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Teenagers Not Helping Around The House

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Teenagers Not Helping Around The House

Parent/Carer Community Champion

Teenagers Not Helping Around The House

I feel like I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place trying to get my teenagers aged 18 and 16 to help around the house or keep their rooms tidy. We have three dogs and they agreed to help clean up the backyard after them but don't and don't lift a finger to help around the house and in fact do the reverse only add mess. If I complain they're liable to explode at me or withdraw into their rooms and it just goes nowhere. Our situation is complicated by me having disability and health issues along with the kids.  My son and I are both on the NDIS and I have a generous funding allocation to get the housework done, but since my cleaner didn't get vaxed last year, I haven't been able to get a regular cleaner and have been left in the lurch. my husband helps out quite a lot at home as well as working really long hours. Our 18 year old son is on the autism spectrum but quite capable of doing something around the house. Our daughter is really busy with trying to develop a professional dance career, has a part time job and some chronic health issues and is often too sick to go to school. I am currently trying to source more cleaning through the NDIS but the kids' mindset is also a problem where they expect us to do everything for them, drive them everywhere and give nothing back. Indeed, I feel like our daughter treats us like puppets on a string. It is really hard to assert boundaries when you're going to be abused and I think she would be quite surprised to know that she is abusing us. No please. No thank yous. Just demands. I should just add, to be fair to her, she's struggling to eat and her blood sugar is all over the place with her medical condition which I guess creates those "hangry" type symptoms. 

I see a definitely need for our family to have a restart but am just not sure how to go about it. I do have good access to psychological support through the NDIS but I wondered if anyone had some practical advice here please. I've been thinking about the lines of a family dinner round the kitchen table or talking in the car. 

I look forward to hearing from you.

Best wishes,


Super contributor

Re: Teenagers Not Helping Around The House

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Hi @Birdwings,

Thanks for sharing. I am so sorry to hear that things are so complex right now. You have a lot on your plate and you could really do with some help from your children. It is so unfortunate and frustrating that you haven't been able to find a new cleaner on top of everything else. But I know what you mean about it being a little bit besides the point given their mindset. It can be so difficult to get children to help with their fair share of chores which is a reasonable expectation. I like your idea of sitting around the kitchen table or talking in the car especially at a time where the issue has just not occurred. This might have been something that you have already tried, but sometimes it can help to ask them what chores they would like to do to give them more control over the situation. I am not sure if you have used this service before but ParentLine may have some valuable tips or resources, if you felt like chatting to them.