiches and fills juice bottles) by adding cheese, fruit yogurt and add ice pack
-set table for tea (plates, cutlery, glasses, condiments)
-take own plates to kitchen after a meal
-put toys away (not always as well as I would like but good enough)
-assist in making a meal - can both peel and chop mushrooms, peppers; weighing ingredients, they made a cheesecake yesterday - all I did was supervise (and ensure 7 year old let 4 year old join in!)

There are probably more - at this age it is all a game and they do not really know that they are developing life skills. I am not planning on still having to teach these skills in 10 years time.

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