Frustrated with getting our teenagers to do the basics in life without a debate on why we are wrong.

cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Reply
Active scribe

Frustrated with getting our teenagers to do the basics in life without a debate on why we are wrong.

We have two daughters one 18 and one 15 and we are really struggling with the battles that take place on a daily basis to just get them to tidy up after themselves.  Everywhere they go in the house they leave a mess,  their bedrooms are very untidy (but I don't both them with tidying up unless we are cleaning the house usually every 3 weeks), they leave food and glasses on the units in the lounge room when watch TV, they leave wet towels on the floor, the list is endless.   Whilst we are happy to keep asking them to tidy round (we don't do it for them) the frustration is immense when they continue not to do it when asked!  When ask why they don't do it they say it is not important to them and why are we so strict!

 

We don't consider ourselves 'strict' parents however we do have standards and keeping the house tidy is one of them.  According to Sophie (the 15 year old) we have no empathy, we always what to try and fix things and we always play devils advocate in any conversations we have!  In the words of our 18 year old, Lauren, we are psycho's because she doesn't see the importance of what we ask of her...  when we challenge them it seems like we are in the wrong asking for them to do something which is just normal.

 

We wouldn't go quite as far as saying it is bullying but on most occasions we feel like we are being abused by just asking for them to do the basics in life i.e. clean up after themselves.

 

It is hard to explain on a forum what happens on a daily basis, most days we either don't speak to either of them because we are fed with the confrontation or we ask them to tidy up and then it gets ugly!!  Rolling of the eyes, walking away, just not doing what we have asked, so we have to ask again and again or at the very extreme doing it ourselves as it is probably a health hazard and the house needs to be relatively clean and tidy.

 

We are at the point now where we need some help because my husband and I are starting to argue between ourselves and the atmosphere is horribly in the house - slamming of doors, coming home to silence or going out to get away from it then all we talk about is them, how we can sort it...

 

Any help so gratefully received.  I / we would like to attend a course to get some help as to where to go from here as I am scared I will loose my husband and or the Children because home life is at rock bottom... 

 

Thanks 

Mod

Re: Frustrated with getting our teenagers to do the basics in life without a debate on why we are wr

Hi there @Valerieb so sorry to hear about this situation, it sounds like it's creating a lot of discord and becoming emotionally exhausting. Feeling abused by your kids isn't nice, I know you mentioned you wouldn't label it bullying but there's a really good article here, maybe not completely relevant but I find the footnote strategies really useful.

 

A course sounds pretty awesome - have you seen any that look useful to you?

 

What sort of self-care have you got in place at the moment? Sometime's it is super easy as a parent to put almost everything before yourself, do you get time away for a walk, meditation etc?

Active scribe

Re: Frustrated with getting our teenagers to do the basics in life without a debate on why we are wr

@Valerieb, this is a tough issue.  I agree with the article that @Breez-RO recommended, but at the end of the day... you are the parents, and they are the kids.

 

Sometimes we over-complicate things.  There's no reason that any child should think it's ok to mouth off to their parents without a repercussion or consequence.

 

I am a big fan of Love & Logic, and being able to set expectations and consequences.  Kids need boundaries, and they need to know parents will enforce consequences consistently. 

 

Sometimes it can be tough... which is why it's called "Tough Love."

 

You can talk to your kids and explain that your house has standards.  Explain your expectations and then tell them the consequences if they choose not to meet those expectations.

 

You can still do this in a very loving way, and there's no need to explain why it's important to keep the house clean or why leaving food on dishes is a bad choice.  

 

It's a tough journey, and it does require commitment and consistency, but if you give it some time, you can change the environment and dynamic.

Parent Peer Supporter

Re: Frustrated with getting our teenagers to do the basics in life without a debate on why we are wr

Hi @Valerieb, this sounds very tough and I have the same issue.  I had to look at life a little differently in my house with three teenage/adult boys.  To get order I had to create mess.  I gave them their own washing baskets and they all have to do their own washing.  Their clothes are everywhere in their rooms and I just close the door now.  Very occasionally I clean their rooms and they notice the difference and appreciate it.  As far as the plates and cups all around the house goes this has lessened as they have grown.  I too keep at them all the time about leaving stuff around and it is so repetitive and lets face it we have been doing it since they were 5 years old.  Hope this helps.

Super contributor

Re: Frustrated with getting our teenagers to do the basics in life without a debate on why we are wr

Hey @Valerieb This is such a common experience for parents and yet not any easier because of that.

I have the same issue with my kids, particularly the middle one. A 14-year-old girl who just doesn't seem to notice the mess.

I have adopted a similar approach to @Chalke5 where I get her to put her clothes into a basket, get plates etc into the dishwasher and occasionally I go into her room and clean it properly. The deal we have regarding this is, I do it without complaint because I recognise that my version of clean is dramatically different to her version of clean and she has to let me because she likes it when her room is clean.

If it's any comfort, my eldest was terribly messy and we fought about it all the time. She now lives in share accommodation and complains to me how messy her flatmates are!! Her space is so beautifully clean. I am amazed every time I go there.

 

But, for some really good suggestions on how to tackle this day to day I highly recommend the ReachOut Coaching course. If you click here you can find out more about it. It's completely free, delivered by trained professionals from The Benevolent Society over the phone and works on developing practical solutions to your immediate issues. It's definitely worth checking out.

Active scribe

Re: Frustrated with getting our teenagers to do the basics in life without a debate on why we are wr

Hi Breez-RO  many thanks for your comment below I read the article and found it very helpful.   I don't really have any self care at the moment, well to be honest I have never had any self care!!  I try to walk and read but sometime I just run out of time.  

 

I am going to look at some courses this time round,  try and get better to get my confidence back and work things through.

 

Thanks for your support.

Valerie

Active scribe

Re: Frustrated with getting our teenagers to do the basics in life without a debate on why we are wr

Hi 

 

Yes I agree with everything you say but it is really hard and demoralising when you constantly are asking for things to be tidied up and then they just don't it because it is not important to them!!

 

Both the teenager know the expectation and consequences of not doing it.  At the moment the 15 year old does eventually do but the 18 year old does it if she feels like it if not she just goes out!

 

Thanks for your support  

Active scribe

Re: Frustrated with getting our teenagers to do the basics in life without a debate on why we are wr

Thanks Chalke5  

 

Both my girls have Laundry baskets but they don't actually use them!!  When I don't do the washing they just get it out the basket and wear it again un-washed.  Cleaning, tidying, washing and ironing is not important to them...  The eldest one is worse she is very spiteful and derogatory when challenged!

 

I am going to get further help so hopefully it will soon get better.

 

Thanks for your support 

Prolific scribe

Re: Frustrated with getting our teenagers to do the basics in life without a debate on why we are wr

Oh boy @Valerieb You sound exhausted by this !

Teens can be so disrespectful of the space they share with others . My teens are the same . To a degree we have backed off and allowed their rooms to get messy during the week but they must clean them on the weekend . A consistent regular plan is what you might need . 

A list on the fridge of expectations for the week with  deadlines . If the chores are not completed by the day and time then you must impose consequences that they are fully aware of . What is their currency ? With my daughter it's going to her boyfriends , my son it's his internet .  Be clear and follow through always . Once the plan has been set , inform them , discuss it with them , but do not allow them to argue with you about it . Tell them the rules are not open to negotiation , you and dad have already decided. A simple , 

" We are not discussing this anymore , we understand your view and this is what we have decided ." 

If a child sees no consequences for their failure to do jobs they will not do them . You teach people how to treat you , your girls have learnt there is no consequence for NOT doing the chores so pfft . Mum and a Dad are push overs : all puff and wind . 

Your 18 year old is an adult . Tell her if she does  not like the rules she can move out . We tell our 17 year old that if she doesn't abide by our rules then she is quite free to move out when she is 18 . She has choices . Being an adult comes with responsibilities. We love her but we will be respected in our own home , we pay the bills , it's our house we make the rules . Make sure she is aware of the costs of living - it's very expensive to live out of home ! Rent will be over $150 a week per person .  Living at home is cheap !  Better to abide by the rules than live in an expensive dump . 

It sounds to me like the girls are ruling the roost . Take back your power as parents and be a united front .  I'm so sorry to hear it's causing your marriage problems ! This is terrible ! It's not ok for the two children of the family to be wielding so much power and control ! 

Sit down as a couple , plan your strategy and execute it , diligently and  consistently . 

Let us know how you go ! 

 

Active scribe

Re: Frustrated with getting our teenagers to do the basics in life without a debate on why we are wr

Hi Motherbear

 

Many thanks for your comments - yes I agree with everything we are push overs and don't enforce the rules.  Things are going to change I am sorting out a list of jobs for them to do on a daily basis plus weekly chores.  I am going to speak to them about their behaviour and what is acceptable and not acceptable.  I was going to look for a book that I can read about rising difficult teenagers do you have any recommendations?

 

Thanks for your help and support.