How do you get your teen to do chores without nagging?

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Angela - posted on 03/30/2009

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I do something that's a bit different. We have a foreign exchange student who is 15, then we have an 11 year old and a 5 year old, all boys. I teach high school also, so I'm always around teenagers. Nagging drives me nuts; it just doesn't fit my personality, and I'm a clean freak at home and at school, so I had to find something that worked for us. We also don't give allowances. We aren't opposed to others giving allowances (I don't want to come across as judgmental), it just doesn't fit for us. This is the background, now here's what works for us.



We have expectations for each of the kids (I do at school too). All of the kids are expected to keep their rooms neat all the time, no clothes laying around, toys should be put away if not being played with at that time, etc. Our 5 year old is expected to help me in the kitchen with clearing the table after dinner. He also helps with dusting when I'm cleaning house and with other odd jobs that a 5 year old can handle. Our 11 year old's main responsibility is helping me with the 5 year old, entertaining him while I cook dinner, helping at bath time, whatever else I need him to help with concerning the 5 year old. He also helps with the animals (we live on a small farm and have tons of pets). The 15 year old doesn't have as much to do as he would if he was actually my son, but he is responsible for filling the dog bowls twice a day and for helping with the laundry (folding clothes only). He and the 11 year old are also responsible for emptying the dishwasher and putting away all the dishes anytime it has clean dishes in it.



Here is where the no-nagging comes in. If any of them fail to complete any of their assigned tasks, they are reminded once (the little one gets a few chances because of his age). After that, they lose something they want, and it varies by child (you have to figure out what works for each of them. For the 15 year old, he likes his room extra warm, and he's a pig when it comes to keeping his room clean, so when his room is a mess he loses his space heater for a week. If he argues at all I add on days. I don't argue back at all. That quickly ends all arguments. For my youngest, he loses his toybox in his room (he still has other toys, so it's not as mean as it sounds, but it does make an impression). I've only had to take it away once. For my 11 year old, he's my easy one, so I haven't had to take anything away. If I did, I'd have to think fast to come up with something. I don't know what I would take away.



I'm sorry this is long, but I thought it might help. It works so very well. I don't have to nag, The kids no that I mean what I say, and my house stays neat and clean. The added bonus is that it's teaching them responsibility and that in order for a home to run smoothly and effectively, the entire family must work together.

Shelby - posted on 04/10/2009

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Okay ladies as a mother to 7 kids (2 birth and 5 adopted) I have had my fair share of chores not getting done. I as well as many others out there have paid for chores to get done just not to hear the back talk/ sarcasim from the kids. But in todays economy it is not practical. Plus when you have more than one child earning money for chores they did with out being told you always get the competitve thing going and next you are hearing the fights of but I was going to do that and its not fair he did that just because he knew I was going to do it.

We have set all the kids down and together we wrote out for each of them a list of chores they have to do no matter what- make bed daily- strip bed sheets every friday- M, W, And F This boy walks the dog- does 5:30pm feeding of dog- and is responsible for clean up duty before bed. Pick up clothes in bathroom before leaving! Take your basket to the laundry before bed. etc.



Then we have a TOKEN SYSTEM-for the older kids we use real poker chips as if friends see them they dont think anything of it.

Each of you know what you can aford for allowances for your kids --figure out what that is-- then give the kids the poker chips that equal that much money-

if the kids break a house rule/ chore list job did not get done or have the sibling fights, or get introuble at school they loose a chip. when it comes to allowance or "cash out" time they get what ever they have in chips left in cash.

they can earn chips back by doing extras- with out the back talk or fight. If they have all their chips and never lost any then the extras they earn can be cashed in for - staying up late, going to the mall, or can save them up towards something big they want. you put a value on the Extra's you feel is fair- staying up 30 min past bed time is worth 5 dollars or what ever you choose the value. Write them all down with the value they hold and you can have suddenly very independant, clean living children, who do dishes and pick up the bathroom! Make the "extras" of value to the child- if they dont hold any value to the child there is no reason to earn them as they dont buy them anything they really want. Try it let me know how it works for you it works wonders for our suddenly larger family!!

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Chris - posted on 04/20/2009

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By the way, we don't do allowances either. We can't afford it. We just make sure they know their responsibilities. If they can't keep their room clean, they don't go out to play or to a friends house until they have their rooms clean. Same with other chores. Don't argue over it. This is the way it is. Period.

Chris - posted on 04/20/2009

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I agree with most of the postings. Take away something they seem to not be able to live without. Either TV or ipod or stereos or for my younger ones, toys. Or take away priviledges like going places or friends over. It has to be give and take. Otherwise, they think they rule the house. They have to have limits and know where their boundaries are. No ifs ands or buts about it.

Janette - posted on 04/18/2009

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Just the other day my wee lass and I had a most interesting chat about all the things she has to do - make a cuppa every now and then! so we listed all the things I do and she had 2 admit that making me a cuppa and being paid 10p for everyone she made was actually a good deal. I find the best thing to do, is sit down and chat about it, calmly and as they want to be treated as adults, have an adult conversation with them, reminding them that it is not them personally u might have the trouble with, but their attitude and lack of thoughtfulness. Now I know they are all individuals and at the end of the day, it all depends on your general relationship with your child but at the end of the day, friendly, loving wee chats can go a long way the helping them see the big picture. Good luck Hon and if I can offer any other 'words of wisdom' drop in 4 a chat :) Jan

Keni - posted on 04/17/2009

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is the teen the only one you have?



i have 4 children 12, 9, 8, 2 I tried something new I put a bunch of chores in a container and added some fun ones like helping me shop and helping me cook then let them all take turns drawing then and what they draw is there chore for a week then we draw again my children love it it keeps them from doing the sam thing all of the time and they want to learn to do more not only that but it ends up being quality time together

Arelis - posted on 04/17/2009

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They are always going to nag but I ask him anyways. One thing I do is; my son will ask me if he can go to the movies and I tell him sure but I need the room clean first. I also do that when he wants friends over. That works for me. Other than that he has to do shores and that’s that. They will always complain because they are teens and like to nag.

Kimberley - posted on 04/17/2009

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find their "currency Language" for my son it's electronic games. No chores with out and argument done? NO DS.

Josie - posted on 04/17/2009

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No allowance here! We feel that they live here and we all have to help out. We have 4 kids 12,12,14 and 16. Blended family.



No chores......no movies or what ever else they want $ for.



And they all do thier own laundry. If they have nothing to wear, it's not my fault.



We agree they need responsibility and this really helps with the nagging.

Lynn - posted on 04/13/2009

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I SIMPLY LET THEM KNOW THE RULES...IF THEY WANT TO GO  OUT THEN THEIR CHORES MUST B  DONE...ITS VERY SIMPLIE..JUST DONT LET THEM C U SWEAT!!! 

Donna - posted on 04/12/2009

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i rather have kid here than not knowing where she is but my husband older and feel let her go cant have kid here she got 4 boy 2 girl door open how harmful can that be i can here them talk and all they are in house safe and i know what happeining here

Donna - posted on 04/12/2009

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i have tried to do chores with her and it last for 3 day than she refuse to do anything and run with friend she is so demanding i am firm but she bully me i have a youth advocate getting involved doing paperwork now she even swear at principle and get 3 day end of year kick out but took trip away and she still mouthy so she know how to push buttons.

Donna - posted on 04/12/2009

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thanks for support i know i have problem my daughter was alway helpful till hit grade 7 she help house and all but now is mouthy and demand money and thing and rushes chores tried taken thing away she say dotn care and just ignore find friend and run out of home for hours.

Shelby - posted on 04/12/2009

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Donna- The hardest job we have as a parent is to say No- It is not easy and it seems to be a quick fix to just give in to them and believe me you are not alone on this, so dont feel as though you are. I was very guilty of this myself up untill 2 yrs ago then it was only my birth children and my hubby's boy every other week and though both of us had been divorced for a while we both justified our softness to all the kids for what they went through with each of our divorces. Well then we got our soon to be adopted Foster sibling group of 4 little ones at the time ages 7mo, 17mo, 3yrs and 5yrs. Talk about a reality check! There was 4 times the work and 8 yrs since I had a baby in my house other than during daycare hours!!

My boys would rush through things and still want their allowance, Yet I would have to still go and finish the job. I found after trying what seemed a million other ways of getting them to comply with chores that I needed to take the time out of my already over packed, not enough hours in the day schedule and do the chores with them once or twice to be sure they even knew the right way to do them. Suprising they really did not know how to do them though they had seen me do them a billion times it is different watching than doing. This was my first step.

My next step was to sit them down and have a good old fashion mom talk.-- Now I have boys (when I had this talk with them) and it sounds as you have a daughter so adjust to fit your kids gender. I basicly put it to them that as they get older and have girlfriends/ boyfriends and they move away these things are going to need to be done so people will even come and visit you. You live in a dirty home no one will come back and they will spread the word inyour circle of friends so, though I am not looking for perfection, it is important to do these chores, do them right and maintain them. If you slack off each time you do it soon it will back up on you and then you will have to really spend a long time cleaning up. I also told them that I pay them an allowance because I appreciate the work they do for me, but if I have to go back and do it after they have already said they did it it is not helping me but adding to my load- that I do not appreciate and then I can not pay them for it. This is your foundation for saying NO when the fight of but I did it and you owe me now starts.

I told this to another mom in another section of MOM's I believe it was in the "Kids over 10 section" But I will give you a quick run down of when it come to the fight how to end it fast with out giving in.

First explain why you feel you cant pay them- next give them 2 choices (both choices) are okay with you) example- 1) you can go do the chore the right way and complete it like I know you can since we have done it together before and I will be more than happy to pay you or 2) you can continue this fight with yourself as I am not paying you for a job that was done just to say it is done. There are your chioces you pick one but the discussion is finished.

They will go for fine I will do it when I return or I will do it latter but I want the money now. No you cant go see a movie before you pay for it so no. Sorry you dont like it but I have given you my answer now it is up to you.

As they are chasing you down the hall and begging or telling you how rotten you are you quietly in your normal tone- turn and say to them "discussion is over- continue to talk and fight me you will still have to do the job but you wont get paid for it- your choice." and walk away.



This is hard stuff to do the first few times but man it works and you get a whole new form of respect from your preteen/ teenager. Your job as a parent (in my option) is to prepare them for the working world. if you did your work quick just so you can say it was done- how would your boss respond to it and would you still have your job if it was a consistent enough thing? In todays world with lay offs happening every day no one has what we used to call "Job Security" been here long enough they wont let me go, or they know my work I am just having a rough time right now. No way that stuff is long gone. Try it-- see how it goes- let me know if it works for you, maybe I can give you some other ideas if it doesn't. Hang in there- Your a great mom- and I have never heard a president, or CEO, or multi- million dollar success say that they had the perfect childhood and liked their parents all the time they were growing up. Now as a Correctional Officer at the Juvenile Detention Center here housing children ages 8- 18 from a minor offense to Murder I have hear them say how cool their parents are and how they have the best parents ever. So you choose- I remember that every time my son tells me I am so mean- or I am just here to make is life hard. I smile and say to myself- yep baby that is right I had you to make your life hell and some day you will thank me for it!!!

Donna - posted on 04/12/2009

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i have a 14 year old will rush chores just to get money does not really do a good job alway asking for money say all her friend get money so it hard i dont know how to say no much and find she bully so much to get money i give in tired of fighting to help and she is not listening to rule either

Erika - posted on 04/10/2009

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I have a 12 year old boy. well on april 30th he will be 12. What chores should i have him doing. I am so used to doing it all that i just don't know where to start. Garbage? Dishes, putting away his laundry, cleaning his room. These are thing i would like for him to do but he doesn't. Any suggestion on what to start him out on and how to get him to do them?

Charlene - posted on 04/08/2009

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Thinks chores are optional!! Well maybe we need to do a Mommy strike and what can really happen if everyone doesn't do there jobs. I have done this on a small scale a few times to get a point across, mostly about respecting what other people do. For example my son used to get clean dishes everytime he gets something, meaning every drink in a new cup. Have a bowl of cereal decide to have a second bowflul but get a clean bowl & spoon which I think is rediculous, so I didnt do the dishes for a few days until we ran out then I made him help me clean them all. He got the point an dnow isnt afraid to rinse and reuse.

Kandy - posted on 04/04/2009

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when someone knows let me know too!!!  I do give my children a small allowance for doing chores but my twelve year old daughter still wont do them unless told too

Lynette - posted on 04/02/2009

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I have tried everything, but it seems, that I just end up nagging. LOL so I think I'll read on! :) And hope I find a good answer. My almost 14 year old seems to think chores are optional.

Kristen - posted on 04/02/2009

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The norm is that it always takes a few times of repeating yourself and asking your kids to do stuff...if they don't do the chores then punishment is in order

Charlene - posted on 04/02/2009

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I have two level of chores for my 10 yo son.

1st level: make bed, put away toys(some nagging required), feeding & watering our 2 cats daily, laundry in hamper....basically you dirtied it/used it clean it or out away. no allowance for these items, basic responsibilities. When these things don't happen(sometimes with too much discussion) things are taken away, no friends over, no tv

2nd level: Empty garbage cans & put garbage out weekly .50 a bag we ususally have 2. Sweep the kitchen, rake leaves etc. these are done as requested and paid when finished. I usually offer $1 a chore depending on size of chore.

Also twice a year we go through all of the toys & books and do a give away pile and a yard sale pile. He gets to keep whatever he makes at the yard sale, also whatever goes out for sale does NOT come back in, it gets donated.

Melissa - posted on 04/02/2009

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my opinion is a little different, but works. i dont think that children should get allowance, they need to learn that they have responsibilities. why should they get paid for doing the stuff that they need to do anyway. i know i dont get paid when i clean the house. in our house, if you dont do as asked then you wont get to go see that new movie, or the new toy you feel you need, go out to dinner, go to a friends house, do anything extra fun or special, and possibly get one of your most favorite things taken away. if you stick to it and never let stuff slide, those chores will get done much easier.

Stacie - posted on 04/02/2009

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Bribe them! LOL No, that doesn't even work. Kids are too spoiled now! My mom would've came home and whipped my butt if things weren't done, but we're just not like that anymore! Kids have it made and think everything is going to just happen! I have a 13  year old boy and a 12 year old girl. They both nag when it comes down to chores, I don't think it will ever change!!! But when it comes down to them wanting something, they're quick to ask mom!

Helen - posted on 04/01/2009

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When you find out-- let me know.  My daughter is 12, and all of a sudden, I feel like I'm living with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  LOL

Stephanie - posted on 04/01/2009

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Even though I'm at home for the moment my kids help with the chores around the house and I give them pocket money for everything that is done. It helps me and them to understand the meaning of helping out without being told off.

Tammy - posted on 03/30/2009

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Let's face it, our kids ask us to do things for them all day long, and when we ask them to do something, it's "meltdown" time. What I do is exchange one for another. When they want to you to take them somewhere, or have a friend over, exchange that for a chore WITHOUT asking! After a few times they catch on, and your world is a little more simple.

Katherin - posted on 03/30/2009

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well you could make it fun . my son Chris 14 always says owww I tell him that if I had said that to my mom she would get her upper hand on me .so you are very lucky you get an allowance for the work you do and if you do it with out being told it even better you get reworded as well

Kimberly - posted on 03/30/2009

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I have a 19,18 and soon to be 13 year olds. what I have come to realize is that I have to nag! They get mad, but hey, the chores have to be done. I do take away things that they enjoy if I have to tell them more than 2 times to do something. Nothing hurts more than taking away video games. I also learned that at the end of telling them what needs to be done by them, you always stress the word NOW.

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I've always put a price on each indivdual chore. That way it's up to them as to how much allowance they can earn. Of course there are days that they don't feel like doing them, but come "pay day" they're smiling. All kids may not be the same but my almost 13 yr old daughter and my 11 yr old son like earning money, so they can spend it of course!!!

Kristy - posted on 03/28/2009

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when you find that answer,let me know,please!I have a 14yr old.Its always been a problem.

Cindy - posted on 03/27/2009

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Thats a tough one!  I've been an at home mom so things always get done when they are at school.  Not that they don't have chores but if they don't do they don't get allowances or if you don't call it that and don't give it then when they do want that little something its not theirs.  If they want to go somewhere thats really important to them then they do a chore or all of them first then they can go and do. 



Once a parent in the teens eyes you will always be a nag!  I'm sorry!  Try and do whats right in your heart! I do know that you can not be their friend and their parent at the same time.  Its one or the other depending on the situation.  When it comes to punishment, rules and respect then you are a parent.  When they have friend, peer or teacher issues then you can be their friend because you were a teen once too.



 



Good Luck!



Cindy

Cindy - posted on 03/27/2009

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Thats a tough one!  I've been an at home mom so things always get done when they are at school.  Not that they don't have chores but if they don't do they don't get allowances or if you don't call it that and don't give it then when they do want that little something its not theirs.  If they want to go somewhere thats really important to them then they do a chore or all of them first then they can go and do. 



Once a parent in the teens eyes you will always be a nag!  I'm sorry!  Try and do whats right in your heart! I do know that you can not be their friend and their parent at the same time.  Its one or the other depending on the situation.  When it comes to punishment, rules and respect then you are a parent.  When they have friend, peer or teacher issues then you can be their friend because you were a teen once too.



 



Good Luck!



Cindy

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