Getting Teen Sons to Help - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 05-28-2002, 01:47 AM - Thread Starter
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How on earth do any of you get your teens to help around the house... Soooooooo frustrating all the time.. I have a 20 yo back home for the summer, 17 yo graduating, 14 yo and two 3 yo -- all sons! I nag and nag and no one ever wants to help or they are gone or too much homework, studying, etc -- a million excuses and there lies an unemptied dishwasher with sink full, clothes strewn about, sneakers thrown, tons of yard work, etc. I cannot remember techniques I have read in the past yet I know there must be a better way... thanks, Ann
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#2 of 6 Old 05-28-2002, 12:06 PM
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I hear you loud and clear!!!
I have a 15 year old son who does the same thing and the worst part he is setting a terrible example for his 5 sibilings.
He has found that if he forgets to take out the trash I take it into HIS bedroom when he is asleep ..I have on occasion thrown his shoes on top and he has to dig them out ..not too much fun when one is 1/2 asleep!!..I have tried the "We are A family everybody needs to help" that only works when he wants to go somewhere ......I am out of ideas also ...
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#3 of 6 Old 05-28-2002, 12:28 PM
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sorry to say the only thing I know of that helps is to stay on them like glue. I would stand there and repeat take out the trash almost drone like until he finally got mad and got up and did it. The trick to this is - keep doing it - after 2 or 3 weeks, they start to see that you aren't going away and you won't have to stay on them as much. NEVER EVER lose your temper and NEVER argue while using this method - when they try to argue or deflect or distract (or any of the other tactics they use) just say in a calm voice "take out the trash now", no matter what they say, stay calm and keep repeating. As long as you stay calm and don't loses your temper, YOU have the power!!! It took my son about 3 weeks to finally get the idea that I wasn't going to argue and he was going to have to do what I said unless he wanted me to follow him around all the time. It takes a lot of energy for a few weeks, but it certainly pays off!
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#4 of 6 Old 06-10-2002, 02:34 AM
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#5 of 6 Old 06-13-2002, 12:19 AM
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I found a great way to get the house cleaned while I was grocery shopping, was to tell them they could play video games after they got the house picked up (or whatever it was that needed done.)

Mostly we just explained to them (like we do to our daughters now) that we are all a family and it takes a family to run a household. If we want to do fun things then we all need to pitch in and get the housework done. Now mind you, they still left their socks on the floor frequently.

Maybe my sons were unique, or maybe I can attribute their co-operation to homeschooling(really unschooling) all their life. I don't know, but I would try simply explaining your need for their help. Who knows, it just might work.

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#6 of 6 Old 08-07-2002, 11:57 PM
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I agree with whoever said stay on them about it. I usually am able to tell my children I want whatever it is done by dinner time and it would be done. Occasionally they start to stretch the limits, I then tell them for a few weeks your chore of the day needs to be done now. No choices, no waiting because I can't be sure it will get finished otherwise. They soon get tired of this and I'm able to go back to letting them do it in their own time on a given day.

We homeschool also, and I do think that has helped a lot. I also expected cooperation from the time they were small. It can still happen when they get older, it just takes longer for them to get the message that you mean business and aren't going to back down.
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