I can't get my teenage son or daughter to work with me around the house.
They're missing out on a lot, 'cuz they won't learn.
I guess I brought 'em up wrong, but, they're good kids (otherwise).
Anyway, just wondering if you have hints?
I can force them, of course, and I can pay them, of course, but they don't even "like" working around the house.
I'm talking things like cleaning the pool, mowing the lawn, fixing the pumps, raking the leaves, etc.
Do you have any tricks and suggestions?
I guess I should make it "fun" but some of these things aren't really fun (like weeding) no matter what I can think of.
Just wondering if you have suggestions.
Are you old enough (don't answer , rhetorical) to remember the
grasshopper/ant cartoon where the g'hopper goes around singin' "Oh the world
owes me a livin' "? The kids these days have been indoctrinated to expect
that . From Big Brother <spit> .
Muggles wrote ... on Wed, 06 Apr 2016 23:21:33 -0500 ...
One is 19, the other 12.
Discipline? I don't think that applies here, since this is
volunteer work. But discipline is almost never anything more
than a reprimand. Never have they ever been hit. Never have
we had to punish them other than to perhaps ground the older
one for a day or two and withhold things they care about
for a short period of time (classic TEASPOT method that
everyone is taught in child psychology).
One is on the computer 24/7 and the other is on the phone
24/7. One kills aliens day after day after day, while the
other fusses over her hair and nails and clothes.
Typical stuff. Very typical stuff.
My kid grew up a lot better than I did but we did go through an
I gave her a small allowance for doing chores around the house.
One day, she stopped doing the chores, so rather than get in a huge
fight with her, I just stopped giving her the allowance.
All was fine for about a year...then one day she told me that her
friends get an allowance...and she wondered why she did not.
I reminded her of the reason and we never had a problem with that since.
Have you discussed this with your wife? If you are not a "united front"
then you won't succeed.
How old are the kids and what chores are they already responsible for?
If the kids won't work with you, will they work with your spouse?
Who feeds and takes care of the pets?
David L. Martel wrote ... on Thu, 07 Apr 2016 09:28:20 -0400 ...
The wife doesn't care about it.
I don't understand how women do anything sometimes. I know that sounds
sexist, but they can't "fix" a thing. For them, it's throw away and
buy new or pay some guy to do it for them.
So she's not with the program.
The kids are 12 and 19.
They don't really have any "chores" per se.
No pets though.
The battle is lost almost irretrievably I'd wager altho perhaps the 12
yo may have some chance to modify behavior if the 19 yo is soon not
around off to school or on own.
We never let kids have all the cell phones and "stuff"; there's no
possibility they would ever be allowed to spend their days doing nothing
but video games and the like; chores were always expected from the time
were able to walk could carry a napkin to the table or something to
"help" (even if it ended up as more effort to assist than net work
As for yard work, and all, there was no "like" or "interest" needed;
again, it was expected.
One does not do them a service by not setting expectations and teaching
a work ethic, but if it's not begun early, patterns are set and then
become exceedingly difficult to break.
I feel your pain but the situation was built from the start...
+1 (Although I have no kids) They may be too far gone... I suspect the 19 is
driving, so that is your crutch, the 13 is the phone. Gather the family
around the table and explain (without judgment or anger) that the bux are
going to stop unless you get their cooperation. You can blame economic times
or age or whatever-that society changes as one grows older and this is part
of it. New day at the ranch. Take the gas card away and the phone. Not as
punishment as incentive. They are looking to their parents as examples. You
have to provide the guidance, otherwise they will turn out to be slackers
like protesters in NYC. Can't remember the name of them...
I don't know what demographic area you live in but their peers will put
pressure on them. Remember they are probably doing acts which you don't
condone so you will have a uphill battle. Get your wife on board.
The way I was brought up was that was expected to help and get a job. It was
ingrained by my parents.
I might have gotten my sons to help if I did it with them but things I
told them to do like cutting grass was like pulling teeth and easier to
Eldest son surprised me on his second marriage where his father in law
taught him to do more things than I had ever attempted myself.
So my advice is get them to work with you but not on their own.
Frank wrote ... on Thu, 07 Apr 2016 10:01:03 -0400 ...
Actually, the whole question was about getting them to work "with" me.
I don't really want them to work on their own. Sure, they can,
but the question was about fixing stuff, like putting brakes on
or mounting tires or mowing the lawn or repairing things.
Most things that need to be repaired need to be diagnosed,and they
get bored in just a few minutes of diagnosis.
Everyone has some good advice to offer that I've read so far, but the
problem is how do you implement something that'll work for your 2 kids.
One is an adult male teen, and the other is a young girl teen and what
works for one won't work for the other.
I'd suggest you sit them both down and let them know the rules are going
to change along with what will be expected from them. Once you set the
rules there will be consequences if they either won't/can't abide by the
rules. Stop paying your own kids $10 an hour to do chores in the home
they live in. Tell them they are getting room and board and food every
day and if they want to eat and have a comfortable place to live,
they'll contribute to the daily needs of the household.
For example: For the 19 year old, it's your house, you pay the bills,
and therefore his video games are no longer allowed - confiscate them
and let him know since he's an adult that he's expected to get a job and
pay you some rent. If he balts at that idea explain that he's an adult
and it's time for reality lessons. He needs to begin supporting himself,
paying rent, and helping around the house with specific chores. You're
his father and love him, but at the same time it isn't love to allow an
adult child to just sit around all day playing video games. He's grown
up now and life is tough and it's time he learns what it'll be like if
and when he's on his own so he might as well get a taste of supporting
himself, now, when you're there to assist him in learning the best ways
of doing it.
If your 19 yo son refuses, let him know he's welcome to move out and
have a taste of what real life will serve up to him if he's not
prepared, otherwise, you won't be providing him free room and board
anymore. OR, come up with some other consequence that WILL make him
uncomfortable enough to get up off his lazy butt and grow up and learn
about real life. It won't be easy for you to lay down the law, but if
you don't he could be living with you for the rest of his life sponging
off of you will no real life skills to support himself. That isn't love
if you let your son sit and play video games all day and not set down
rules and expectations for him to rise up to be a real man.
Your 12 year old daughter needs a wake up call, too, but you have more
time to get through to her, but your daughter will try to manipulate you
in order to get her way and anything she wants from you. After all,
she's daddy's little girl. Set down rules for her that are age
appropriate like pulling weeds in the yard, doing laundry, cooking
meals, working side by side with you so you can teach her how to change
the oil in a car so she'll know how to take care of a car when she's old
enough to own one.
REQUIRE both of them to learn life skills - take away their electronic
toys and make them EARN those privileges. You're their father - not
their sugar daddy. If they get out in the real world not having any
real life skills they'll just come back home when things get rough and
live off of mom and dad til you're too old to support them any more.
Allowing them to become those sorts of people doesn't do them any good.
Real life is tough and they need to learn if they don't pull their own
weight life will knock them down and they might not get back up.
That's just a few things I can think of ... My 3 kids are full grown
all living on their own, now. When we were raising them teaching them
life lessons was an every day thing, and they had to earn the "wants" in
+1 I hadn't read this prior to my posting but it echoes every point I was
trying to make.
Are the kids going to college or other schooling? What are they interested
in? Don't be fooled by the candidates saying they will get a free education.
If they are going you will have to have DEEP pockets.
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