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Should they tidy up?

(18 Posts)
boombamboom Thu 02-Aug-18 14:08:35

AIBU to think they should tidy up after themselves?

I don't expect them to do chores when they are here but I do expect them to tidy up after themselves.

Examples of not doing this would be:

Not tucking chair in after leaving the table at dinner.

Not bothering to wash up their breakfast bowl or just putting it in the dishwasher, leaving it on the side in the kitchen instead.

I left a bowl of mini Easter eggs out in the living room that my DM bought for us all and told the kids to help themselves. Spent weeks finding the wrappers down the sides of the sofas despite the fact we have a small wicker bin in the living room!

We have a designated place for shoes to be put away in the entrance hall and the eldest still just leaves her shoes in the middle of the floor. (The others put their shoes away)

Their bedrooms were a complete state. So much so that for months I refused to go in and clean them until they were tidied up. This never happened so eventually I went in and blitzed the rooms, cleared out, tidied and cleaned them.

I don't moan or tell the kids off. I don't feel it's my place to as I'm not their parent. I always tell DP and ask him if he can have a word. He would tell them half heartedly to tidy their rooms but doesn't say anything about anything else, I.e tidying up after themselves. I'm sick of mentioning it to him.

When I moaned about their bedrooms, it took me an entire week to clear, tidy and clean both bedrooms, I told DP I didn't want to find them in that state again and would not be cleaning them again as I have done. He said if I feel strongly about it then I should talk to the kids.

I think it should have been him that spoke to them as their parent and not me.

However he never does and this is my home too and I don't expect to have to keep tidying up after them. I'm getting close to having to say something to them as it's just not fair but still think it's DPs job to do so.

DC 14
DC 12
DC 10
DC 8

OP’s posts: |
QueenOfIce Thu 02-Aug-18 14:19:32

YANBU but it's good to pick your battles if you can. I don't go near dsd bedroom anymore the only rule I stick to is no crockery or food items are to be left in her room, other than that I close the door and ignore.

As for the other stuff, I think it's ok to remind them about tidying up after themselves in communal areas. It is your home too.

AWomanIsAnAdultHumanFemale Thu 02-Aug-18 14:26:21

You will get absolutely nowhere with this unless your DP is on the same page as you. As it stands it doesn’t sound like he cares, presumably because it’s not him that has to tidy the resultant mess they leave, it’s you. What about if you opted out of everything he has opted out of?

Mymadworld Thu 02-Aug-18 14:33:55

I think you need to pick your battles on this one and accept that you are obviously more bothered about tidiness than the DC or your DH but ask for a bit more respect from all about the communal areas of the house. In your shoes I'd instigate the following rules:
1. Clear and wash your own breakfast/lunch/snack things. All children are old enough to manage this.
2. Put shoes & coats away in correct place
3. Generally be more considerate of surroundings ie rubbish in bins, mugs washed and put away etc

In return, you will ignore any mess in their rooms (I'd add as long as there's no food or drink debris as that could be rancid) they just need open curtains and put any washing to be done in appropriate basket. However, before they leave it's up to them to completely clear & clean bedrooms including vacuum/dust, strip beds. If they don't like the idea of that ie want you cleaning their room then they need to keep it tidy.

user1487168313 Thu 02-Aug-18 15:16:40

"I don't feel it's my place to as I'm not their parent"

Why? It's your home, so you have every right to ask them to tidy up/tell them off. If they don't tuck the chair back, politely ask them to come back to the kitchen and tuck it before they can do anything else.

Chew2 Thu 02-Aug-18 17:58:07

Yes they should tidy up after themselves, my 2 sk are 7 and 9 and we have incorporated small roles for them both for a few years now.
I never clean or tidy their rooms, i just close the door and let them get on with it (my oh cleans and sk tidy). We encourage the small things, putting dirty dishes away, clothes away, laying the table, clearing away toys. My oh has even asked them to do dishes, cooking and cleaning of the bathroom (not something i ever expect them to do).

unicornchaser Thu 02-Aug-18 18:06:11

Yes they should tidy and clean up after themselves. Just because they are step children, they aren't 'guests' in your house, they are part of the family so should be included in maintaining the cleanliness when they stay with you.

My dss (8, who is with us 2/3 days/nights per week) will put his dishes in the sink, tidy and hoover his room, change his bed sheets, put his dirty clothes into the washing basket, takes his shoes off and leaves them at the door as is the done thing in our house.
I do need to ask him to do most of this to be fair but I don't feel it's over stepping boundaries.
We do give him pocket money every weekend but it's not in 'payment' for chores.

No idea what the rules are at his mums house but he knows he chips in here 😊

NorthernSpirit Thu 02-Aug-18 18:17:49

I’m a DSM my OH and I have had to get tough on this as the DSC (10 & 13) were treating our home as a hotel.

For example;

• Leaving the table after dinner and expecting someone else to clear up, or at a push they would take dishes to the dishwasher but leave them on the side to be loaded
• Couldn’t make themselves a drink (of water / squash etc). I shit you not.
• Didn’t make beds
• Left washing on the floor
• Couldn’t get themselves a bowl of cereal for breakfast, make toast etc.....

We don’t run a hotel and apparently mum does everything at home and they aren’t ‘allowed’ at home.... trying it on. Or if it’s true, more fool mum.

So we’ve got tough with them. One lays the table up, one makes drinks. They clear the table between them and load the dischwasher. They can now get themselves breakfast (seriously couldn’t believe a 13 year old couldn’t get themselves a bowl of cereal. All rubbish in the bin. All washing in the basket.

I’m not asking them to clean, do washing, go shopping etc. I don’t think it’s too much to ask.

You are teaching kids independence and in a family we help each other.

boombamboom Thu 02-Aug-18 18:22:16

@NorthernSpirit Snap! grin That is exactly the things they do here (or don't do should I say!) Literally the same situation. DP still makes them breakfast in the mornings, as in pours cereal into a bowl and adds milk. hmm They are all at the age where they can do this themselves.

I think it's the same at their Mums. They don't do anything for themselves.

Which I totally disagree with.

I expect them to make their own breakfast and sort out their bowls and plates afterwards.

I expect them to push their chairs in when they leave the dining table and help clear away, etc. But it just isn't done.

Clearly, I'm going to have to start saying something. grin

OP’s posts: |
NorthernSpirit Thu 02-Aug-18 19:00:48

@Boombamboom - yes, that’s exactly were we were.

The cynic in mecsays they are trying in on and playing in home off the other. But then, until we showed them they couldn’t do any off this stuff. Apparently at home mum says it’s too dangerous for a 13 year old to use a kettle and toaster. The oldest (13) can’t cook anything and when I asked her to take something out of the oven I was told it’s too dangerous and mummy says she’s not allowed.

You and your OH have to be in the same page and get tough. This isn’t doing them any favours.

swingofthings Fri 03-Aug-18 08:33:55

OMG you've described my kids! All I can say is that I'm their mother, and it drives me crazy to and don't think it is ok, however, I have spent so much time, energy, breath on getting them to change over the last 15 years, for nothing to change, I have kind of accepted that they were born that way, and the only hope is that they learn to take pride in their environment when they get their own place.

To be fair, I was a bit like this myself..... Not half as bad, but certainly the same attitude to it. I did get better when I had my first flat, although still messy. It really hit me when I owned my first home and had them! It's as if something click then. I was talking to my mum about how it couldn't be genetic because she was always very tidy, but she acknowledged that she was exactly the same as a kid and that it was a constant battle with her parents too.

Not nice to live with though even worse as a SP, so I totally sympathise. If you find a way to get them to become tidy, without massive resentment and lasting long term please come back and tell me how you've done it, although it might be too late for me as definitely counting the years when they'll have another place to wreck!

user1493413286 Fri 03-Aug-18 09:24:56

As someone else has said you need your DP on board; my DSD is the same even though I think she has similar expectations at home.
I did recently say that all food including sweets etc had to be eaten at the kitchen table unless wrappers were put in the bin as I lost my rag at picking them up from the floor, side of the sofa etc.
I get fed up with picking up after DSD continually but i also hate continually asking her to pick up wet towels etc. I do ask her to tidy her toys before she goes home too.

user1493413286 Fri 03-Aug-18 09:25:52

Getting my DH on board has helped; often I notice that it’s him tidying up after her instead of getting her to do it but that’s fine with me as long as it’s done.

swingofthings Fri 03-Aug-18 10:31:12

Getting my DH on board has helped; often I notice that it’s him tidying up after her instead of getting her to do it but that’s fine with me as long as it’s done.
I think that's key, it should be about the end result, not a battle of will. That battle is for the parent to deal with. I do nag at times, shouts at others, and sometimes, I just do it myself too because I do respect that my OH deserves to live in a place that is tidy as he wishes it to be. Their room should be their heaven though, although I do get annoyed when I dare to open the door.

It is tedious though when it gets to the point that you feel that almost every conversation with them is about cleaning/tidying, hence sometimes just doing it myself.

nonnatushouse Fri 03-Aug-18 22:35:56

Yes, you need to pick your battle but you also command respect for yourself and your home.

These are simply rules, simple things that they should innately be doing from an early age.

I must admit, DSD (8) never puts her shoes away, won’t take her bowl out, flush the toilet or puts clothes in the wash basket besides many other annoying little gripes but I do ask her to do it and she does it then, it’s just trying to make it habitual which is hard when they’re somewhere else at least 50% of the time.

Your OH needs to instigate these house rules alongside you.

NeeChee Sun 05-Aug-18 08:24:29

We have DSS10 with us 50% of the time.
DP tells him off for piling stuff on his bedroom floor, but it makes no difference, it's there every time. He won't put dirty clothes in the wash bag. He shoves them all in the cupboard. I did tidy the cupboards twice now to make it easier for him to be organised. But I refuse to do it anymore.
I don't know what his mum does at her house, but he's old enough (and has been asked enough times by both me and his dad) to just put stuff in the wash, so I just leave him. I did used to occasionally ask if he had anything to wash while I was doing a wash, the answer is always no.

thegreenhen Sun 05-Aug-18 21:56:08

Yes, they should clear up after themselves. However, i think it's fairly normal that they don't. But that doesn't mean you should just accept it. Their parent/s shouldn't allow it.

I also don't think it's down to you to do the parenting - your home or not.

I have had this issue for years. I just don't pick up after them. Dp does. I realise not all parents do pick up the slack though. I wish he'd teach them right rom wrong rather than spend hours clearing up after them.

I currently have a 20 year old and a 15 year old who do all the things you're complaining about. Even worse, they think they can judge others for their laziness and untidiness!!

So, no real answer for you but I empathise.

Katgurl Tue 07-Aug-18 21:19:07

Yes I had similar problems with mine, in fact mine initially went as far as giving me feedback so I 'knew how to do things properly'. I think they mistook me for domestic staff. I knew I'd have to nip it in the bud or it wouldn't work with me and DP. He's a bit lax and then can be hotheaded so I told him I was gonna handle it my way. In fairness it is your house too, you are entitled to set standards.

I'd start small and be specific, lighthearted and repetitive. Don't get mad or give vague instructions like "you all need to make more of an effort."

Just tell them exactly what you want
"Rinse your bowl and stack it in the dishwasher please... Thank you"
"Shoes outside please".

And don't give up. I once had to call dsd back to the kitchen three times to get her to sweep up properly. When she protested I just told her I wasn't going to live in a flea pit because she couldn't be bothered.

I stay out of the bedrooms though. If they want to live in filth, so be it.

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