how do you help a 13 year old remember chores,rules and everything else?

Trisha Ann - posted on 01/15/2013 ( 1 mom has responded )

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we would appreciate any suggestions on our daughter who forgets things daily. She has the same chores every day,it hasn't changed in over a year, and since we listed her chores to her a year ago as a family unit, she hasn't gone a full week without "forgetting" some of them. When asked why, we get "I dunno". She's always apologetic, and seems sincere, but the next day forgets yet again. Even after making her a chart, reminding daily, punishments, and anything else we could think of, nothing changes. Her chores are emptying lunchbox,emptying dishwasher if it's clean, checking her cats food & water and if the litter box needs cleaning, keeping her room clean & wiping off the table only after dinner. It totals to about 40 minutes of chores, and even less if it's actually done everyday, leaving her about 4 hours of free time to watch tv, play games, draw (she loves art), or play online on school days, and obviously more on weekends. We point it out daily when she forgets, and again she's always sorry, but this pattern continues. Today we took away her phone and all other electronic devices because she "forgot" litterbox chore, even though we had another discussion on the subject last night. She's gone 5 days in a row with lunch in her lunchbox if we don't remind her, days without showering, wearing dirty clothes if not reminded about laundry, cat going to the bathroom on the floor from forgetting litterbox, days of dishwasher being clean, table dirty till next meal, or us cleaning it for her. Shes a great kid, sweet, kind, smart, talented, and honest for the most part, (small white lies) excluded. But we dont know what to do anymore, and hate that she keeps forgetting, then cries when we have to bring it to her attention.

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Ariana - posted on 01/16/2013

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I would make a list and a 'schedule' that she has to check off for things you know she has to do.

So make it so she can't do anything until her 'list' is done. Put the list up or have her take it with her and check off all the things that are needed to be done. If it's the same thing every day get a big card made up with the name of the chore and that plastic covering over it (the name of what it is escapes me right now...) so she can check it off every day.

So when she gets home, empty lunchbox, empty dishwasher, change litter box. Then after dinner she gets the 'after dinner chores' wiping table, keeping room clean etc. Have certain days where she does certain things, so if you have to remind her to clean her dirty clothes have it so on Thursday on her 'list' she has do laundry, every other day put on the list 'have shower'.

You could even have a chore list where you have velcro and keep the words of different chores (for the varying days) and put it on depending on the day (so you don't have to make new lists but just put up the new words with it. So you'd have a 'litter box' card that gets velcroed onto the list and she has to check it off when she's done.

You could make it so she can't start doing other things until her whole list is done, so after school she has 15 minutes to relax (or w/e) and then she has to do her list, once she's done everything on the list she can go play relax etc. Tell her she needs to carry the list around with her if she's that forgetful. If you see her doing something else, go check the list and see if everything is checked off. For later chores, like the table cleaning, have it so after dinner it starts again, so after dinner she can't watch tv or doing anything until her second list is done, clean table, clean dishwasher, have shower, etc. That way she can't claim to have forgotten because that means she wasn't following your rules and just refused to use the list.

It's quite possible she really is forgetting, I'm a crazy forgetful person and I make myself lists sometimes ha, and I'm an adult!

This will also give her more independance and she won't feel upset because all you'll have to do is remind her, it's time to start following the list and give it to her. Maybe even get a marker attached to it with a string or something.

I hope some of this helps! If you find she's still forgetting htings or not doing things on the list than I would give her a consequence. Clearly explain how she has to do it, you get 15 minutes to relax and then we'll tell you about the list, or put on a timer and once the timer goes off it's time to start and check everything off. After dinner give her the list right away, so you don't have to remind her, or do the same thing where you put a timer on for 10 minutes to just relax and then when the timer goes off she does it (so it isn't you verbally reminding her).

Good luck!

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