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How can I get my son to help out more around the house and keep him from running around all over the neighborhood on his bike?

He would rather be outside than help me around the house. His room is a dump most of the time and he expects me to treat him like he is a teenager when he won't act like one. He needs some responsibility. He has animals and he lies about feeding them. Unless you threaten him he won't listen. I'm so frustrated with him at this moment. Any advice out there?? I need some! Jenny


Asked by kidsmomof2 at 10:05 AM on Jan. 15, 2009 in Tweens (9-12)

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Answers (12)
  • I do not have a teenager, but I do have three small children and they know that if they want to do anything they have to have certain things done. I always tell my kids we work as a family to keep the house neat and clean. I would also maybe caution you in letting him run the neighborhood. Sometimes we forget that even though it may be safe area now a days there is no safe neighborhoods.

    Answer by AmieJo853 at 8:50 AM on Jan. 16, 2009

  • umm take his bike.

    Answer by jodi205 at 10:08 AM on Jan. 15, 2009

  • I second that. He gets away with all of this because you allow him to. You need to set down the law.

    What consequences does he have for making the wrong choices right now? Not feeding animals is serious and it's not fair for those poor animals. I would say that you tell him that he is allowed to ride his bike after his chores, his room must be kept clean and animals fed. If he chooses to not do those things then he "chooses" to not be outside and not ride his bike.


    Answer by munch12502 at 10:10 AM on Jan. 15, 2009

  • Put your foot down. Let him know the rules and if he doesn't abide by them then start taking things away from him like his bike for one. Then when he no longer cares about that have him sit in that room until it is cleaned. There is no outside. Eventually he will see your not playing games as long as your consistent with it.
    If it takes 3 months then so be it. He just can't go outside until the room is cleaned. Keep him in that room as long as he won't clean it.
    My son was the same way. I swear he went to school and back. He stayed in that room with no tv no games no nothing but the bed then when I realized he would just fall asleep and the room was still dirty I took the bed out. By the 2nd week he got the idea and cleaned that room but the good part is the room stayed cleaned

    Answer by MrsTGray at 10:11 AM on Jan. 15, 2009

  • The advice to this post is good. I would have to agree with them. If you can do allowances, then maybe you can tell him that once he proves to you that he's responsible and can do what is asked of him, then maybe an allowance is an option. If you don't want to go that route, what about doing a "strike". If he isn't going to help you out maybe you can cut back what you do for him...and explain to him that you can't do it all and that you need his help. If he expects you to do this and that then you expect him to do x, y z. I don't think that it's too much to ask a child to keep his room clean, help clear the dinner table or take out the garbage--or whatever. Children don't realize how much a parent (especially a mom) does for them, he needs to see and experience. Good luck.

    Answer by Lacey1012 at 10:34 AM on Jan. 15, 2009

  • yeah, take that bike, and take the animals too if he won't feed them. I think it's unreasonable for a kid to be expected to keep a perfectly tidy room, but it should at least be picked up well enough that it's not a pigpen. And, if you have a pet, you take care of it, period. It's not fair to make a creature suffer because you're too lazy to care for it. He needs to understand that first and foremost. Also, I think at this age you need to clearly define what "helping around the house" really means. There needs to be a visual association too, so make a chore chart. Make it so you have to check his workmanship on a project before it can be checked off the list. Then, give him rewards for following the chart and punishment for not doing so. (movie rental over the weekend? no bike for 3 days for every missed chore?) good luck

    Answer by laadeedah at 12:02 PM on Jan. 15, 2009

  • ya, take his bike away or at least make him do his chores before he goes on it. That is so... sad and mean of him not to feed the animals. That's even scary.

    Answer by cat4458 at 12:25 PM on Jan. 15, 2009

  • I have to agree with the other posters on this. Take things away. If he is not caring for them, weither they be animals or toys, take them. I have had to do this with my son who just turned 9 last Sept. It seems harsh, but it gets the message accross. Last time he wouldn't clean his room, I went in with a big black construction garbage bag and filled it with everything I found laying on his floor. He was not happy, and that helped for a little bit. In my expirience, they will do good for a while, then go back to their old ways. It is up to us as parents to teach responsibility, and in order to that you have to be consistant. If DS doesn't want to help around the house, then he doesn't get the benifits of living here, i.e. video games, TV, movies, even something to eat other than a PB&J or ramen.

    Answer by Angel8203 at 1:32 PM on Jan. 15, 2009

  • Put your foot down. Take his bike away and tell him that he can have it back when he is mature enough to take care of his other things, like his room and animals. He won't help because you are letting him go out and play, it is that simple. GL!

    Answer by lilbit837 at 1:34 PM on Jan. 15, 2009

  • let the air out of his tires!

    Answer by abearshug at 9:11 PM on Jan. 15, 2009