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How do you get teen boys to help around the house?

(32 Posts)
dewdrop68 Thu 20-Oct-16 06:52:31

Two DS, 17 and 19. They do very little around the house and I really don't want them to end up like their dad, who did very little to help when we were together. I've tried giving them jobs etc, but it falls down when they go out or are at their dad's and I end up doing everything myself. Last night I refused to cook tea until the sunk was free of dishes. I need good, practical advice. They argue about it and it gets me down.

dewdrop68 Thu 20-Oct-16 06:53:20


AnyFucker Thu 20-Oct-16 06:53:50

The wi fi is switched off until they comply

WordGetsAround Thu 20-Oct-16 06:57:25

The same way you'd get teenage girls to - you explain what they have to do before they enjoy all the perks of living in the family home (wifi, lifts, full fridge, money etc). I do think you've probably left it too late to create any lasting change though. This sort of character stuff needed to be addressed at least a decade ago with age-appropriate responsibility.

dewdrop68 Thu 20-Oct-16 07:01:40

They've had jobs to do since they were quite young. It just still feels an uphill battle.
I'm determined to sort them out. I need to stop all lifts, money etc until they comply, I know. .

HuckfromScandal Thu 20-Oct-16 07:05:05

You sit them down and say - everyone makes the mess. So everyone kicks in and cleans it up.

And it's not a gender thing. It's a being a young adult thing.
Mine -
Empty bins
Hang washing
Clean rooms
Change beds

And if they don't - I don't let them go out, swan off and leave if.

AnyFucker Thu 20-Oct-16 07:05:09

Mine have had chores to do since a very young age but they still became lazy, uncooperative PITA'S when they hit their teens

They would still get waited on hand and foot if we allowed it

Mittensonastring Thu 20-Oct-16 07:13:52

Threats of Xbox removal . We have only actually done this twice but any threat of removal has to be followed through. I'm recovering from being ill I went down the evening before DH went away on a two week business trip. DS has made dinner a couple of times and emptied bins and dishwasher but it's not done with much grace.

My MIL and I had a chat about this issue at Easter she thinks if they argue and try and evade it's a good sign that they are finding their own voice. Have a bit of gumption kind of stuff, even though it's a pain for us as parents. I still haven't decided how I feel about her philosophy.

DS was putting his own plate in the dishwasher at 2 and tidying his own toys. Any parents of small DC that think training from a young age means it will definitely remain the same is mistaken.

ToxicLadybird Thu 20-Oct-16 07:17:43

The wifi password has the power to moticate the most lazy teenager.

dewdrop68 Thu 20-Oct-16 07:23:39

They know the wifi password off by heart!
Yes, Huck, I am going to tell them again that if it doesn't get done when I want it done then all nice things in the house stops - favourite food, lifts etc. I'll make a list AGAIN and allocate jobs
I want them to cook but although they do the basics I think they should be doing a meal each at least one night a week.

daisychicken Thu 20-Oct-16 07:39:02

Change the password!

We have done jobs since day dot ie helping out toys away and 'go put this in the basket' as they got changed etc and gradually increased the jobs as they got older. We've also had the 'why do I have to?!' and 'my friends don't have to do jobs' and they'd like a pp's kids would be happy to be waited on hand and foot if I'd let them. BUT I've made it clear that we all live in this house, we all make a mess and create washing etc therefore we all work together as a team to get the jobs done. They know we expect the jobs to be done and if not, well wifi goes first! Doesn't stop whinging, doesn't stop them trying it on nor does it stop me getting annoyed but wifi goes off and won't go back on unless jobs done!

Jobs include keeping bedroom tidy but also general jobs round the house and we've just introduced cooking a simple midweek meal once a fortnight (2dc so alternate).

We changed the wifi code and the router, which allowed us to have MAC address only access so no getting round the code (which ds1 learned to do very easily!) and I can switch them both off via an app. Which makes life much easier for me as can be done anywhere!

IfartInYourGeneralDirection Thu 20-Oct-16 07:44:49

I'm queen of the WiFi. I will change the password for the rest of the day it if jobs are not done, no ifs,no buts, I'm heartless

AnyFucker Thu 20-Oct-16 07:46:26

Change the WiFi password or remove the router. I have taken it to work withe in the boot of my car before now.

IfartInYourGeneralDirection Thu 20-Oct-16 07:47:33

Oh yes AF, I've taken the router box to work with me a few times togrin

schbittery Thu 20-Oct-16 07:52:04

Loving the wifi confiscation! brilliant! I'm going to try this.

YellowPrimula Thu 20-Oct-16 07:59:52

We tried the wifi password but they tried to break it so many times that the whole router locked , now no one knows the password , we have the access code but the password that sets the time controls etc is a mystery .How do you do the MAC code thing .

We also have a very fragile connection so I hate turning it off because I am reliant on it for work.I also struggle to get them to do very much , they just don't seem to see the same things , they will put bowls in sink but not I. Dishwasher for instance , they leave towels everywhere .The eldest is the worst , always has been , he just doesn't think it's a problem if the house is a bomb site and anyway apparently it's not his responsibility to keep my house clean .

Also tried the not cooking dinner unless kitchen cleaned , they just said fine and made themselves a sandwich .

AnyFucker Thu 20-Oct-16 09:34:42

Find something else that they really want/need then and control their access to it until they act like a functional member of the family

Most teens don't get that concept naturally. Mine certainly don't.

throckenholt Thu 20-Oct-16 16:25:47

it's not his responsibility to keep my house clean
It's not his responsiblity to make your house a mess either !

I remind mine on a semi regular basis that we all live in the house, and they all like to eat, and have toilet paper, and be warm, etc etc - so none of that is going to happen if they leave me to do it all. If they want me to do my share of stuff (eg buying food, cooking, giving lifts etc), then they need to do their share of chores.

They are actually quite good at doing things, but only when I point it out to them - I really haven't cracked the getting to do it of their own accord yet. But I live in hope.

I don't like the threat and force approach - but I have been known to say right - I am on strike until x gets done. I have also been known to say if you want to be treated like an adult, part of that is appreciating that it just isn't fair to expect someone else to slave for them - they have to take responsibility for the jobs that need doing in a house to make it a good place to live in.

selfishcrab Thu 20-Oct-16 16:42:01

Mine do all my housework in the holidays and in term time they have jobs too.
I give them a time limit and if it isn't done by then I don't give lifts/money/ etc nor do I cook.
They are 19 and 15 so can cook etc for themselves, however as I cook from scratch cleaning for me is quicker.
I do work full time and stupid hours!

daisychicken Thu 20-Oct-16 16:44:51

The mac code thing - we bought a Linksys router which has a neat website and app that allows you to enter mac addresses and even parental control so I can control individual devices (i.e. I get wifi but kids don't and I can control who gets wifi and when). Im sure other routers do this too but dh researched this one. It's really made my life easier as less arguing and no sneaking behind my back or losing my own access if I was home (if I was out then I'd happily take router with me and I have done previously!).

The kids realised that I (and dh obviously!) have the upper hand and it has reduced the stubborn 'why should I?' arguments - not stopped but reduced.

FRETGNIKCUF Thu 20-Oct-16 16:51:08

I've changed the wifi password and locked away all devices until my four stop arguing loudly and incessantly.

Changing the wifi code is easy.

I've made mine nice and ironic, I enter it then at the end of their session I forget network.

Ahhhhh the power mwa ha haaaa

JustDanceAddict Fri 21-Oct-16 12:59:09

We have a rota for clearing up after meals, esp dinner. It has helped. I don't like to overload them in term time as they have a lot of h/w, but I expect them to tidy up after themselves, keep room tidy. The basics. DS is on half/term and I came down to all his breakfast stuff left out, so I made him put it away. He moans, but does it if I ask.

BackforGood Fri 21-Oct-16 17:18:30

Mine (dds + ds) have all, always been expected to help, from when they were toddlers ok, that wasn't so much help but it got them into thinking it's just part of life.
When they got to teens I found letting them choose the jobs helped a lot - so, for example, I put a list of the days on the fridge - they all know they've got to do one evening meal each, so they jump in quick to get the day they prefer. Or sometimes we've had a 'lets sort the house out Saturday' and I've written out a list of things that need doing, and first there gets first choice. I think it also helps to insist every time that they get up from the table, they take something with them to put in the dishwasher - you feel like you are on a loop at times, but it does become habit in the end.

FreezePeach Sat 22-Oct-16 13:31:58

Going against the grain here. Only on MN this WiFi thing hmm.
If I worked full time I am sure I would feel differently but as I don't I feel happy to do more than they do. I think life is too short for threats and punishments, all that just makes family life miserable.
DS 18 and 20 here. They can competently do any chore but I don't insist on them doing much. They get their own breakfasts and lunches and often help prep veg for family dinner. What I do expect is that if I ask them to do the bins or mow the grass they do it willingly.
I would expect more in school holidays and much less in term time when they are working for exams and had part time jobs. Both at uni now and managing perfectly well to cook, clean and do laundry.
I think allocating a rota of chores is the least effective as it causes resentment.

BackforGood Sat 22-Oct-16 20:51:16

I think allocating a rota of chores is the least effective as it causes resentment.

Interesting, because with my 3, the fact it's clear that each of them is only doing as much as their siblings makes them much more willing than if I randomly catch one of them and ask them to do a job which tends to involve lots of "Its not fair" "So and so never does anything" "I did it last time" type comments.

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