Teens and Chores: Don’t Give In!

kids doing choresAhhh, summer! A time when we all spend quality time bonding as a family. A time when we all work together and play together, relaxing and enjoying each other’s company…yeah, right. I have two teens in my house and at the beginning of every week, I’ll ask if they want to plan on doing something fun together. “Sorry mom, I have plans with my friends…” Typical.

Ok, but I still need help around the house — after all, now that they’re not in school, I have tons more dishes to wash, groceries to put away, AND maybe even more people around to help! So, just about every day, I’ll ask for them help me with something (put away the laundry, vacuum the living room, unload the dishwasher) BEFORE they take off to spend the day with their friends. I wish I could say that my teens respond with an enthusiastic “Sure, mom…no problem, I’ll help, since you do so much for us!” But alas, I instead get grunts, exaspirated sighs, and even the classic eye rolls – as though I’ve asked them to deep clean all the baseboards and toilets in the house…with a single toothbrush! What follows is them returning in less than 5 minutes saying that it’s all done, “…can I go now?” And of course, you know that the end result at that point is a half-ass job (pardon the expression!)

Sometimes having your teen help with chores around the house can simply be exhausting. It’s almost easier to just do it all yourself…believe me, I know! But, don’t give in! It may be a bit painful and maybe even more work for you, but who said good parenting is easy? It is much better for everyone in the long run to stay on them to make sure they not only do the job, but that they do it right. Yes, you will have to endure more teen angst and anguish as they act like you’ve sold them into the slave trade, but in the end just remember, you are teaching them that whining is not the way – they must learn to be responsible and know how to follow-through on a task. So, hang in there, parents! One day, they will realize why you had to play the role of naggy slave-driver and appreciate all you did for them…maybe.


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