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To give up with teen chores?

75 replies

EssieTregowan · 12/07/2017 09:00

Dd is 13 and Ds1 is nearly 15.

The only chores they have are keeping their rooms tidy and washing up on alternate days.

Dd is awesome at keeping her room clean, Ds is terrible. When he 'tidied' he actually just shoves stuff under his bed so I eventually end up clearing it out every few months, by which time it's disgusting as it's dirty pants and tissues etc all mixed up.

Washing up is a disaster. They've been doing it since they were about nine or ten and it's getting worse, bit better. It takes them hours, between procrastinating and just fucking faffing. They never leave the kitchen clean, and I often end up spending my evening on top of them pointing out the bits they haven't done. Things like leaving an entire pan, or overstacking the dishwasher, or just not putting anything away. It's just painful. Not to mention the water everywhere and the greasy bits.

I can wash up and clean the kitchen in about ten minutes. DH is adamant that they should do it because otherwise I do literally everything for them.

But I'm just so sick of having to either finish the job or spend time and energy calling them back to finish stuff. Plus it's almost a guaranteed argument every single evening and I can just do without it.

Aibu to just say Fuck It and go back to doing it myself? Or is it vital for them to have some responsibility?

I've just had to restack the clean dishwasher and run it again as ds had put it on last night and hardly anything is clean. They just don't seem to get it.

OP posts:
AlternativeTentacle · 12/07/2017 09:03

No, they get it! They know you come along and do it properly if they do it wrong. Oldest trick in the book.

DeadGood · 12/07/2017 09:04

Keep at it. Sorry.
Sit them down, tell them why they have to do these chores. Perform a demonstration of exactly what you require and the results you expect. They can take notes or a video if they have to. They should take a photo of what the kitchen should look like when it's done.
And then your husband can do the nightly supervision.

NellieFiveBellies · 12/07/2017 09:05

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JaceLancs · 12/07/2017 09:06

No I wouldn't give up - I would choose tasks carefully and reward or sanction appropriately
I used the allowance system - which was only paid if agreed chores were done to my satisfaction
At 13 and 15 they should be easily capable of doing own ironing - packed lunches - washing up etc
Own bedrooms I used to let go - I just didn't enter them!
It does get better but you have to guide them and put in the boundaries

MrsJayy · 12/07/2017 09:08

Of course they get it but they know if they arse it up you will fix it. Id be on at them to do it properly do they share the washing up ? Id get 1 to wash and dry one night the other to do it another night so they are not faffing about together in the kitchen, be at your son every day to bring washing down.

Ratbagratty · 12/07/2017 09:09

If they wash up and leave it half dirty, be sure they then get their next meal on it! Should work a treat!

JaceLancs · 12/07/2017 09:09

Just to add I also paid them above minimum wage at 14 and 16 to do all my cleaning (10 years ago) £5 an hour - 4 hours a week
Best cleaners I've ever had - really miss it!

Mysterycat23 · 12/07/2017 09:09

Where is DH while you are spending your evening standing over them? Let him stand over them as well while you sit down!

Maybe add in extra chores e.g. vacuuming, mowing the lawn, cleaning the bathroom, to be done weekly. Tidying own room plus dishes is not much, if you can do dishes in 10 mins so can they! If there is a dishwasher it is hardly a chore. They are old enough to help out more, not less.

ConstanceCraving · 12/07/2017 09:13

They're not doing the jobs properly because they are crafty and know that you're likely to stop asking them to do them and do it yourself! Why should you do all the work?

Absolutely do not let them get off with this.

36plusandtrying · 12/07/2017 09:19

Change the wireless password until it's done to your standard !! It's a pain but keep at it Smile

EssieTregowan · 12/07/2017 09:41

Dh works in the evenings at the moment so it's down to me.

We've had years of sanctions, standing over them, demonstrating it. They just don't ever improve.

They do alternate evenings, we've been through the hell of trying to get them to do it together Grin

I'm going to have to spend a few days/weeks being right on top of them, aren't I? They're not stupid. How hard can it be to get it right first time?

OP posts:
EssieTregowan · 12/07/2017 09:42

I should say I don't always finish it for them, but it does happen when I just get so frustrated with it.

OP posts:
iamUberA · 12/07/2017 09:49

How about they take it in turns to do the kitchen (saves arguing) and be very specific about what you want done e.g I want all dishes cleaned, dried and put away and all work tips wiped clean and sink rinsed off.
If you come to check it and there's something not done they get to do it the next day as well. And same again. Repeated. They won't want to do it all every night so hopefully will buck up.

caffeinestream · 12/07/2017 09:53

Of course they can do it, they just know there's no consequence if they don't, so why should they bother?

Change the wifi password everyday after school, and only give it to them when they've done their chores.

ZoeWashburne · 12/07/2017 09:54

If something isn't to standard, why do you excuse it? If you don't do the dishes properly, you are going to do the dishes, and rewash the previous night's dishes until you do it right. If your room isn't clean, why have they not lost mobile/internet privileges? Change the wifi password, they only get the password when their room is clean and their dishes are done.

There is no reason, other than sheer laziness, that you should be cleaning the room of a 13-15 year old. They are going to be out of your house in a few years. You need to get them into good habits now.

With your set up right now, they would be stupid to do it properly. You have taught them Mum will just get frustrated and do it for you.

MrsJayy · 12/07/2017 09:56

If you think they are arsing it up on purpose find them another chore to do say kids you are obviously strugging what else do you fancy doing what about bathrooms you could do those or maybe put bins out or hoover stairs let them choose Wink

NellieFiveBellies · 12/07/2017 10:00

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MistressDeeCee · 12/07/2017 10:03

It must be exhausting having to constantly check up on the tasks they're meant to be doing, having to complain etc. They're lazy and entitled, and know there's no consequence. Id sit them down be very precise about the need to do housework and why

Put up a list of what has to be done by who. If its not done or if they're faffing so long on tasks that its stressing you, then give them consequences and stick to it. Id not be giving any treats, there'd be no access at all to wi-fi in the house either, Id be the only one with password. No visits to/from friends either. Whatever else you can think of

They need to know you aren't a domestic drudge for them

DD2's ex-partner was a lazy fucker who treated his mum the exact same way. Nice woman but I thought no way do I want your lazy entitled selfish son with my DD. I was glad when DD2 decided same. I pity any woman who ends up as his lifepartner.

Both your DCs need to learn the benefits of being clean and self-sufficient. Good luck

Categoric · 12/07/2017 10:09

I second using the wifi as an incentive. The rule in this house is that if chores or homework are not done properly or one of the DC has been rude or unpleasant, then the wifi gets turned off for 24 hours and their phones are removed as soon as they get home. I've turned it off twice this year, so it is really quite effective.

Justhadmyhaircut · 12/07/2017 10:15

Tonight's the night. .
That we resolve this very issue!!
Not starting the school hols living in a hovel!!
I have cancelled all after school activities for the whole week until 'The Plan' is in place!
6 dc and nobody does much tbh.
Tomorrow is the start of 'New Home'
Good luck to all (and us!)

onceandneveragain · 12/07/2017 10:20

Give them a list of jobs and say if they can't be bothered to do the kitchen properly after all the times you've shown them they can pick two other jobs off the list instead. Ideally these should be jobs that, if not done well, effect them and not you (I.e washing and ironing their own clothes) or jobs that don't annoy you if they get done half heartedly (mowing lawn).

If it's too much of a faff having them do one small job every other day, get them to do a big job/s on the weekend instead - e.g son will Hoover whole house, daughter clean each bathroom - wifi password gets changed Friday night and they don't get the new one until they've done the chore fully and to a good standard. Same if they need a lift anywhere / money for the weekend - of course they can as long as they've spent a good hour or two helping in the household first. It gives them
Some control about when they do it too - if they want to lie in bed all morning go for it, if they need to be up and out early sat morning they need to plan in advance what they're going to do.

TBH I would replace keeping room tidy with tasks that will actually benefit them in later life such as cleaning, cooking, ironing. Their rooms are they only personal space, so as long as they aren't actually crawling with ants who cares if they aren't spotless? You can just close the door. Plus if one of your children is naturally tidier than the other it's more of a chore for the messy one.

Mulledwine1 · 12/07/2017 10:26

Don't bother, they'll soon learn when they move out because they'll have to. My DH is a lot more domesticated than I am and he didn't have to do any chores at home. People always say on here that if they don't do it as teens they will never learn but I don't agree. When someone else will do it, you let them do it. When you're out in the big wide world you have to do it. DH had his own flat for a few years so he had to keep it clean, cook and iron!

I could not use the WIFI threat because I need it myself. Anyway, mine would just watch TV instead. Or even crawl away and read an actual book. There are always more interesting things to do than washing up.

But - if you have a dishwasher why is anyone washing up? I do the breakfast dishes by hand, and the odd cup etc, but anything else goes in the dishwasher.

steppemum · 12/07/2017 10:28

here is what I would do.

  1. make a 'list' which says very clearly point by point what is expected of the chore (we know they know this, the list is for your sanity)

  1. every item in kitchen washed
  2. every work surface wiped down
  3. unused food clingfilmed and put in fridge

same with bedroom, the the small proviso that I do think if they want to live untidily then can, but washing and plates etc must be removed for hygiene reasons

then turn off the wi-fi, or make a new ruel that they hand in their phone.
So - dinner over - phone please.
You go and sit in lounge.
When job is finishes you ask - every single thing on the list? You've checked?
Then go and inspect. If it is done to your satisfaction phone is returned. if not, no phone.
If it isn't done by the time your alarm goes off (say 8pm) then no phone tomorrow either - or they have to do it again tomorrow and their sibling gets a night off.

I find it very hard work with teens, but I am persisting, because they need to be part of family life, and their need to know how to do this stuff.

I have been telling them for about 3 weeks that in the holidays everyone has to cook one meal per week.
ds bless him think he is ordering pizza.
EssieTregowan · 12/07/2017 10:29

MulledWine I do keep saying that to DH. We had loads of chores as kids and I'm pretty sure that's why I'm such a lazy, messy bugger. He didn't have to do anything and he's pretty much housetrained.

Re the washing up, our dinner plates don't fit in the dishwasher! Dishwasher came with the house and is a bit crap really, our standard sized frying pan doesn't fit either. So there are always a few bits to do.

OP posts:
Longdistance · 12/07/2017 10:34

Is that all they do?

When me and db were that age we hoovered, dusted, did the laundry, ran errands like shopping, cooked, and some bits of gardening. Both dps worked full time, one was occasionally night shifts so asleep during the day.

I'd stop calling them chores as it sounds like a slog to them, they're jobs around the house. Just give them more jobs, the summer holidays are here.

No worky, no money.

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