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I've just sent a horribly PA text to my children.

(94 Posts)
AtYourCervix Mon 07-Jul-14 15:02:25

Along the lines of.... 'thanks for tidying up.... oh wait, you didn't'.

In my defence I am v tired, working nights and they are both doing nothing at all and haven't even washed up.

How the bloody hell do I make them actually do some housey stuff? Do I write lists every day?

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Mon 07-Jul-14 16:11:10

16 & 18. F##k that !

Cease all laundry henceforth.
Menu plan for the week and give them at least one evening meal each to cook for the family from scratch.
Wifi password for other daily/weekly chores and one off stuff like sort out old clothes for charity etc.
Yellow/red card system for common areas left like pigstys

Growing up [big family] we had a Master list of everything that needed doing at home on a daily/weekly/monthly basis. It was divided out among the whole family down to children U10. Personal or TV time didn't exist until it was done but because we had individual stuff to do, we could manage the timings ourselves.

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Mon 07-Jul-14 16:12:23

Are you really 28 or has it been a few years since you updated your profile grin?

ElephantsNeverForgive Mon 07-Jul-14 16:14:14

Your lap top will reappear _when you put your washing away._

Replace underlined text with what ever simple task seems most difficult to grasp.

Happydaysatlastforthebody Mon 07-Jul-14 16:18:20

Bollocks to the mind games.

Sit them down and agree a list of jobs each have to go.

The best punishment is no lifts and no money. That always works with teens.

MellowAutumn Mon 07-Jul-14 16:19:15

My 15 year old told me I need to write a book 'Parenting by sarcasm'

chinamoon Mon 07-Jul-14 16:23:01


Saturday morning is everyone tidy up time. We all do it together. (I'm making us sound like the Von Trapps. We still grumble and scowl at each other, and they still try and barter for England to get out of it but it usually ends happily.) If we can, we make it fun by putting on good music, playing very stupid laundry games and having a good chat. Finish off with a cup of tea and chat about plans for weekend and who gets computer first.

Sunday early evening - same again. Get set up for the week ahead.

If they are bickering, they cook tea or hoover the stairs. No argument.

AtYourCervix Mon 07-Jul-14 16:26:13

I am 28 and a bit.

Meals are always a bit do-it-yourself as we are all in and out at different times and some of us are picky.

D1 is normally helpful if I specifically ask her to do something. But it feels naggy to keep doing lists.

D2 is autistic, bad tempered and so foul I avoid even asking her to do stuff. But that has to stop.

Tonight I intend writing some Rules.

AtYourCervix Mon 07-Jul-14 16:27:48

And D1 has just out-sarcasmed me in her text reply. Cow.

kelper Mon 07-Jul-14 16:30:11

What did she say? My ds is only 6 so sarcasm is lost on him, but he does a good line in utter desolation when asked to tidy anything! I'm not looking forward to his teenage years!

Stratter5 Mon 07-Jul-14 16:32:28

I fucking LOVE that Sisters

OP stop doing stuff for them, they need to learn how to do laundry, cook a meal, clean, and tidy before they go to Uni. Draw up a rota, make them each cook dinner twice a week (or they don't eat), do their own laundry together, and give them a room to clean and tidy every single day.

Stratter5 Mon 07-Jul-14 16:33:35

Oh, and whichever DD wants a lift gets to clean my car.

They generally get the bus now grin

Deverethemuzzler Mon 07-Jul-14 16:34:50

I think kids of all ages should be helping around the house.
BUT don't expect them to know what to do or to care if its done. They don't and they won't.

Don't spring it on them after years of not expecting them to do nothing. They will just think you are suddenly punishing them.

I say this because my DM suddenly rounded on me when I was about 13 and called me lazy and selfish and that she was wearing herself into the ground because I never helped. This became her rant.
I was mortified, ashamed, angry and bewildered.

It hadn't crossed my mind to hoover or dust. I didn't know how to iron or wash or cook because no one had ever shown me what to do.

It all felt really unfair.

I am not saying you have done the above, its just a word of caution really.

Try and keep it calm and reasoned. Explain the things that need to be done, make sure you they know how to do it and try and try not to tell them they haven't done it 'right'.

Easy for me to say, I know...when DS was being particularly vile he used to put dirty crockery and cutlery away and I would find it later, mouldy. It was heartbreaking at the end of a rough day.

AtYourCervix Mon 07-Jul-14 16:35:57

She pointed out that having had only 4 hours sleep, I was probably feeling tired and irrational and perhaps I should go back to bed.

SquigglySquid Mon 07-Jul-14 16:36:00

And D1 has just out-sarcasmed me in her text reply. Cow.

But what did she say? grin

Teenage girls are easy. Start going through her room. Ask questions about stupid things like notebooks or journals. There's nothing teenagers hate more than invasion of privacy. If they can't clean their rooms, you'll do it for them (and bin their stuff you don't feel they need).

kelper Mon 07-Jul-14 16:37:58

In that case, i'd go back to bed. And stay there!!!

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Mon 07-Jul-14 16:41:32

Me too - 28 and 11 yrs old... dum di dum. smile

What did she say? grin

Maybe a version of this would appeal?

HillyHolbrook Mon 07-Jul-14 16:45:39

DM would write lists. I just didn't 'see' the mess she wanted me to sort if she didn't ask. If laundry was in baskets and dirty dishes in the dish washer, it didn't occur to me to do them. The house looked clean!

If I failed to do them, the dirty washing would find it's way onto my bedgrin This didn't work for DSis who was a massive tramp and would sleep in it, so if she didn't do the dishwasher on her turn, mum would wash enough plates and cutlery by hand for all but DSis, and present her with a pan of food and nothing to eat it with. She was quite a PA arse herself.wink

I still have a note she wrote one Christmas Eve for the two of us when our parents had to work, complete with illustrations of each step, detailing the days chores, and chores = £, a happy mum and a Merry Christmas grin

brdgrl Mon 07-Jul-14 16:48:24

In my experience, stopping the laundry service doesn't work. If you let them use the machine, they make a huge mess and you are back where you started, either cleaning up after them or trying to get them to do it! Plus they will wash one item at a time/overfill the machine/fling your own washing out to stick their's in. If you don't let them use the machine, you have an even bigger dripping wet mess. I had to abandon this plan.

Turning off wi-fi is OK, but if they have internet access on their phones, it won;t be that effective. And we've had spotty success in turning it off to only certain devices, so it ends up affecting us more than them! (Of course, if you get really frustrated, as I did recently, you can fling the modem in the bin and go without!)

Lifts and money seem to be the only commodity with a high success rate here...and once they get some money, you're screwed. [veryfrustratedandtotallyfedup]

ContentedSidewinder Mon 07-Jul-14 16:49:22

Have lists but not one offs, it has to be a routine.

ie on a Monday they do x Tuesday is Y, Wednesday is x and z etc

If you pay their mobile phone bills then you can threaten to cut them off, I know some companies allow you to cut them off for 24 hours.

My philosophy with parenting has always been "I get what I want and you get what you want" so they have to come shopping with no moaning to earn Minecraft.

I tell them that this is how it works in the real world too, your boss asks you to do work and in return you get money.

I have a routine list (I am a SAHM and the days blur into each other housework wise so I find it easier to refer to a tick list)

thornrose Mon 07-Jul-14 16:50:58

My mum expected me to do jobs willingly or not to bother confused what kind of a choice is that for a teen?

slug Mon 07-Jul-14 16:54:44

Wireless routers are quite small. First thing in the morning, while they are still in sleep sodden teenage mode, unplug the router and place in your bag. Then cheerfully go to work.

I have a friend who actually did this. He said day 1 was tantrums (his DS was 18) Day 2 was sulking Day 3 was defiance then on day 4 he came home to a house in a reasonable state.

SquinkiesRule Mon 07-Jul-14 17:12:48

When mine were 8 and 14 I used to pin up a list of things they needed to do before I got home from work (summer holidays) and if all was done to my standard I took them swimming for the afternoon, I was out of work after lunch each day. Best summer ever!
However the younger one has slacked off since and now lives like a slob in our back room, going to college and work full time. I may confiscate the x box controllers in return for him cleaning up his mess.

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Mon 07-Jul-14 17:14:52

Slug - my Dad used to do that with the TV Cable grin Worked well for bickering over tv channels also.

Stratter5 Mon 07-Jul-14 17:26:00

Dear God, I'm not advocating letting them loose on your washing machines shock

Teach them how to sort the laundry, what programmes to put each pile on, then supervise the first couple of goes. It's worth the effort, believe me.

I also have a laminated list of everything that needs doing in the house, separated into morning, lunchtime, evening, and weekly. Stuff like feeding the animals, cleaning the tanks, litter trays, picking up in the garden, lawn mowing, hoovering is all on there. There's a separate list detailing how to do chores like tank cleaning, separating and doing laundry, how much and whT to feed the animals. It means if I have to go into hospital I know anyone could carry on running the house correctly.

AtYourCervix Mon 07-Jul-14 17:34:35

They know how and are perfectly capable but are just completely thoughtless without being told to do stuff.

Like this morning. 13 hour shift. Knackered. Gey home at 9 (late). Teenagers still asleep. Dogs not fed. When D1 is poked to get up and supervise them so they don't need shutting in the kitchen, she whinges. D2 just ignored me.

I put washing on. Left clean load in basket on landing. Neither D could get into bathroom without stepping over it. But when I get up it is still there and not hung up to dry.

Sink full of plates. Crumbs on worktops. Floors not hoovered.

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