View Full Version : getting kids to help
06-24-2008, 03:41 PM
Hi. I have four kids, 18, 15, 11, 8. I work from home basically full-time doing transcription. I also have the challenge of having severe hypothyroidism which basically means I have zero energy most of the time. My kids are aware of this yet when I ask for help around the house, all I get are excuses. The place looks like the atom bomb went off here. The 18-year-old's excuse is "I have an exhausting part-time job, and I need to rest when I am not working. Give me a break." He works 16 hours a week at McDonald's. The 15-year-old just makes herself scarce a lot of the time. The 11-year-old is either too tired, too hungry, too thirsty, doesn't feel good, etc., etc., etc. The 8-year-old agrees to do some things, but halfway through a chore, runs off. This is very frustrating. My husband works 40+ hours a week and sometimes does construction work for cash after work and on the weekends, so he's too beat to help. This is especially frustrating now, because it's summertime, and I see the kids spending a lot of time laying around doing nothing, but when I mention chores, they take off.
Anybody else have this problem, and WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT IT????!!!
07-01-2008, 10:02 AM
oh my god this is the BIGGEST fight with my 6 year old daughter right now.
We have actually ended up screaming at other!!! yeah, um, what's wrong with this picture? oh i know, the 6 year old thinks she's big enough to scream back at her mother!
what the hell? when did THIS start?!
now here's how those fights go:
me: "I need your help cleaning up this room."
her: "why? i didnt do it!"
me "I dont care that you didnt do it, I didnt either, but why should I be the only one cleaning around here? I had chores when i was 6, why shouldnt you?"
her: [now whining loudly] " but I dont want to clean! I didnt do this!"
me: We're NOT fighting over this. you are helping me clean & thats it, so come on."
Then she yells at me & in shock I yell back & then we go back & forth until i end up grounding her. then when she's grounded she decides she wants to help but after that fight i dont want her help anymore & end up cleaning alone, REALLY pissed off.
where does a 6 year old get the idea that she can talk back & yell at ME? teenagers do this...NOT 6 year olds!
07-01-2008, 02:11 PM
I can only respond with my memory of childhood. A lot of times I had trouble breaking down the job of "cleaning my room" so I'd just avoid it. I didn't know where to start. As a teen, I hated my house because it was always messy and dirty. I'd try to clean the kitchen and it wouldn't take a day to get it right back to where it was. I understood my mom's frustration, but didn't do much to help because it seemed like endless work.
Do they receive allowances? Say no more until they complete certain chores. Any money paid should be for work done.
Your 18-year old may need a reality check. It's time to start paying rent, whether at your house or in an apartment. Your house would be easier. He either needs to work more hours (30+) so he can pay rent, or he needs to have a list of chores completed by the end of the week to "earn" his rent. They should be big jobs; lawn mowing, trash duties, washing cars, etc. He doesn't work enough hours to claim a need for rest. I had a job like that at 16, worked on school nights, at least 20 hours, and still had to get stuff done at home. I also teach high school students and there are too many who think it'll all be easy after they graduate. You may even introduce some of this to your 15-yr. old
Help them understand that things cost money and if they want you to pay for them, they need to start to earn it around the house. If they have a cell phone, discontinue service until they earn those minutes back. I wouldn't make a big deal about your condition either, b/c unless they experience it, they won't really understand. They need to establish a work ethic for life.
But that's enough ranting...
Especially for your younger ones, divide the chores up into steps. If they look at their room bug-eyed and don't spend much time on it, just have them pick up all the clothes, then make the bed, then all the toys, etc. "Clean your room" is such a big direction that is as clear as mud. And make sure there is an end result they can look forward to...not just the intrinsic value they get from having a clean room.
And keep in mind that your grandchildren will do a great job of bringing it back around to your kids...my little girl already has me scared that I'll be on the receiving end of my adolescent behavior!
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