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Can I ask about chores and your step children?

(20 Posts)
PlinkertyPlonk Sat 30-Jan-16 20:57:51

If your stepchildren are with you part-time, are they expected to do chores? And if they are teenagers, what's appropriate?

I'm asking because we haven't set any regular chores (teenagers, with us every other weekend and the odd day in between). They tidy their rooms (reluctantly being typical teenagers) when asked, but that's about it. DH doesn't think there's any point in setting them chores hmm.

AutumnLeavesArePretty Sat 30-Jan-16 21:33:34

He gets very little time with them and you want to set them on cleaning the house?

Tidying their rooms sounds about right for the amount of contact they have.

PreAdvent13610 Sat 30-Jan-16 21:38:47

Get them to do the dishwasher, clean up after dinner with DH. Then they can be useful and bond with their Dad.

PlinkertyPlonk Sat 30-Jan-16 21:45:12

I don't think setting the table or loading the dishwasher was that big a deal. As for spending time bonding with their dad, I know what you mean, but by helping downstairs they would actually spend more time with him than hiding away in the their rooms glued to their phones.

Cadburyhome Sat 30-Jan-16 21:47:51

My dsc are young (less than 10) but they are expected to put their dirty clothes in the washing basket, put their toys away before they leave and help clear the table after dinner. These things don't happen all of the time, mainly because I slip back into the role of clearing up after them. I wouldn't expect them to participate in "cleaning" the house, but I do think they should realise to run a house takes a family effort and one person isn't responsible for the entire thing.

PreAdvent13610 Sat 30-Jan-16 21:49:02

That's the idea grin.
Once you have that established they can move on to cooking dinner together. All in the name of bonding.

SiwanGwynt Sat 30-Jan-16 22:06:45

My DSS does nothing.

He eats in his room as he will not eat with the rest of us. He does not even bring down the plates from his room. Sometimes at the end of the weekend, DH will go and bring down a selection of plates and glasses.

The cleaner tidies and cleans his room once a week.

PlinkertyPlonk Sat 30-Jan-16 22:13:44

I think my problem is stopping DH clearing up after them. He waits on them hand and foot. I can't imagine him letting them cook, he would have to oversee everything and interfere. If I want to cook, I have to physically wrestle saucepans out of his hand!

PreAdvent13610 Sat 30-Jan-16 22:17:54

He needs to work with them. Could he be persuaded to teach them to cook?

PlinkertyPlonk Sat 30-Jan-16 22:21:46

Teamwork and patience are definitely not his strengths, but it is a good idea. I'll have to think how I sell this to him.

Bananasinpyjamas1 Sat 30-Jan-16 23:50:40

I do think that even for EOW teenagers, helping with the dinner - cooking or clearing away - and leaving their rooms in a tidy state - really helps to make kids to feel like part of a normal household.

It can help to bond and bring SM, Dad and kids to work together. I had a hard job getting my DSCs to help, but some of the very few memories I have of us all doing something together was when we all mucked in. And a couple of fleeting 'this feels like a happy, together family' where when my DP got all the kids, DSCs, mine, and me to pull up huge bushes from the garden and put loads of stuff into the skip. It took us a couple of weekends all out there, and it was great.

Bluelilies Sun 31-Jan-16 08:08:42

Ours are expected to help load the dishwasher and lay the table if asked.

We also have a tick chart on the fridge for washing up which works really well. They get a tick each time they help and if no one volunteers then the one with the least ticks has to do it. Normally they dry and one of us washes which does give a nice chance for a chat.

They're also expected to strip their beds when the sheets need washing and put the clean ones back on.

Some of them cook occasionally but not as much as they should. I think teaching kids to cook is parenting more than it is doing chores. It's a life skill they need. But my DH like yours is a control freak in the kitchen so it works best if he's well out the way and the DSC has a recipe book and me sitting here the kitchen on my laptop so I'm on hand but not at risk of taking over

chocoraisin Sun 31-Jan-16 12:26:02

Ours all help tidy plates away, lay the table, clean up toys in shared space, tidy their room. Carry their own laundry upstairs. When we can, we cook together. They do normal things like spend time writing thank you notes after Christmas/birthdays etc. They don't clean (no bathrooms, bins etc but they love to hoover so ask to do that occasionally). The same stuff I expect my kids to do really on a day to day basis - just normal family stuff. Ours are 3 - 8 years old!!

A teenager I would expect to all of the above, plus load the washing machine occasionally. I'm teaching them to do things like strip a bed, because it can actually be fun - then they get to pick their next duvet cover out etc.

Depends on the attitude of the parents as well I think, is it a chore/obligation or is it just fun time together doing the normal family stuff? All in all it's a few minutes on the end of normal meals/activities. It sounds like a lot written down but in a family of 6 I either do it all by myself while DP supervises the kids playing, or we do it together and turn it into a game!

ClaudoftheRings Mon 01-Feb-16 08:59:10

DSS does nothing and is slowly learning that this isn't a hotel, but only because I am gently asking him to do some very basic things.

Why would a mum and dad not want their son to know how that it's polite/normal to help clear the table after dinner rather than just get up and leave his plate etc there? WHY?! angry

Ragwort Mon 01-Feb-16 09:04:52

I think whether they are 'step' children or not should be irrelevant, I know I shouldn't generalise but getting most teenagers to do any chores is hard work grin. My 14 year old DS does as little as possible.

Surely anyone visiting your home regularly should help to 'muck in' - ie: my 80 year old parents were here for a meal last night but helped to clear the kitchen and make the meal - that's just good manners?

As usual though, the issue is with your DH - why isn't he encouraging them to help a bit? As choc says - it's best not to give a strict list of chores but try and instill the fact that laying the table/clearing the plates/stripping the bed is just normal 'routine' stuff. Easier said than done.

swingofthings Mon 01-Feb-16 10:13:59

My kids to more chores when they are with their dad then at home. It's my fault, I'm too lenient really! I don't think there is any right or wrong, some teenagers do many chores, others do few or none. All I would say is if it is agreed they should do things, approach it in a positive way. There is a big difference between 'You guys have been getting away with murder until now, you are treating this place like hotel and we have enough of your lazy way, so from today, there is going to be a strict regime of cleaning and if you don't do as we say, we will take your phones away' and 'we have been thinking about how to make the best of the time we have together during the week-end and felt that it would be nice if as a family, we all got down to some chores and get them away with so that we can then spend more time doing an activity together, so what do you think would be the fairest way to allocate them?'

PlinkertyPlonk Mon 01-Feb-16 11:46:18

Ragwort's nailed it. The problem IS with DH. I managed to get them sorting out their enormous pile of homeless socks that had been littering the house for the past 2 months last night. DH's response? 'I'm amazed you got them to do that' Er, why? All I did was actually ask, and discovered in the process that DSD doesn't believe she actually owns any socks, she just wears whatever she finds lying around. <slaps forehead>

PlinkertyPlonk Mon 01-Feb-16 12:04:16

Swingofthings - I think you are right about the approach. Unfortunately the kids would do anything to avoid a family activity. I think DH has given up and I've run out of energy, time and inclination to carry on trying to instigate family activities; DH is happy to come along but does bugger all to come up wtih ideas or make it happen.

PlinkertyPlonk Mon 01-Feb-16 12:06:23

Can I swap children with you all for a week, just to experience what it's like to have kids that get involved? Ours aren't too bad, just need feeding every 2 hours and reminding about homework... Any takers? grin

chocoraisin Tue 02-Feb-16 13:42:54

lol I can loan you a threenager who wakes up every two hours, a fournado who has more stubborness than I believed possible, a empathetic but weepy 5yo and a tweenage 8 yo to play with. When can I have your lot, who actually sleep and amuse themselves please? grin

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