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to ask my kids to help out

(33 Posts)
ghostspirit Sun 08-Feb-15 12:32:55

im 28 weeks pregnant. and single just me and the kids. they are 17,12,7,4 my house is a shit tip and i want everything to be sorted out so the house feels nice to live in. i got a new washing machine that i had to move and plumb in myself was bloody hard work. i have a gally kitchen. everytime i need to get a large item in i have to take the fridge out first. the bigger im getting the harder i find it. if i ask the older kids to help me move the fridge there is loads of moaning huffing and puffing because they cant be arsed.

i got a dishwasher the other day and had to do it myself again. i don't mind as such that's life. but my water can not be turned of so i have to get the inlet pipe on to the dishwasher at the same time its pissing with water. ask my 12 year old to turn tapes on up stairs so the water pressure drops a bit on the pipe... oh no we have to have a big discussion and grumbling because i asked him to turn a tap on ffs.

i built a wardrobe for the kids room i put the poxy drawer runners on the wrong way. so now i have to lay on the floor with my head in the bottom of the wardrobe.

i get breathless hurts my stomach and back get braxton hicks....

i sort of don't mind doing it because it needs to be done and i want the house to feel nice for me and the kids. but im thinking ffs just help with out all the yeah but thats not fair shit.

Annunziata Sun 08-Feb-15 12:41:04

YANBU, they need to be helping you.

but you having a baby will be a big change for them. Rudeness isn't acceptable but maybe this is their way of showing their nerves and worries.

AlpacaMyBags Sun 08-Feb-15 12:45:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Theselittlelightsofmine Sun 08-Feb-15 12:47:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Hamiltoes Sun 08-Feb-15 12:52:48

Agree with first posters "but.." Remark.

BUT.... Its a bit of a disgrace regardless to be honest. I think you need to sit the elder two down, especially the 17 year old, and have a long discussion about right and wrong and what they should be doing to pull their weight around the house. I would give them all set things to do daily and if they don't, no nothing from you! I'm talking pocket money, phone/TV time, treats for after dinner etc.

They live in the house too and should (especially 17yo!!) be taking shared responsibility. Even the 7 and 4 year old should be getting a list of weekly tasks to be doing. Keep it "fun" for them, as in many kids actually quite like to sweep up or such (-mine does anyway!) but make sure they understand that family is about give and take, and just because they are children does not give them the right to take take take.

At 17 I lived on my own and was more than capable of running a household after being brought up by a single mother who worked alot of night shift and overtime. And judging by the posts on here about various levels of "manchilds", I'd say there are far too many parents who think its perfectly acceptable to raise children without even the basic life skills such as knowing how to turn a washing machine on.

ghostspirit Sun 08-Feb-15 12:53:25

lol littlelightofmine one or 2 things will get us no where. to much needs to be done. we only really have weekends as i work during the week. time i get home feel like im going to fall apart. im sure we will get there. it would just be nice to get things done in a nice positive sort of way and think about the end result.

only one who dont moan is the 4 year old.

Annunziata Sun 08-Feb-15 12:57:10

Maybe if you keep talking about the end result they think you only want it nice for the new baby, not them. Teenagers have funny minds.

Sit them down, be nice and calm, and give them a list. No shouting or crying, no ifs or buts. If you get it cracked now it will be easier when the baby gets here.

Maybe you should plan something nice as well- it'll be hard with five!

ghostspirit Sun 08-Feb-15 13:01:50

hamitoes yes i agree 100% sometimes i mess up with the 7 year old. i tell them i want bedroom tidy everything where it should be and not just stuffed under the bed. the 7 year old used to cry and not do anything so then i would end up shouting at him for doing sweet fa. and i kind of forgot that hes still quite young. now i give him things to do one at a time. ie pull the things from under your bed sort into the things you want and things things you dont. works much better that way. The 4 year old does not question anything just does what she's asked.

the 17 year old wanted extra money to go out with and to stay over her mates. not seen much of her since friday. told her she could on the condition she comes home this afternoon and helps out, told her to be home in an hour that will be 1.30pm and get messages of her but why that time. does it have to be then. but what do we need to do bla bla

ghostspirit Sun 08-Feb-15 13:08:09

annunziata i have purposely not said its so that we are sorted before the baby is here. it partly is of course. but i have kept it for them. ie new wardrobes. new toy storage new rug for their room. so it feels nice and better to play in. 12 year old been given his own room sp he has his own space and we are making it nice for him as well with his gagets and bits. 17 year old wants her room in black and white so we are choosing new wardrobes/furniture for her room as well. and of course there is no point in all this new stuff if the house is a shit tip. and its all for them its being done.

angelohsodelight Sun 08-Feb-15 13:10:44

Can't your ex help you move heavy stuff, or a friend?

ilovesooty Sun 08-Feb-15 13:12:05

Well it seems the next time your 17 year old wants money she'll have to earn it before she gets it.
In any case moaning about contributing to the other running of the house and completing age appropriate tasks is hugely disrespectful of you and of their home.

ilovesooty Sun 08-Feb-15 13:13:29

Smooth running not other.

So your 12 year old has gadgets? I'd be removing those if requested tasks aren't done.

ghostspirit Sun 08-Feb-15 13:15:47

no he cant hes an arsehole... i dont have any support system. the things are not overly heavy to be honest. we have wood floor so it just slides. might have to sort of wobble it over the door frame bits. im just finding it harder than i normally would. 17 year old used to be really good helping out with heavy stuff. but then she turned into a china doll :/

angelohsodelight Sun 08-Feb-15 13:17:31

It's taken you 4 kids and one on the way to realise he's an arsehole? Just be firmer with your kids like others have suggested.

ilovesooty Sun 08-Feb-15 13:17:46

I thought she had a boyfriend who's over quite a bit. Can't he muck in?

Surely your daughter needs to realise that you're not going to fund things like socialising and phone unless she contributes?

ghostspirit Sun 08-Feb-15 13:19:40

yes ilovesooty i have done that a few times and right after i think ffs you mug done it again.

sometimes im not sure if it is right to ask them to help me move wardrobes/fridges/washing machines/dishewashers.... then on the other hand i think one day they might have to so maybe it shows them what needs to be done some of the time.

ilovesooty Sun 08-Feb-15 13:24:46

If a job needs doing of course it's fine for them to help provided it's safe to do so.
It sounds as though they're used to you threatening to withhold privileges and not going through with it. While they're seeing you as a soft touch they won't contribute their time or effort or treat you with respect and only you can change that.

LadyLuck10 Sun 08-Feb-15 13:26:10

Why are you questioning whether they should be helping outconfused it's not child labour if children do chores and contribute to the family. It's a disgrace that your 17yo is so selfish that she can't see for herself you're pregnant and offer to help. She's almost an adult. Write down a list of chores for each day of the week and allocate to each child. Even the 4yo can be given something small like tidy up the toys. It's not any favours that they're doing for you by cleaning up / helping in their own home.

ghostspirit Sun 08-Feb-15 13:28:09

ilovesooty hes not been over so much lately because hes changed his work hours. he works most weekends now which is when im doing most of the house stuff. but if hes here he will.

but im going to start (telling) them to help more from now on. well not more but when its needed. sometimes i cant be arsed with all the huffing and puffing so i do it myself then end up in pain. when if i had just told them in first place probably would not have been in pain and would have got more done... anyway daughter is home now. so doing to try get a goos bit done in a positive none moaning sort of way and have loads of music on smile smile

DeliciousMonster Sun 08-Feb-15 13:28:13

I would start by taking their prized possessions hostage, to be sold on to pay for a cleaner unless they ALL knuckled under. They would come back on day to empty rooms bar school clothes and two changes of leisure clothes, and nothing else, and they would have to earn the stuff back.

And I'd get one item of each persons' and get it on ebay. Just to show them who is the boss here.

You need to manage them, not let them manage you. Kick some royal ass.

ilovesooty Sun 08-Feb-15 13:31:34

You will get huffing and puffing if they're used to you being a walkover. You'll just have to ride it out.

And I suspect that if you actually go as far as removing their possessions and don't back down they'll realise you mean business.
Bet 17 year old won't be too cooperative having already had her reward and money.

Edenviolet Sun 08-Feb-15 13:35:20

its taken you 4 kids and one on the way to realise he's an arsehole?

Bit of a mean thing to say not knowing OPs full circumstances

Edenviolet Sun 08-Feb-15 13:37:40

And OP, I thoroughly sympathise. I have four dcs and have recently drawn up a rota based on their ages and limitations and they have all been helping, its not a lot but it makes a difference and they are starting to realise they have a responsibility to all contribute.

BitterAndOnlySlightlyTwisted Sun 08-Feb-15 13:41:34

You've failed so far because your mind-set is focussed on asking them "to help". You are the parent and you are in charge, so you need to TELL them. Or there will be sanctions. And then you follow through. Even a four year old can manage to take their own laundered clothes upstairs, or pick papers up off the floor.

The first thing I would be doing is to stop making plans to make their rooms nicer until they've earned it.

"I'll give you pocket-money/whatever if you promise to do X" won't work. It's "you'll not get anything bar food and essential clothing unless you do Y. Consistently, and until I'm happy that you've earned it. Sitting about moaning, being selfish and not clearing up the mess you've made isn't going to work any longer".

You've been a pushover, so just bloody-well stop. A family is not some form of dysfunctional democracy where the people get to do what they like, when they like, it's an authoritarian regime where stuff and privileges are earned or there just won't be any.

LadyLuck10 Sun 08-Feb-15 13:44:57

Completely agree with BitterAndOnly. The mentality of 'helping out' is what produces kids with this attitude.

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