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ffs my children are so lazy

(22 Posts)
minifingers Thu 05-Feb-15 17:39:56

I'm starting to feel like I've done something terribly wrong as a parent because my children won't do anything constructive voluntarily and cheerfully.

They have to be hassled to do music practice (despite the fact they like music, don't want to give it up, and are making good progress). While they're practising I have to stand over them nagging them to do it properly.

They have to be hassled to do homework (45 minutes once a week), and do it as quickly as possible. They do the bare minimum every time. Every time. That's if they do it at all. If I don't remember to make them do it they won't do it.

Getting them to do any extra work at home is like sawing your leg off with a nail file. I have to make them do some extra work as their writing is really weak.

And it stretches way, way beyond homework. Every day I ask them to put their shoes on the shoe rack, hang their coats up, put their bags on the trunk in the hallway. Every day they don't do it and have to be told again. Sometimes three times. They have to be reminded DAILY to pick their clothes off the floor, DAILY to put their plate in the sink, DAILY to pick their towels off the bathroom floor after a shower. Why? They've got memories like a fecking goldfish.

I'm sick of nagging and pressuring and hassling. What am I doing wrong? DS1 starts secondary this year and he's going to sink like a stone because he seems to have an allergy to homework.

DD is 15 and doing her GCSEs in a few weeks. She does fuck all work at home, and not that much at school. Luckily for her she's clever enough that she's still being predicted some A's and B's despite the almost total lack of homework for her entire time at secondary.

All my friends seem to have industrious little beavers fossicking away at their studies. They say things like 'oh, ds is such a perfectionist I have to stop him after a couple of hours otherwise he'd spend all night on his homework!" And it makes me feel like hurling myself over a cliff.

Please someone tell me that my experience isn't that unusual and my children won't grow up as useless wasters?

ahbollocks Thu 05-Feb-15 17:46:33

Your friends are lying ;)
Get more tough on them.

SunshineAndShadows Thu 05-Feb-15 17:53:17

What are the consequences if they don't remember by themselves? Don't nag about homework, if it isn't done there will be sanctions in school. What are their responsibilities? What are their routine chores. Sit down with them and give them jobs. Lay out your expectations and tie them in with rewards (lifts, screen time, pocket money etc) then let them get on with it. It they don't do, they don't get. Simples.
Please don't raise thoughtless, feckless adults smile

TheFecklessFairy Thu 05-Feb-15 17:53:48

Bin bags. Bin bags are your friend. Apart from the plates and cups put EVERYTHING ELSE into a bin bag and put it in the garden, clothes, school stuff, satchels, crap they leave lying around.

When they have run out of clothes, towels, and are getting into trouble for not doing their schoolwork perhaps they will see sense.

Serve their dinner on dirty plates - I'll guarantee you'll only have to do it once.

Do not be a wimp on this..............just do it, and start tomorrow.

Jackieharris Thu 05-Feb-15 17:56:45

Don't believe what other parents say!

TheFecklessFairy Thu 05-Feb-15 17:57:16

And..........they haven't got memories like fecking goldfish. They just don't listen because they know you will tell them again and again and again.

You say you are sick of nagging and STOP. Just do. not. do. it. any. more !!

Nanny0gg Thu 05-Feb-15 18:02:44

Homework isn't your problem.
Extra handwriting isn't your problem.
Music practice isn't your problem.

Let them take the consequences.

What they won't do at home? Come up with meaningful consequences and stick to them.

minifingers Thu 05-Feb-15 18:12:51

Homework IS my problem.

DD's school has given up on her because they didn't want to escalate the problem and end up excluding her. She has done almost no homework for 4 years and got away with it. And now her shitty homework habits have come back to bite her on the arse. She's currently in her room starting the 3000 word coursework essay for drama GCSE. The essay that needs to be handed in tomorrow.

I can't bear going through the same old shit at secondary with ds1.

LadyLuck10 Thu 05-Feb-15 18:16:06

Really you are enabling them to be lazy people. Just leave it, they need to face up to consequences.
Your dd is 15 and knows that you will be there to pick up for her, just leave her!

SunshineAndShadows Thu 05-Feb-15 18:16:39

But if there are never any consequences why would they change their behaviours? It's only your problem if you make your problem, along with the music lessons, dirty plates etc? The system won't change unless you change it - because they certainly won't change it?
Fast forward 5-10 years, are you going to nag then to write UCAS applications, job applications, remind them to get up for work or pay bills? Of course not, so start making them take respondibity for themselves

sosix Thu 05-Feb-15 18:16:46

Once in secondary, its up to them. Your friends lie.

Nanny0gg Thu 05-Feb-15 18:19:25

Her school has let her down but what exactly do they think you can do?

She needs to fail. And she will definitely fail A-levels with this attitude.

What are her ambitions?

minifingers Thu 05-Feb-15 18:20:36

There will be consequences. Of course there will be.

But they're a few years off and they're kids, so they don't bloody care!

Consequences of not doing homework = stopping in at break time in a nice warm classroom to catch up.

Consequences of not doing music practice = not learning an instrument, therefore more time to do bloody nothing.

Consequences of not picking up their clothes = living in a shit hole. They don't bloody care!

KentExpecting Thu 05-Feb-15 18:22:13

FecklessFairy is spot on. Also works for messy DHs. Mine has a habit of leaving used tea bags in the kitchen counter rather than placing them in the bin that is two steps away max. He stopped that once I started moving them to a much more appropriate place: on top of his computer keyboard.

minifingers Thu 05-Feb-15 18:22:41

She won't be doing A levels. Oh no. No no no no no.

She's got a place on a BTEC. She'll do the bare minimum and get through on her wits, her smarm, and her ability to hand in exquisitely presented work where the content is actually a bit shit because she's done it while facebooking/texting/watching East Enders/plucking her eyebrows.

SunshineAndShadows Thu 05-Feb-15 18:23:40

So as I suggested before sit down ith them and Kay out your expectations in terms of their responsibilities and potential sanctions in terms of pocket money, screen time etc.
Sorry OP I know you're frustrated but you don't seem to want to try and actually do anything to change it.

hamptoncourt Thu 05-Feb-15 18:31:20

I don't agree that it is your problem if your teenagers don't do their homework. If they get excluded how will this affect you? It will be their problem not yours.

I think you need to detach a bit and establish boundaries about what directly affects you and what doesn't. So, living in a shithole because they won't clear up (am not judging - mine are the fucking same) does affect you and I agree with PP re the bin bags. It's the only way to make DD tidy. DS will only tidy when I confiscate his PS4. I have also been known to drive off to work with the internet router in the boot of my car if they won't clear up grin

The homework/music practice stuff only affects them. They have to learn from their own mistakes, you really shouldn't be running around after them all the time like this. It sounds like you are exhausted and sick of the sound of your own nagging and I don't blame you at all.

Could you sit down with them and tell them straight you will not be nagging them about homework/music etc any more and that you accept they are old enough to be responsible for it themselves. Also explain that there will be XYZ consequences for untidiness (whatever will actually hit them hardest) The you have to stick to it!

Good luck

DisappointedOne Thu 05-Feb-15 18:34:00

There are actually biological and psychological reasons that teenagers are like this. You can hope it will be over soon (but then I'm 37 and still exactly the same).

beatricequimby Thu 05-Feb-15 18:35:33

I think you need to have different approaches with your dd and the younger ones. With the younger ones I would give them maybe three tasks that they have to do without being reminded. Eg music practice, tidy room once a week and clear the table. Don't nag, remind but if it doesn't happen no pocket money. Works reasonably well with my children. Your dd I don't know. It's harder to impose a new regime on a teenager as it might cause a lot of conflict.

Solidur Thu 05-Feb-15 18:39:19

Firstly, stop paying for music lessons if they don't practice!

I'm afraid I can't advise with DD specifically except that the 3000 word essay might just be the kick up the arse that she needs? I have a year 11 DC too so I sympathise!
I don't have problems to the same extent, because DC has has tough consequences for slacking, to which they are occasionally inclined.

When your DS starts secondary, he's going to have one hell of a shock, failure to do homework = automatic lunchtime detention, even if it's a genuine mistake.

That, plus watching his planner like a hawk might give him a jolt?

My DC year 7 got used to higher expectations pronto after seeing one of their friends in a lunchtime detention through a genuine error.

Having said that, DC y11 does have a weirdly automaton like workaholic friend who regularly gets A*. Not helping, I know - sorry!

HesterShaw Thu 05-Feb-15 18:49:21

Stop paying for the music lessons if they don't practise. Why should you fork out for expensive lessons if you have to stand over them and make them do it. That's one immediate consequence.

Dump everything they leave on the floor on their bed, including shoes, soggy towels, and leave it there.

Stop cooking their meals. Let them get their own.

There's a massive problem with education nowadays which is extending into FE. The children who don't get good GCSEs have to stay in education doing something, anything. BTECs and their like aren't allowed to fail them, even if they do sweet FA for two years. DH is lecturing on such a course - the kids who have always not bothered, and he is in despair of them. It's not the students who face the consequences on such courses - it's the staff. "Why is this student not doing well?" etc from OFSTED. The truth is of course is this student is doing fuck all work, but can't be kicked off the course because of targets. Similarly in HE, the tuition fees have turned all students into customers who hold their course leaders accountable for their own lack of effort and achievement.

I have no answers I'm afraid, unless she sees the light and wants to aim higher than that.

AlisonBakersdaughter Thu 05-Feb-15 19:57:25

My DCs are now all over 18. In the past I have turned into a raving fish wife; stayed up all night prompting them to write just a few more lines; written their assignments for them blush; got on first name terms with most of their teachers etc etc.

They are all now doing well. They all got decentish GCSE results God knows how and they have chosen their own career paths. They are still untidy. These days unless they tidy up their mess they don't get fed.

Not getting a Drama GCSE will not be the end of your DDs world.


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