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AIBU about distribution of "chores" what do others do?

(53 Posts)
Weathergames Tue 08-Jul-14 17:33:05

Please help me!

I have 3 DC 16, 14 and 12. I am single and I work full time (I have a OH but he doesn't live here and is overseas a lot).

I expect my DC to fold any clean washing and put it away, keep their rooms tidy and load/empty the dishwasher.

For this they get weekly pocket money (same amount each). I am constantly nagging at them to do these things, they argue when they do them, have regular "stand offs" over things such an unloading the dishwasher (ie: if one of them isn't home everyone waiting for all 3 to be home before starting it) and this "system" is generally not working.

DS1 has a weekend job and DD has a paper round.

DS1 has just finished his GCSE's and every day I have asked him to do something extra for me (hoover the front room etc so not a massive job).

Today he chose not to go to a 6th form taster session but left the house at 9am to spend the day with friends. I came home and the dishwasher hasn't been touched and his room was disgusting. I texted him and asked him to come home immediately (it was 5pm) to which he got moody and grumpy. When he got in I told him there is no excuse for leaving the house to do sod all and leaving his room in that kind of state. He then said it wasn't "fair" that DD is allowed hoke from cooking club at 6pm when her room is a state hmm.

I am sick of them all wanting to do "equal" amounts (this is impossible) and not wanting to do more than their share then getting moody and grumpy with each other while performing each "task". I am sick of nagging at them and being told they have to do "everything".

What do others do? What rules/rewards do others have in regard to children of different ages and with different commitments (both DSs have no hobbies whereas DD goes to loads of after school clubs, volunteers etc).

Please help me maintain some sanity....

ContinentalKat Tue 08-Jul-14 17:36:29

Rotate chores on a weekly basis, dock pocket money if not carried out to your satisfaction by Sunday 6pm (or whenever). Leave it up to dcs when and how to do chores, though.

Mostlyjustaluker Tue 08-Jul-14 17:38:55

Give them a separate list of jobs. The dishwasher division will cause problems as there is too much room for argument. Maybe have a daily rota eg child a empties on Monday and Thursday, child b Tuesday and Friday, child c on Wednesday and Saturday and you do Sunday.

Give them a list of weekly jobs and a time frame to do them in eg. Child a I need you to hover the living room and xx by the end of two days time or the weekend. This way they can have some control over when to fit it in.

Try having a meeting with them all and list all the jobs that you do, everything insurance, shopping, present buying so that they see what you have to do and then ask them which chores they will take off you.

GretchenWiener Tue 08-Jul-14 17:40:06

i don't link to money. they have to do it because they think it would be unreasonable NOT to do it.
I would try and have a calm non blamey meeting. Explain you are happy he has free time but it seems to be making more work for you.
While he is off he has to make the hosue look smart in the morning.
Praise him a lot when he does it and big him up - buy him a silly gift like an ice cream to say thanks.
Imagine how you would like to be treated.
I texted my GCSE finishing son the other day with
' bit sad to come back and its a mess sad"

and he never did it again.

RhinestoneCowgirl Tue 08-Jul-14 17:43:50

My DC are much younger (5 and nearly 8) but I've already had the huffing, the eye-rolling and the 'it's not fair!', especially from the oldest one.

My take on it (backed up by DH) is that we all live in the house, so we all do chores, end of discussion. Oldest gets pocket money but this is not linked to chores.

BitterAndOnlySlightlyTwisted Tue 08-Jul-14 17:43:58

Pocket-money in exchange for household chores doesn't work. That way, if they feel lazy and don't want to do the chores they can opt out and sacrifice the money. And then it's all your work instead.

The first thing I would do is to ignore their rooms. It's their space and if they don't keep it clean and tidy you can just shut the door on it and stop caring.

Don't get drawn into any arguments about what's a fair share or who else isn't doing theirs. That way, madness lies.

You delegate chores, either on a fixed schedule, or as ad hoc asks and that's it. You're the one in charge and you've got plenty of sanctions to fall back on. Like not cooking any meals for them, for instance

STOPwiththehahaheheloling Tue 08-Jul-14 17:49:25

I would stop doing what you are doing to keep the house running and let them see the actual consequences of everyone not pulling their weight. They are absoloutely old enough to have some empathy and not want their mother to be treated like a servant. My 5 and 9 year old can manage that and both offer to do things they see me doing.

FunkyBoldRibena Tue 08-Jul-14 17:51:28

List all the chores on a daily/weekly/monthly basis. List these on a whiteboard.

All sit around the table. Starting at a random point, all to choose a daily chore to do. Keep allocating one at a time until all the daily ones are allocated. Then weekly, then monthly. They have to do all these for one month. Then reallocate, choosing someone else to start the allocation process.

That way they can change each month and choose their least hated each month.

If daily or weekly chores remain undone, the internet gets turned off for an [extra] hour the next day until they are done. That way if one person lets the team down, everyone loses out.

CombineBananaFister Tue 08-Jul-14 17:52:39

I would list the chores as areas of responsibility, then it's that persons chores for a whole week no matter how many times it needs doing then make them swap areas every week? If they can't do it they have to trade with each (not involving you) so it gets done by a certain deadline.

Think a sit down chat is in order about their need to contribute to the family/running of the household not for treats but so you can all function - do they realize how much you have to do? I would also be severe about them whinging about the equal amounts. Does the 16 and 14yr old get to have more freedom then the 12yr old? if so suggest the equality they crave in chores will be extended to what they're allowed to do.

STOPwiththehahaheheloling Tue 08-Jul-14 17:54:49

If daily or weekly chores remain undone, the internet gets turned off for an [extra] hour the next day until they are done

Sod turning it off for an hour! Dont turn it on till all the chores are done.

GretchenWiener Tue 08-Jul-14 17:55:00

i dont think withdrawing stuff works.
i know as an adult I feel bad if people tidy up around me.
thats on the basis that you and your kid have a generally good relationship
Going tit for tat is petty and will just up the ante

You need to read the How to talk teenagers book OP

GretchenWiener Tue 08-Jul-14 17:55:30

you lot who are all arsey - do you have teens? grin

be cool guys, dont shout, dont get huffy.

CanadianJohn Tue 08-Jul-14 17:56:51

There was an article in a Canadian paper recently "how can I get the kids to do chores", something like that.

The answer was, because we're a family, these jobs have to be done, and since you are part of the family you have to do your share. Something like that.

I'll try to track down the article, re-read, maybe post a link.

CanadianJohn Tue 08-Jul-14 18:03:37


Even better, he says kids should do chores because it's good for them.

(I hope the link works, I subscribe to the paper, it may not work for non-subscribers)

Weathergames Tue 08-Jul-14 18:05:04

I am a counsellor and I work with teens blush - but other peoples grin.

We have a good relationship generally - this is the only bugbear.

Suggestions are great thanks smile

GretchenWiener Tue 08-Jul-14 18:07:24

i agree with JOhn

why should I do it?
I ask mine
and then we all do ti

RhinestoneCowgirl Tue 08-Jul-14 18:10:22

Spot on Gretchen.

blathin Tue 08-Jul-14 18:30:02

I've just come home from a week away to find my house untidy and though not terrible, bad enough to shock and upset me. My 17 and 22 year old were here. Now one spare room had been cleaned out but the hovering hadn't been done and the bathrooms were messy. I picked up 6 empty toilet rolls off the ground. I was very cross and very sad because they know how important a clean house is to me. They think I'm being OTT and though they have apologised my 17 year old is sulking. My husband doesn't involve himself so he's the good cop. He hates conflict and I feel very isolated. All my 4 children think it's my job to look after them. Am I being unfair?

STOPwiththehahaheheloling Tue 08-Jul-14 18:34:18

Now one spare room had been cleaned out but the hovering hadn't been done and the bathrooms were messy

You know what that means dont you? grin

And no being unfair- you are being made a fool out of. Who taught them it was your job?

My friend's 15 year old continually screeches "that's what mothers do" when asked to help around the house. Well her mum reinforces this by still doing everything.

STOPwiththehahaheheloling Tue 08-Jul-14 18:34:51

Sorry- that should say "no you arent being unfair"

BitterAndOnlySlightlyTwisted Tue 08-Jul-14 18:43:23

"All my 4 children think it's my job to look after them."

Who brought them up to believe that?

"Am I being unfair?"

No, you're not but how did you get to where you are now? Regardless, two of your children are old enough to live independently, so should be making a contribution. A family is like a community. Unless every member is going to pay for a cleaner/housekeeper then the work should be shared according to age/ability.

LumieresForMe Tue 08-Jul-14 18:45:04

Yep agree with the fact that linking chores to pocket money doesn't work.
Our motto in the house is 'we are all part of the team therefore everyone helps'. Sometimes if there us some grumpiness and 'it's not fair' I ask them how would they feel if I was doing the same than then if I was cooking but just for me, I was washing the others but just for me etc. surely they wouldn't like it so they need to do something g for the family too.

I think that giving them different responsibilities could be a way but they also need to know they if the dishwasher needs to be loaded, there is no reason for them to wave until the evening just because it's not 'their' task.

blathin Tue 08-Jul-14 18:48:04

No what does it mean? I know I reinforce the view of me as a housewife. It was so much easier when they were small and I felt my husband was more "hands on". now he hates any conflict and just wants a quiet life. Of course this leaves me with the mess. I know I'm right but I'm fed up.

LumieresForMe Tue 08-Jul-14 18:49:01

blathin no you are not being unfair and it's only fair to them, esp at that age, to do done tidying up.
And if yor dc haven't done it, then why in earth had your DH not done it? By acting like this, not only is he teaching them that it's ok for them nt to do it. But he is also teaching them that cleaning is a woman's job and that 'they' don't need to.

sadsad indeed

LumieresForMe Tue 08-Jul-14 18:50:41

Bye ask them. Would they act like this at a friends house? Would they like it if a friend was creating mess around their room and then expecting them to tidy it all? I don't think so.
Same applies to the house you are living in.

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