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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?

BakedAlaskaStomper Sun 13-Oct-13 14:34:51

Oh sorry, I thought DS was 10, not 15.
Different bag of cats ...
I have one of those 15yr old lazy creatures in my house too. Won't bring a packed lunch, wants money to buy crap, tries to guilt me by showing me the free lunches they have in the school. (They are a bit URK). But they way I see it, there is plenty of food in the house, there is something in the school too, so I haven't failed in my duty. I am not making a 15year old a lunch! Anyway he's only moan.
(I grew up seeing my Dad make his own lunch for work every night - It was the biggest lunchbox ever! Half a sliced pan at least in sandwiches, 2 apples .... some cake too, and a litre of milk!)

BakedAlaskaStomper Sun 13-Oct-13 14:28:38

I fought this one too ...
I used to get them to do it the night before.
I tried Star Charts, that really worked, really got them into it. [Star Charts for everything! And a reward box]
I also ask them what thingys they wanted in the lunchbox - like dunkems, petit filou, crackers, seeds, football breadrolls, babybel etc.
Don't buy this shit in bulk when there's a special offer, because htey go off this stuff on a whim!
Sometimes they want to bring pasta.
If you have time, making some bread with them on a sunday is good, they are so proud to put it in their lunch!

chocoluvva Sun 13-Oct-13 14:13:20

That's hilarious - when it isn't your own DC. grin

lbnblbnb Sun 13-Oct-13 13:34:05

I am a teacher in a secondary school. If a students tells you they haven't got a lunch because they have forgotten it, they are told to go the office and the office rings home before they give them a slip for the canteen to get food. The money has to be paid back. He won't be going hungry, he is either getting food from his mates or using his own money.
I had a boy in my tutor group a few years ago whose mum would pack him an enormous pack up. He would eat very little, he wanted to play football all lunchtime, then come into afternoon registration and sell it all off to his mates. Her home baked goods! I had a quiet word with her. He was going home and eating like a horse, she thought it was just the enormous appetite of a growing boy. Teenagers.

chocoluvva Fri 27-Sep-13 15:33:17


PaulSmenis Fri 27-Sep-13 14:46:04

You can trick them into thinking it's a fun game when they're that age and they enjoy helping. DS has now twigged that it isn't fun at all.

Maybe Camilla likes a cheesy willy? grin

Lweji Fri 27-Sep-13 13:56:56

Didn't Prince Charles once suggest that people should shower less often to save the environment?

Feeling sorry for Camilla now. confused

chocoluvva Fri 27-Sep-13 13:50:49

raisah - OP's DS is clearly capable - he can cook a meal.

With all due respect the bit of your post that will jump out at the parents of older DC is,

"My ds is 4".


raisah Fri 27-Sep-13 13:48:19

My ds is 4 & loves putting dirty clothes in the washing machine, soap powder in the right compartment and switching it on. He knows which programme to put on & lives the spin cycle the best.

Your ds is more than capable of doing his oqn chores so stick to your guns.

PaulSmenis Fri 27-Sep-13 13:39:56

DS really does take stubborness to a new level. You can obviously sympathise choco! It really is quite something and I hope he can turn that to his advantage when he's all grown up. You're right though, stubborn doesn't do it justice. We need to come up with a new word.

ringaringarosy My mum was really soft on my DB. He could wrap her around his finger. If they hadn't moved abroad I think he would still be treating their house like a hotel. DM was even worried about what he would do when they went. He was in his late 20s.

ringaringarosy Fri 27-Sep-13 13:30:51

i never did anything at home,i had my firstbaby at 21 and the other 4 followed son after,its been a difficult few years getting used to running a house and cooking for a family,im still a bit rubbish at it now,my brother is 21,still lives at home,my mum does his washing,makes him a packed lunch for work,cooks his meals generally wipes his arse,if he doesnt like what she made him he rfuses to eat it and expects something else,she treats mydad the same,it hasnt done anyone any good.and its not because she cares,its because apparently no one does it as well as her and everyone makes too much mess!

op,persevere,offer ideas for food until he gets to grips with it.

chocoluvva Fri 27-Sep-13 13:23:49


Maybe your DS has royal blood.

Take two bottles into the shower? Don't wash just go!

PaulSmenis Fri 27-Sep-13 12:10:25

grin Why do your washing at 30 degrees when you can just not wash it at all? Didn't Prince Charles once suggest that people should shower less often to save the environment?

chocoluvva Fri 27-Sep-13 12:06:40

Perhaps he's very conscious of the need to be environmentally friendly? grin and hmm

PaulSmenis Fri 27-Sep-13 11:54:52

Crikey, they sound like two peas in a pod. DS isn't amenable to bribery either.

He'll be clean for school, but seems to think that personal hygiene doesn't matter at weekends or during the school holidays.

chocoluvva Fri 27-Sep-13 11:51:19

Yup - that's my DS too. (And I bet that was his DF when he was a lad too.)

It's the stubborn/lazy combo isn't it? Stubborn just isn't a strong enough word to describe it - my DS isn't even amenable to bribery. Far less rational argument.

(My DS has become very clean recently though. Loves his Lynx now.)

PaulSmenis Fri 27-Sep-13 11:40:15

I think some teenage DS just don't want to do the domestic stuff and some are harder to train. Saying that, DS was more eager to please before he hit puberty.

I think we both have DS that don't want to help out and dig their heels in * chocoluvva*. My DS has a really devious streak and can be very inventive and creative in finding ways in which he can do less.

He couldn't even be bothered to change into his PJ bottoms and used to sneakily wear them under his trousers ffs.

You would think he would be interested in personal grooming to impress the ladies at his age, but no. I still have to nag him to brush his teeth and change his clothes. He would probably wear the same pair of pants if I didn't check up in him ffs.

He'll have clean ones, but can't really be arsed to take them out of his drawer. He has always been like this and I just repeat and chivvy. Hopefully he'll get it one day.

chocoluvva Fri 27-Sep-13 11:32:45

It would seem that Paul's DS would rather go without lunch than take in a packed lunch that he (or anybody else) has made. IMO 13-15/16 is the worst stage for being affected by peer pressure and being irrationally embarrassed over nothing seemingly odd things.

If OP can wait it out for a year or so he will hopefully/probably have a better attitude to his lunch.

OP could try to force him to make himself packed lunches, by withholding all privileges but the consequence would probably be that he will co-operate and communicate with her as little as possible as she is incredibly unjust and harsh in his opinion. Or he would make himself lunch for a few days then see if he could get away without doing it.

I'm really impressed with the posters who have trained their DC to be helpful/responsible around the house. (Who am I kidding? That should have been, "I'm really ENVIOUS of the posters..."!) But they don't have Paul's DS or my DS and they might well have other problems with their teenage DS that Paul doesn't have. (Or they're not too bothered if their DS are organised/helpful/living a healthy lifestyle - for whatever reason, eg mrsjay takes the pragmatic view that if they have a healthy breakfast and dinner lunch doesn't matter too much.

Some teenagers are so stubborn/lazy that the effort of getting them to do things they really don't want to is counterproductive. Annoyingly.


PaulSmenis Fri 27-Sep-13 10:22:42

Jemima, He may well be worried about looking "moist". The thought of a moist teenage boy is pretty grim! grin

lljkk when DS has actually bothered to buy a school dinner he still manages to get it all down his jumper. confused

Bonsoir, yup, I think it is uphill work. Teenage boys are strange creatures.

Bonsoir Fri 27-Sep-13 09:33:50

He is definitely old enough but getting boys to do this kind of domestic self-care can be uphill work <voice of experience>.

DSS2 (16) left for a two-day school trip at the crack of dawn yesterday. I showed him what he could take for his packed lunch and snack for the first day and left it in the fridge for him to pack up himself first thing in the morning. I know that in his heart of hearts he feels neglected and sad that I didn't get up early to prepare it for him.

DD (8) wanted a packed lunch for school today (this is a real rare thing for her to do) because she and her two best buddies were arranging a collective lunch. She did absolutely all the organising herself, wrote me a shopping list 48 hours ahead and got all the boxes etc out last night and put them on the table. The only thing she needed real help with was cooking her pasta. She would feel belittled if I interfered in her self-care.

The difference between girls and boys...

lljkk Fri 27-Sep-13 09:28:15

I suppose choose your battles.
Giving DS cash for lunch costs way too much & I want y9-DS to eat lunch so we make it & put it in his bag. Skipping lunch does not make DS into a rational creature who learns from his lessons takes after his dad this way. Missing meals makes DS even more loopy & adds to the other problems he has.

Similarly, DS has a habit of ruining his school shirts with ordinary activities, I don't want him to add to the ruin-clothes-opportunities with strange washing machine choices. So we adults do the laundry which is still fine by me, too. He is asking for a laundry basket, at least.

But good luck in your campaign, I am genuinely intersted how it turns out.

JemimaMuddledUp Fri 27-Sep-13 08:04:27

Well I misread the title and thought you said 10yo (i.e. Y6) rather than Y10 (i.e. 14) and thought, yes, that is reasonable enough... So yes, YADNBU to expect your DS to!

My DS1 is in Y6 and has just turned 11. Every night he puts his uniform in the washing machine, makes sure DS2(9) and DD(7) have done the same, then he puts the wash on. He often pegs it out for me the next morning too. He has school dinners so doesn't need a packed lunch, but he makes his own breakfast and makes his own lunch and snacks in the holidays if he isn't eating at the same time as everyone else.

Mind you, he might become less helpful as he hits the teenage years...

bigTillyMint Fri 27-Sep-13 07:51:04

DS(Y8) says IHO only the "moist" boys take (and eat) packed lunch. Could this be the problem? Wanting to look cool?

PaulSmenis Fri 27-Sep-13 07:49:07

No, I haven't waited until yr 10 for this, but he has always needed prompting nagging with jobs around the house.

He's got worse about the whole lunch thing, although in lower school they had lunches and you could pay online. They were pretty good lunches too and the school made a point of using as much local food as possible which was nice.

So, I started him off with the whole packed lunch thing at secondary school and he never has got the hang of it. He'll make lunch at home though. He can happily whip up various dishes with ingredients at home. He just can't be arsed to make his lunch and when he does, he doesn't eat it.

As mentioned up thread, I'm starting to wonder whether he has some packed lunch issues.

Pinkbatrobi Fri 27-Sep-13 00:41:29

Sorry! Too many typos to correct them all but hopefully you get the gist...

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