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11 year old, same problem again and again...

(10 Posts)
StellaBrillante Mon 29-Nov-10 11:22:46


DS is really, really good but there are a couple of things which I've been trying my hardest to get him to change without any success. Actually, there are three things with two relating to 'toilet habits':
1) Bedroom / clothes always in a complete and utter mess, the habit of simply dumping whatever it is on the floor (hangers, games, pens, lovingly ironed clothes... you name it!). I might as well not bother with furniture!!! He's spent hours organising it, I've punished, I've threatened not to do it again, I've even thrown some things away hoping that it'd be the 'wake up call' that he needed. Nope. He doesn't seem to care and it's too lazy to actually put things in the right place

2) Toilet: my DS has a very disgusting habit of leaving 'pooh' all over the toilet bowl and on the edges too. What infuriates me the most (apart from the obvious fact that a lot of times the toilet stays clean for less than 24hrs after I've scrubbed it), is that he seems to have no consideration for the person using it after him (me!!!)

3) Toilet paper: DS goes through tons (I mean it) of toilet paper to the extent that he could easily go through 1/2 a roll at a time. Again, no amount of shouting, telling off or even making him unblock the toilet (pretty gross) has encouraged him to change. I am NOT wipping his bum for him but cannot see what is going to motivate him to change

What happens at the moment is that these things are a cause of great stress. Here you may think that perhaps I've got too much time in my hands and that he could be doing drugs at the age of 11, etc... However, I'm a lone parent without any help around and it's got to a point that I no longer care about the impact that it'll have on him when he gets a nasty comment from a girlfriend or one of this mates or when he blokes at toilet at somebody else's house. Maybe it's what he needs. However, I do have a problem with the fact that right now, it's me living with it and it's me dealing with the consequences. Quite simply, it's me washing & ironing his clothes only to then find them bundled up on the floor, under his bed. It's me buying rolls and rolls of toilet paper (no, getting him to buy it with his pocket money hasn't worked either) and it will be me having to deal (and pay) with the problem when the pipes get seriously blocked and I have to call somebody in to sort it out. It's just not fair. I work full-time, I keep our house clean and tidy and I try my very hardest to be a good mum. I am not asking him to be perfect for goodness sake!

Sorry, I just really need to vent my frustrations!!! The message is just not getting through. No talking, no shouting, no punishing has had the desired effect so far. So this morning, my week started off with me shedding tears of frustration on my way to work because I don't know what else to do. I see it as a cycle and we just keep going around and around without ever making any progress - how sad is that?

I did a lot of research online a while ago as I noticed that DS didn't seem to be taking anything I said in. I did read something about 'resisting' but I just can't live with this. Just as I cannot bring myself to send him out with his clothes dirty or un-ironed. It's not for him anymore but my own sense of pride and 'job well done'. I can see that, for some very strange reason, he doesn't care. And on that note, I don't understand that either. Money is exceedingly tight and he knows I make sacrifices in order to him to do certain things. And still, not even that is enough encouragement to make him want to look after his things a bit better. It could be something as simple as colouring pencils: a while ago, I got so fed up going to use them only to find out that he had broken them all by dropping them on the floor (constantly!) that I threw them all away. Then a week ago, I needed them and so did he for homework so I bought a new pack. It took less than 5 minutes for me to hear the noise of them landing on the floor, one by one. No, it's not a huge expense but I had to make a special trip to the craft shop on my way home from work, I paid for them and ultimately I can't see how an 11 year old (who has been told time and time again what happens when you drop pencils on the floor) can be so incapable of being careful!

Maybe I am just totally losing the plot?!?!

ps. originally posted this thread under 'behaviour / development' but then noticed that it seems to be mostly for those with younger children!

inthesticks Mon 29-Nov-10 16:14:20

Do you think the toilet thing is deliberate? Could he have a bowel problem that he is too embarrassed to tell you about? It sounds a little obsessive if he's doing it on purpose?

The messy room is different. I don't think you can expect kids to be grateful for the day to day stuff you do. Stop ironing. I haven't ironed since September and no one notices, least of all my 12 year old.
I have 2 DSs of 12 and 14 , one is much more untidy than the other and one is much less considerate than the other.
Sometimes you have to just quietly keep repeating yourself to get them to tidy up or look after stuff, try not to let it stress you so much

notremotelyintofootie Mon 29-Nov-10 18:45:08

My 11 year old sounds so similar to yours! Quite often I'll find poo on the seat or he hasn't flushed or what is worse in the middle of the night is I sit on the toilet into a puddle of pee on the seat because he didn't lift if to wee! Even when he does lift it he often misses and I have threatened to make him sit like a girl to pee, have taken pocket money off him etc and yet it still happens... He 'forgets' apparently and his brain is a total sieve!

His bedroom Is a tip and clothes stay on his futon until I scream at him to bloody well put them away! Dh says it's hormones and a 'male' thing but I am determined that he will buck his ideas up and I now threaten to pick him up from school like a ( year old if he wants to sct like one re the toilet etc! Works for a bit....

pickgo Mon 29-Nov-10 23:47:32

Hi SB and NRIF
Your messages made me laugh a bit although in a oh so very very dry way!
Just recently I reached the absolute end of my tether with my 14 yr DS about similar types of things - ironed clothes, blazer on floor, stuff all over house etc etc etc....
In the end it came to a real head about 2 weeks ago and he went to stay with my mum for a night we were both so upset. Like you said my DS is a really great person in lots of ways and can be very supportive and such fun BUT I felt this came down to an issue of respect and taking me seriously.
How wrong I was...
My DD suggested the equivalent of a star chart so in desperation I drew up a rota with some chores on 5 out of 7 days. Went thro it with DS and said he gets pocket money each week(put big equals sign on chart) ONLY if he does everything on chart.
AND he's done it! Harmony restored.
Been thinking about this and realised it's just their domestically challenged, budding male brains that can't get heads round multiple instructions and then switch off entirely when they hear the nagging patient reminding.
It's not that they don't want you to be happy I think my DS had just given up that he could ever succeed/please me about this because the situation had persisted for so long.
DON'T take it personally. Put it in black and white. Keep it simple. Reward them..... and then Relax.
Good Luck. I'd be really interested to hear if you try this whether it works for you too!

notremotelyintofootie Tue 30-Nov-10 10:32:19

Actually that is a great idea! We've had chore lists in the past and it worked and perhaps seeing it written down would help!

Today we had a battle over vests... Ds stopped wearing them about 2 years ago but agreed with the cold that he would wear them under his school shirt as at High school hevfeels it more so yesterday I went and bought some... Left them in his room with a note and his dinner money and he forgot to put one on, I made him strip off and pop one on as he is predisposed to asthma in the winter and explained to him about his chest etc and even gave him the option of a Tshirt instead but all was fine and he put ut on... 1:0 to mum!

He forgot to bring down various bits from his room so up and down he went and each time I asked him to make sure he turned off his light... He didn't, then as he was leaving dh made him go up to turn off light, nothing else... He went up, came down and went to school - I went up and he' forgotten to turn off his light!!!! Arghhh

Todays task - lists for Ds!!!!!!!!!

StellaBrillante Tue 30-Nov-10 14:33:59

Hi both,

DS was all enthusiastic when we got home yesterday and went straight to deal with his bedroom. However, in a momnet of weakness, I gave in and ended up doing all his ironing - I just can't bring myself to let him go out looking a mess and realistically, he REALLY hasn't got the time to do it! At the moment, he travels over 1 hr each to school and back plus he gets a considerable amount of homework now.

Tonight, he's got to go and scrub the toilet - yuk! Still not sure how I'm going to tackle the toilet paper issue...

We've used charts before but he was going through a 'nothing can motivate me' phase and even the possibility of losing all his pocket money wasn't enough to get him moving. I will give it another go as I know he's determined to save up for a new game of some sort!

You've got to laugh about this!!! :-)

dontdisstheteens Tue 30-Nov-10 15:35:21

I have written this and am printing it out to give to the four males in my house this evening.. it is long sorry but would love some feed back!

Things need to change

When I ask someone to clear away the rubbish that they have left they should clear it up, not conveniently ‘forget’.

When someone leaves their shit in the loo they should clear it up. I also do not expect to have to clear up adult and teenage piss. Is it really so hard to use tissues and or bleach/ to do the job? Is it as impossible as replacing loo rolls when empty?

People should change their beds every week without me asking, you are not young children. **, perhaps as you know I like a clean bed you could initiate changing it?

This house is not huge if everyone actually took on the responsibility for it being a clean and comfortable home it would not take long at all. It is interesting that if we employed a cleaner (s)he would be able to clean the whole house within a couple of hours - if (s)he did not have to tidy and do other ‘everyday’ stuff as well.

Neither do I expect to be wholly responsible for food planning and preparation, why should I be?

It is not my job to ‘see’ when the dishwasher needs emptying and to have to ask again and again. There are others in this house to ‘see’ mess, and dirty towels, but for too long they have ignored it on the grounds that someone else (yes me) will deal with it. I have explained many times that hanging the bath mat up after use means it gets dry and therefore does not smell, so why not just do it? You all know that dirty glasses/mugs/plates need to go in the dishwasher – why do I have to ask???? There is no good reason why males cannot spot things that need doing, it shows a total lack of respect that you don’t bother instead preferring to leave it to me.

As for washing, the stuff gets rank. Why should I have to delve into a basket and get it out, why should I have to un-ball foul football socks and separate sweaty (sometimes skid marked) underpants from other clothes etc so they get clean? There is nobody in this house who is incapable of operating the washing machine and folding clean clothes to put away.

I fully accept that I am at home more and that it is easier for me to get some things done but this is done for us as a family not because I am a skivvy. Wouldn’t it be nice if the kitchen was tidy for me to work in starting as soon as people have gone to school/work?

I am fed up of saying things, being acknowledged and then ignored. You all know the types of things which make me feel miserable/cross/stressed – do none of you care enough about me as a person to avoid them?

There is real contempt in this house and it is shocking that no one seems to care enough to address it. I share the blame for this because I have allowed it to continue but given everyone’s ages and the fact that in order to earn money I need to complete my current work it is time to change things. I have asked a million times for change/help/respect and I am really pissed off that any change is so fleeting. What kind of loving family is this?

Who is going to step up to the mark and make sure change occurs?

dontdisstheteens Tue 30-Nov-10 15:36:08

In fact I'm going to put it in AIBU so you may prefer to comment there!

CARRIEHEMMING Sat 04-Dec-10 23:33:10

I have 3 boys who always wipe their bum and wash their hands...apparently
Fancy a glass of wine or 4

lucie19 Mon 06-Dec-10 02:02:02

I have found a way to get my children (the laziest children on earth possibly) to tidy. I have a digital timer and then set it according to how receptive they are being that day I set it for 5 10 or 15 minutes. Then they have to tidy their rooms with me standing outside shouting "right dirty clothes chuck to me GO!" "Disks back in boxes GO!" They know that the moment the beeper goes times up they walk away. And I say no more about it that day. I do not tidy their rooms for them and after months of perseverance they are starting to need less prompting about what they need to do in the room. I am hoping I can one day say right 10min tidy up off you go but thats gonna take a while.
I make sure I praise them for what they have achieved in the short time and they often suprised at how much they have done in 10 minutes of hard work.
It really seems to be working for me but you have to stick at it.

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