A mom on our forum asks: My daughter (will be 15 in 3 weeks) has to be reminded constantly to do her chores. Chores she's been doing for years and I'm still having to nag. I know, take things away. But how do I decide what exactly?
Do I say, next time I have to remind you to unload the DW you lose X? Do I remind her once (a warning)? does she have to do this chore after the DW is finished (loading turning it on is my job) within 5 minutes, 15mn, an hour half a day before X is gone daddy gone?
Is X cell phone time? (I don't pay for her minutes dad does so min. aren't an issue) Ok and how long? She is capable of going nuts over the loss of her cell phone. Is X something else? No activities with friends?
She is stubborn and overall a good kid very involved in school, sports, but very willful. Yes, I am coming across sarcastic, but sadly because I really can't come up with the answers myself!
Last November I found out she was sneaking her boyfriend in our house and having sex! Blew my mind - she's not even allowed to date yet. In the face of this really bad s**t I handled this crisis so well I was so proud of myself.
The kid was pretty much in complete lockdown, BUT with HOPE. I told her you want your life back you have to earn my trust again. It took almost 6 months and we had the best relationship during that time we'd had since she became a teen.
Don't ask me what I did about chores then. They just got done somehow. Me, her, whoever - don't remember. Things just worked, clicked... And here I am asking you all a stupid question about chores.
Denise's thoughts: My dd is a pretty good kid too. But, getting her to remember and do a chore before she flitted off somewhere or got on her cell phone, etc. was like pulling teeth. Since I use the cell phone as leverage for grades, I had to do something else for chores. While I had a few choices(earning her ability to go out with friends, taking the Ipod until the chore was done, etc) I chose to stop giving her money and put her on an allowance that she had to earn. I was always the one who paid for the movies, magazine subscriptions, cute clothes, etc.
Sit down and draw up a contract. Tell her that you give her this money because it's part of being in the family. These things aren't necessary, but they are nice to have. Explain that you really want her to have these things, that is why you are going to provide her with the ability to get them.
Next explain that chores are also a part of being in a family. These little jobs meet your family's needs and when they aren't done in a timely manner without putting undo pressure on someone else it has a negative affect on the whole family, including her.
Then tie an amount to each chore, write it down. Write down how much time you'll give her to get the chore done. Explain that you will not ask her to do the chore. She knows what she has to do and she needs to take that responsibility. If the chore isn't done in the allotted time, do it yourself and she doesn't get paid for it. This hasn't happened often in our home, but she missed the money when it has which helped get it done the next time.
And on a side note: there are no stupid questions ;-)
Asking our community: How do you handle chores in your home? Does your teen do them without being nagged or is it a pet peeve for you? Please share your stories, opinions and advice in the comments area.