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Oh my GOD, its SOOOOOO unfair!!!!

(115 Posts)
HugeAckmansWife Sun 27-Sep-20 09:15:25

AIBU to say this everytime my attitudinally challenged tweens ask me to do anything / everything? I work FT and am a single parent so pretty full on. They reluctantly have accepted a few chores like emptying dishwasher, taking laundry up etc but any time I ask them to just run and get X from upstairs, or pop the recycling out or grab me a glass of water while I'm ironing their uniforms I get eye rolling and stomping and 'why do I have to?'. So, can I do it too? (this lighthearted by the way pleae don't berate me for having / resenting kids etc)!

OP’s posts: |
CatherinedeBourgh Sun 27-Sep-20 09:48:30

It works. I regularly respond to requests with eye rolls and puffing and panting in an exaggerated way. It leads to giggles.

Then when they are starting to do it themselves, the catch themselves, over exaggerate and giggle. And then go off to do what I asked them to.

movingonup20 Sun 27-Sep-20 09:48:41

Ps why the hell are you ironing uniforms, mine got through 13 years of schooling without me breaking out the iron!

trappedsincesundaymorn Sun 27-Sep-20 09:51:01

I played my DD at her own game when she (briefly), went through that phase. It usually went along the lines of:

"Why do I always have to do the washing up, you're so unfair Mum"
" I know. How about I do the washing up seeing as I never do it and you can cook the dinner seeing as you never do that. That's fairer, we'll both be doing stuff that the other never does"

"Mum why haven't you washed my jeans. I wanted to wear them today"
" Well as they weren't in the laundry basket I assumed that you didn't want them. The last time I told you to put dirty clothes in there you rolled your eyes, so I thought it best not to remind you. Maybe next time put your dirty washing in the basket or wash your clothes yourself, I don't mind which."

My ds(12) is going through the 'what is the point in cleaning it when it will only get dirty again' phase

Mine said that as reply was " well I won't clean the toilets if you don't tidy the lounge deal? Because I hate cleaning the bathroom and I always have to do that."

Sadik Sun 27-Sep-20 09:51:12

"Life's not fair" on repeat - at least, that was my DM's response when I was that age grin
Seriously, I think it's a useful message for DC to learn - I know a few adults who'd be happier if they'd taken it on board and just learnt to sigh & get on with stuff (looking at you ex-H)

Imloosingmyshit Sun 27-Sep-20 09:52:35

Yes. I hear you. I sometimes cry and bang about too, basically just mirror their actions when they ask me to do something......

hilariousnamehere Sun 27-Sep-20 09:55:33


You need to sell it better

'Whilst I'm ironing your unicorn and cooking your dinner, could you just help out by emptying the dishwasher'? .... no .... ok I'll do it then, you may have to go in with a tatty uniform tomorrow, or dinner will be ages then if I can't get a bit of help

My 12 and 8 year olds do a few tasks - the 12 year old complains a bit but 8yo is fine - bless him

misses point of thread I love that your unicorns are crease-free 🦄grin

Kljnmw3459 Sun 27-Sep-20 09:57:15


Sherlock02 Sun 27-Sep-20 09:57:20

My tactic (not intentional) was to be rubbish at washing and ironing so their favourite tops, pants etc got lost in the ironing pile. Fast forward and since the age of 15 my (stubbornly independent anyway) son and eldest sister have been doing their own washing/folding. At 18, on the rare occasions I do his stuff he is grateful. They don’t iron, and fold their stuff so it’s not needed. Made me realise I don’t have to iron as much. Hardly do any now.

HugeAckmansWife Sun 27-Sep-20 09:59:02

I actually don't mind ironing so long as I have custody of the TV at the time. (another bug bear.. Its literally NEVER my turn for the TV until they are in bed, which is why they will never stay downstairs beyond 8.45 so I can have some time.)

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FatBottomedGurl Sun 27-Sep-20 10:00:32

My tweens are at this stage. I started them on a GoHenry account. It gives them their own bank cards but their pocket money each week is 100% conditional on them completing the "tasks" I assigned each of them. If I don't tick them off as complete, they don't get paid for it.
It's the same £10pw pocket money they were getting anyway, but this way, if they don't do as they're told, it's hitting them in the pocket.

Also, my son recently broke his bike, so some of his weekly pocket money is going into a Savings Pot, so he can help pay for the repair. I'm hoping it's going to teach them the value of money and also the valuable lesson that nothing in life is free.

UggyPow Sun 27-Sep-20 10:01:35

I am taking a passive stance with my 16 yr old DD - I haven’t been in her room & cleaned for 8 weeks but if her clothes are in the basket when I choose to do the washing I’m not washing it - she finally did some of her own washing last weekend but hasn’t folded any of it.
She is not supposed to have food in her room but comes in from work, when I’m in bed & takes food in - there are things growing in there now 🤮🤢🤮🤢
My younger one is ASD & it is hard as he has food & touch issues - so cant do some things

UggyPow Sun 27-Sep-20 10:03:11

Should say if they aren’t in the basket 🤦🏻‍♀️

HugeAckmansWife Sun 27-Sep-20 10:04:30

I'm looking at accounts.. They get £20 pm each and beyond that, very little. I'm trying to wean them off the idea that every time we set foot outside there should be some kind of treat. I don't really want to go down the route of earning it too strictly as it will just open up more negotiations and micro accounting that I don't have time for.

OP’s posts: |
lljkk Sun 27-Sep-20 10:06:20

"You just can't get the staff nowadays" has become a standard retort to mine recently.

C8H10N4O2 Sun 27-Sep-20 10:06:52

I use to avoid asking them to "help" and focus on expectiing them to do their share. We all lived in the house, we all had to muck in. I would negotiate on task preferences but they all had to be able to do all the essential tasks.

I just ignored the "Not Fair" whinging when it happened but I agree it can be very wearing.

Concur with clothes not in the laundry basket not being washed. Oh and I also had a rule that teenagers who bought "hand wash only" items did their own hand washing.

tortillachipsanddips Sun 27-Sep-20 10:10:21

I get eye rolling and complaints from my kids 8 and 13.

Last week I asked my 8 yr old to bring down his laundry and uniform and he said why should he - he's not my slave. Normally I shout at them ( I know bad mother) but this time I just said. Ok don't worry you can wear PJs or normally clothes to school and explain to the teacher why you don't have a uniform, and I left if.

5 mins later he returned with all his laundry and uniform 🤣

WINDOLENE Sun 27-Sep-20 10:11:45

Don't worry soon you'll get the I hate you, and silent treatment.. Its all fun

Lurchermom Sun 27-Sep-20 10:12:10

My dad sat me down one day (at about 12) when so complained about being asked to do a task. He explained that by refusing to do it, I was expecting other people to constantly do stuff for me and wasn't taking responsibility for myself. In expecting other people to do the work I was being lazy, and entitled. That in a family everyone pulls together to get things done.
It was harsh, but a message I never forgot and I really appreciated being spoken to as an adult. There were some tears at the time, but I really grew up from it.

HugeAckmansWife Sun 27-Sep-20 10:12:38

I agree with the not 'helping' thing. I'm trying to get them to accept that it's their chore just as much as mine if they are using the plates, wearing the clothes etc. I shout way to much.

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RandomMess Sun 27-Sep-20 10:14:59

If your ex ever reappears can you suggest him having one DC at a time as you all may benefit from them having individual quality time without the excessive bickering etc?

angryat your ex opting out of parenting 🤬

Ding123 Sun 27-Sep-20 10:16:04

I've assigned certain chores for my 8 and 10 year old. DC1 who is being assessed for ASD generally listens straight away bless him but I have to break down each task one by one or he forgets what needs doing. DC2 is extremely stubborn and defiant and kicks up a stink sometimes but does the job properly (loading the washing machine, wiping the table, laying the table and then picking up dishes etc), and is rewarded with praise and kisses. I know that won't work for long!

C8H10N4O2 Sun 27-Sep-20 10:21:42

I'm trying to wean them off the idea that every time we set foot outside there should be some kind of treat.

Honestly don't wean - just stop it.

I used to try and talk in terms of both privileges and responsibilties which came with being older. So more self determination and choice but also more responsibility and consideration expected.
I also think that as women we are often raised to prioritise everyone but ourselves and this is not a good model to pass on to children. If you take it in turns to choose what to watch then you should take a turn as well, especially considering you are ironing their clothes!

I never tied pocket money to household tasks (I also had a potential microaccountant)

Its a tough period but they do grow out of it and become quite civilised adults!

waitingforautumn Sun 27-Sep-20 10:22:07

One day when I was a teenager, my dad (who did everything for us and basically ran the household on top of a stressful FT job), asked me empty the dishwasher. I had the nerve to complain and say it was unfair because I'd been out that day and so wouldn't have used any of the dishes that needed emptying (there were 5 of us in the house at the time so never a shortage of dirty plates).

Anyway, he lost it with me. Basically shouted something along the lines of DO YOU THINK WHEN I'M DOING THE LAUNDRY IM ONLY DOING MY OWN? DO YOU THINK I ONLY CLEAR UP THE MESS THAT I MADE? DO YOU THINK ALL THE DISHES IN THERE ARE MINE SO I SHOULD DO IT? He told me to pull myself together in a way I couldn't really argue with. Every urge I had after that to resist being asked to help i remembered this horrible xp of being put in my place grin. All he wanted was the job done... it wasn't a personal attack on me but when you're a teenager everything feels that way.

Harsh but it worked and it's an important lesson for teenagers to remember their parents don't actually have to be so helpful all the time. Same as what others have suggested, next time you are asked to do something stir up a fuss and ask why you should have to.

pastandpresent Sun 27-Sep-20 10:23:46

Wow, great idea, why I never thought of that! . I will try that next time to my 12 years old too. grin

Ohdoleavemealone Sun 27-Sep-20 10:24:43


You need to sell it better

'Whilst I'm ironing your unicorn and cooking your dinner, could you just help out by emptying the dishwasher'? .... no .... ok I'll do it then, you may have to go in with a tatty uniform tomorrow, or dinner will be ages then if I can't get a bit of help

My 12 and 8 year olds do a few tasks - the 12 year old complains a bit but 8yo is fine - bless him

@custardbear why are you ironing a unicorn!!?? shock

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