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Forcing your kids to do something?

Lately I think I have the most defiant kids on the planet. They are 12, 13 and 15 and won't lift a finger in the house and just sit there and they tune you out and ignore you, or just flat out refuse to do what you told or asked them to do. This applies to homework, chores etc. Well dh told my 13 year old twice it was her turn to do the dishes yesterday, and she ignored him at first, then refused. He took her by the wrist and walked her to the sink and stood there until she had finished them all, this whole time she was throwing a fit too. She then got grounded for the weekend.
Dh says we have to make the kids do things, but I don't know about physically making them do things like dishes and homework. What do you think? What would you do?


Asked by Anonymous at 2:32 PM on May. 15, 2009 in General Parenting

This question is closed.
Answers (11)
  • OP--In addition to the EXCELLENT responses you received above, you have to remember you are their PARENT, not their FRIEND!!! Sometimes being the parent means MAKING children do things in order to be contributing members of the family unit and society (when they graduate because you MADE them do their homework!).

    A few chores, and studying hard, never hurt anyone! Rather it instills responsibility, accountability, intelligence, self-confidence, respect, discipline/focus, and establishing goals. Isn't that what you want from your children?

    I say take away their most prized possessions, and make them EARN them back! Be fair and consistent, and don't give in to the belly-aching. :o)

    Answer by LoriKeet at 7:17 PM on May. 15, 2009

  • Sometimes you just have to or take everything they like away until they do.

    Answer by soonmommyof3 at 2:39 PM on May. 15, 2009

  • I think that it is more than okay to physically make kids do things. As long as it is not by hitting them or restraining them physically. If you are just standing there until they get the job done then that is okay. They are testing their boundaries and if you let them get away with it, then that is it. Maybe try taking their favorite things away from them. But be careful, because if they feel that they can get away with things, it won't be long before they just start to leave the house when they are punished.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:41 PM on May. 15, 2009

  • I think it's ok, they are never going to respect you if when you tell them someting and they say "no" that it's ok if they don't do it, and it's not just for you, when they move out are how will they take of themselves, are they going to expect everyone else too?

    Answer by NicholeAT at 2:45 PM on May. 15, 2009

  • My husband and I took a Love & Logic parenting class and we found it very helpful. What we learned is you can't MAKE your kids do things, but you can make sure they are unhappy about the consequences when they don't get them done. For instance, I ask my 12 yo to peel carrots one afternoon after school. I don't demand she do it right that second, but I do ask her if she can get it done before bedtime, and she agrees that she will get it done. I don't remind her again, and the next morning when we go out for breakfast she gets to stay home and peel carrots. If she never gets it done and I end up doing it, then she must repay me somehow. There is a terrific Love & Logic CD available called, "Didn't I Tell You to Take Out the Trash?" It's also available as a book. It helps you approach "chores" in a whole different way.

    Answer by TweenAndTwinMom at 2:46 PM on May. 15, 2009

  • Strip their rooms of everything. They cannot speak to friends on the phone, watch TV, listen to their IPod, play videos games or do anything until they have earned it. If they do the chores assigned to them without complaining they earn something back. If they do the chore without being asked they can earn a couple things back. If they refuse, ignore or get rude they lose everything again. You cannot physically make them do anything you can take away everything and leave them in their room with nothing. I have an almost 7 year old who had his room stripped because he would not pick up his toys and I fell down the stairs when I tripped on one. Your kids know you won't do anything is why they act this way.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:58 PM on May. 15, 2009

  • I think your husband did the right thing. I think its about time that your kids work for what they have. Take every thing away. No phone, tv, video games, tiem otu with friends. Food can be basic like, raw veggies, bread and broild chicken. I would set up a system were they earn their privlages. They can do nothing except sit in their rooms with a book till they choose to do their homework... once they do their homwork, they can earn a privlage, like interacting witht the rest of the family, and if they do their chores they they earn things like electronics or night out with friends.

    I know systems like that work. I was in foster care my teen years, and my foster dad was the director of two grouphomes. He used a sysetme like that in his group homes and at home.... it works. PM me if you want more details on his system.

    Answer by daughteroftruth at 3:05 PM on May. 15, 2009

  • As long as you are not inflicting physical pain, I see nothing wrong with this.
    When you do not make you children do what they are supposed to do, you teaching them that they don't have to be responsible and that it is ok to be defiant.

    Answer by rkoloms at 4:13 PM on May. 15, 2009

  • I make my son do very little, if he choses not to do something then he suffers the consequences...plain and simple. If they refuse to do homework, they suffer with the bad grades. If they refuse to clean their rooms, take everything but the bed and clothes out until they change their minds. If they refuse to do chores, stop cooking for them and let them do it themselves.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 4:45 PM on May. 15, 2009

  • My daughter is 5'9" and I'm 5' 4". You bet I can still physically make her do things! I have done the exact same thing you DH did. And you know what, the next day she had it done without me asking.

    I also started implementing additional chores if the assigned chores are not done. And I make sure the additional ones are the worst chores (cleaning toilets, scrubbing the garbage can...) After only a few times of this, she now listens to me the first time I tell her.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:33 PM on May. 15, 2009