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What chores do you expect your teenage boys to do?

(29 Posts)
ohtowinthelottery Fri 28-Sep-12 14:26:35

DS (15) is more than a little 'teenage' at the moment and I am planning a 'family meeting' to try and discuss stamp out some of his behaviours.

I have been a SAHM (although I do some voluntary work) since he was little due to being a carer for another family member. As a result of this, I have always done the majority of jobs around the house. This seems to have resulted in DS thinking that it is my job to clean/clear up after him and he doesn't need to lift a finger! He made an unpleasant comment about my role this morning and I plan to tackle his way of thinking. Apart from the fact that he needs to start learning to fend for himself as he wishes to go to University in a few years time.

So prior to our meeting, I wondered what regular chores others give to their sons of a similar age. DS does mow the lawn when asked - but only if he is paid for it - but he won't even be doing that over the winter months.

SaraSidle Fri 28-Sep-12 14:41:52

Mine does the bins ( puts them out on bin day) takes his own sheets off the bed, ironing ( his cadet uniform and anything else lying around)
Small DIY jobs ( which I sometimes create for him)
Cleans the bathroom he shares with dd1
Hutch cleaning
Car vacuuming and cleaning
Shoe cleaning on Fridays

Broken arm now tho, so on the lapto today he has found me some money off vouchers and registered us all at TPS and MPS and downloaded some photos for me... Niggly jobs I never get round to!

SaraSidle Fri 28-Sep-12 14:43:54

I'm a lone parent and he's the eldest boy. So to be fair they have always done loads. Makes bed every morning, puts own washing away and keeps room tidy as standard. They have all been encouraged to make own beds since age 2!

Can you tell we are ex army family

ohtowinthelottery Fri 28-Sep-12 15:16:46

All sounds very 'ship shape' Sara

DS did do hutch cleaning and pet feeding when he had guinea pigs - but they died a few years ago.
I would very much like DS to clean the bathroom - he is the only one that uses the main bathroom in the house - but to be honest I just think he wouldn't bother on the basis that it is only him that has to go in there. It's a bit like asking him to tidy his room - his mess. He only picks things up when I announce that I will be hoovering upstairs and if I can't see his carpet, I will leave the vacuum cleaner in his room for when he gets home.
DH does the dishwasher and bins -that's about all he does do-- so don't want to reallocate those jobs to DS.
I used to ask him to set the table for tea - but by the time he had shifted his backside off the PS3, tea was served up on the table.
He just has an attitude at the moment where he thinks I should do things for him - "It's your job, you're a mother" but if he is asked to do anything he will do it for him but not anyone else - eg clear his crockery after a meal but won't clear anyone elses, inspite of me pointing out that I cooked everyones tea, not just mine!

I am going to link chores to his 'pocket money' but to be honest I'm not sure even that will work as he doesn't go out very often, and saves from his dinner money to buy small things. We pay for all his sports/extra curricular activities and we don't want to stop those, as he needs them to get him off the PS/Computer.He generally uses birthday/Christmas money to buy more expensive things such as PS3 games.

webwiz Fri 28-Sep-12 15:31:57

DS(15) sets the table and clears it for most meals. He usually cooks once a week (the night I get in late so that its waiting for me when I get in) and puts his washing in the laundry basket and puts it away when I've washed and ironed it. He puts the bins out and brings them in. He's happy to do ad hoc jobs as well. He is the youngest of three and his sisters are both at university so he enjoys feeling involved and being treated as a bit more "grown up".

I do sympathise - DD1 had a similar attitude and getting her to do anything was painful. She grew out of it in the end.

SecondhandRose Fri 28-Sep-12 16:22:40

Fecking nothing. Lives in the garage. Refuses to earn pocket money so gets none.

ohtowinthelottery Fri 28-Sep-12 16:28:31

DS did go through a phase of cooking tea on a Saturday night, as he wanted to learn to cook. He would do proper meals using recipes. However, that all stopped when he had revision to do for GCSE's and haven't been able to persuade him to start again.

He does put his laundry in the basket but only every few days and usually when I have reminded him, so I suddenly end up with 3 loads of washing in one go!

Rose does he actually live in the garage or just spend most of his time there tinkering with jobs?

mumblechum1 Fri 28-Sep-12 16:38:42

Hauls in logs and coal.

Does jobs when and when I ask him to.

When it's the holidays and I'm at work he cleans the kitchen.

Does his own ironing.

Viewofthehills Fri 28-Sep-12 16:47:52

Polishes shoes,cleans car, mows lawn, washes up occasionally, clears/lays table.
Helps get meals ready, peels veg., puts oven chips in etc. All when asked with a little huffing and puffing. He is 12.
I would not like your Ds's attitude so I would make him do jobs which benefit the whole family and he needs to learn to cook before he goes off to Uni. I would relate it to PS3 time rather than pocket money possibly and remove the thing altogether if he doesn't co-operate. You need your DH on side too.

deleted203 Fri 28-Sep-12 16:53:56

Anything he's asked to basically. He's very obliging, but typically male and doesn't notice things that need doing. If you ask him to put the bins out, unload dishwasher, cook tea, wash up, hoover, clean bathroom, mow lawn, cut hedge etc he says cheerily, 'Sure, no problem' and goes and does it straightaway, which I like. If you don't ask him to do anything he doesn't lift a finger. But that's a man thing. He does actually keep his bedroom much tidier than the girls (or me blush) but he's quite an organised sort and I think he doesn't like clutter around him.

doublemocha Fri 28-Sep-12 16:57:38

sowornout - do you have my DS perchance? That's him down to a tee (and DD too for that matter!)

thewhistler Fri 28-Sep-12 18:31:38

His allowance is dependent on three key tasks, not demanding but routine. Clean shoes, bins, bring up washing.

He gets fined for dirty clothes left out. He automatically puts his own dishes away but doesn't usually notice other things. He offers to cook quite often and will also offer to do other tasks for small sums.

Adversecamber Fri 28-Sep-12 18:41:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

flow4 Fri 28-Sep-12 20:35:31

I have two DSes, 17 and almost 13. I'm a working single parent.

They both keep their own rooms tidy in whatever state they want. DS2's is very organised and neat; DS1's is messy and chaotic and utterly disgusting.

They both do most of their own laundry, and have done since they were about 9-10. It was easy for me to achieve this: I just stopped doing it for them! grin

They walk the dog, most of the time. She technically belongs to DS1, so he does most of it, but they have this kind of 'deal' where DS2 will walk her if he gets to have her in his room over night smile

They each cook occasionally... TBH they seemed keener on this when they were younger, but DS1 has recently agreed to cook regularly once a week.

They (well, actually usually DS2) lay(s) the table most nights and put dishes in the dishwasher after meals.

Either of them will take bins/recycling out if I ask.

Either of them will come shopping with me if I ask; but I do a lot locally or online, so we only go near a supermarket about once a month.

None of us is tidy, so our family space is often messy. I have arthritic knees/hip, so it's hard for me to pick up dropped items and vac the stairs... They'll do it reluctantly. But if I announce a 'family clean-up' they will each help with whatever I ask, though often with a lot of moaning.

They are both totally rubbish at tidying/cleaning up after themselves. I regularly come home to a trashed kitchen full of cooking debris, dirty pots, noodles down the sink, bacon fat splattered everywhere. The house and especially DS1's bedroom is generally scattered with dirty dishes hmm.

If/when DS1 wants to earn money, I will pay him for extra housework or DIY that I haven't got round to or don't want to do myself. He definitely prefers the jobs he perceives as more 'manly': DIY, lifting and carrying heavy stuff...

He did go through a long stubborn stage last year and earlier this year when he refused point-blank to do any jobs, so he didn't get any money. He also expressed the view that housework is 'a mother's job', which didn't go down at all well with me, though with hind-sight I think it may have been a wind-up! hmm

When I put it all down in black-and-white like this, they seem pretty good grin I must remember to appreciate it!

Roseformeplease Fri 28-Sep-12 20:42:19

Come down and help empty dishwasher, lay table for breakfast. Clear up afterwards. Same in the evening. Cook occasionally and clear up afterwards. Bring own laundry down and put away clean laundry. Empty bins and keep own room, children's sitting room (big house, very cheap area) and bathroom clean and tidy. Help with shopping. Aged 12 and 10. I am about to expect them to start doing their own laundry and cooking once a week each. We do chores together as a famil until an agreed list is done and the reward is nice things done as a family. We regularly say that they are part of a family and these are the jobs that need doing to keep the family comfortable and fed and the house clean. We emphasise family responsibility a lot.

TheWishaTree Fri 28-Sep-12 20:44:17

Mine complain if I ask them to do extra jobs, but I've gradually built up their normal jobs so that they have a list of things they each must do. So, even though they complain about any extras, they haven't really noticed all the things I have them do every day.
It helps that we decided we would each take care of certain rooms in the house, eg our own bedrooms, then have an area we were responsible for. Mine is the kitchen, 1 ds has the living room and the other the stairs and hallways. Occasionally, we'll swap for a while. Then they take turns on the bins, feeding animals etc.
The thing that worked was us all having a job, as teenagers don't see what their parents do every day, they only see what they have to do! So, if they see you as one of the team, rather than the team leader, it can help.

justbreathe Fri 28-Sep-12 20:57:35

MY two ds clean the stairs and the bathrooms... they choose which they want to do on the weekend. cook lunch sometimes , babysit dd, clear the table, stack the dishwasher and empty it occasionally. One is pretty obliging when I ask him to to something the other turns each request into a drama.

mymatemax Fri 28-Sep-12 21:03:44

DS1 will put the washing on, put it on the line etc. Ok at ironing.
Empty bins
Do dishwasher, tidy kitchen after tea
Clean the car out.

He doesnt do it spontaniously (except a bit of ironing maybe) but will do willingly if asked.
Cleaning/tidying his bedroom seems to be like some sort of phobia.

He doesnt get pocket money as he refuses to keep his bedroom tidy which is the one thing i want him to do.

Floralnomad Fri 28-Sep-12 21:12:00

Mine does nothing and never has , it's a bit of a joke around here. He leaves his bedroom bin and any dirty crockery on the landing and waits for the house elves to take it away! He does put his dirty washing into the laundry bin and because he is quite tidy his bedroom is usually ok.

Catsmamma Fri 28-Sep-12 21:16:30

Morning Jobs: food and water for chickens, feed cats, dishwasher/kitchen tidying, bins, poo patrol

Evening jobs: Wood for fire ...he's 15 now and recently been taught to chop wood, this has gone to his head and we have plenty ready! Clearing after supper, dishwasher/ktichen tidying

the more observant of you will have spotted the double mention of dishwasher and kitchen tidying, that's because no one likes doing it and it always gets left and is on everybody's list. My dream is to come down to a clean and tidy kitchen, but I also do not want to do it so standards are compromised.

I have always got them to do chores so really get a bit amazed when children won't help out with good grace little prompting.

I don't pay for jobs to be done and am not good at the whole doling out of pocet money, but I have found the carrot of a random monetary reward is more productive than the stick of "no pocket money" for not doing chores.

Catsmamma Fri 28-Sep-12 21:18:54

oh and other chores are all just done, everyone mucks in as required. I have just delegated the ones I really hate. :D

PlentyOfPubeGardens Fri 28-Sep-12 21:45:01

I have a 17 y/o DS and a 20 y/o DD. We have a rota for daily jobs - laundry, washing up and cooking (21 'slots' in all) DP, DD and DS do 5 slots each and I do 6. Everybody picks their own slots on a Saturday for the following week. We have another rota for weekly jobs - we muck out a room each on rotation. I don't go in their rooms unless they want a friend to stay over, which is conditional on their rooms being tidy.

We've had the rotas for about a year now and I must say they work pretty well. It's based on aiming for all of us to have equal leisure time and the stick/carrot I used was that I wouldn't take on any extra hours at work until everybody was pulling their weight at home. If I hadn't taken on the extra hours, we'd have all had to tighten our belts significantly.

Do you have a DP/DH? does he do his share? Do you get equal leisure time with him? He should be leading by example.

SecondhandRose Fri 28-Sep-12 22:56:41

He does literally live in the garage but it has been lined, carpeted and damp proofed. The mower is in a separate bit too. He has a loo and comes in the house for a shower. School clothes are in the house, all other clothes are in the garage.

FiFA 13 is out so we wont see him for days now,

deleted203 Fri 28-Sep-12 23:49:37

I don't know if this will help anyone (particularly with younger ones to train!) but when I ask any of DCs to do a job, I basically mean 'now, please'. Not 4 hours later, or with a lot of moaning, or complaining, etc.

When DD1 was 10ish I asked her to do a job one day and got a lot of drama about, 'OMG, do I have to do it NOW? I'll do it later. It's not fair, I don't see why I should do it, etc, etc' and so I left her. And she did it surlily and eventually several hours later.

The next time she said, 'Can you take me to dance class?' I threw a strop and said, 'Oh God! Not now. It's not FAIR! You're always expecting me to do things for you!' and I lay down on the carpet and sulked and rolled around and wouldn't budge. And then stomped up to my bedroom and slammed the door. I came down 2 hours later and said 'ALRIGHT! I'll take you now, then!' after, of course, she'd missed it. Lesson learned..........

thewhistler Sat 29-Sep-12 10:09:49

Lol!

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