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What can you do when your kid just doesn't want to follow your house rules?

I have a 13 year old step son. He simply doesn't want to comply or he "forgets" the rule. One rule we have is that he must close doors (both inside and outside doors). His bedroom is in the basement and he is constantly leaving the basement door open. When that door is open you can't come in from the outside because the outside door hits it. The doors are already getting damaged. We had him write 100 times that he would close the door and my husband also showed him what is happening to the door. We reminded him last night and guess what? The door was left open again this morning. It simply isn't sinking in.What do you suggest other than taking the door off the hinge?

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Asked by 3kidsatonce at 12:19 PM on May. 20, 2009 in Teens (13-17)

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Answers (14)
  • Gosh, wish I knew. I have a fifteen yr. old stepson that 'forgets' most everything he is suppose to do, such as cleaning up after himself, closing doors, bathing, etc.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:22 PM on May. 20, 2009

  • thanks for your answer. I did just come up with an idea. Since he sleeps in the basement, every time he leaves the door open he isn't allowed in the baseement. He'll have to sleep on the couch. I think if that happend once or twice he'd remember in a hurry.

    Answer by 3kidsatonce at 12:28 PM on May. 20, 2009

  • Stop cleaning after him, doing his laundry, reminding to do his responsiablitys and even making him food. He will start to complain about these things and when he does, tell him that you will start doing those things again only if he remembers the house rules and follows them. and if he should fall of the beaten track, start the process all over again.

    Answer by soonmommyof3 at 12:44 PM on May. 20, 2009

  • I was going to suggest to "forget" to wash his clothes or cook his dinner, or when you are cleaning "forget" to leave his video games or television connected. You can be very forgetful too! After he starts to get it make sure you remind him that you are glad he remembered.

    Answer by Rebecca727 at 12:45 PM on May. 20, 2009

  • Add a positive reinforcement sense punishment hasn't worked. Studies on behavior show that positive reinforcement produces more long lasting results than punishment and does not have to be used as consistently to be effective. Notice when he does follow the rule and complement him. Set a goal starting with a week or a few days. If he can remember to follow a rule for a whole week you and him can go do something togetherthat he enjoys. Added bonus: not getting the reward he was looking forward to becomes the punishment, he becomes very involved in whether or not he gets what he wants.  He creates his own consequence with his own behavior.

     Also, in the case of the door you can buy a hinge with a spring in it that automatically closes the door after you. This won't teach him the rule but it will allow you to stop pulling your hair out over a door and focus on bigger, more important rules.


    Answer by Anonymous at 12:57 PM on May. 20, 2009

  • just take off the door.

    Answer by JCRestoredme at 1:41 PM on May. 20, 2009

  • This must be a teenage boy thing, because my SS is the EXACT same way when it comes to his chores. " Why didn't you do that?" "I forgot" I find it hard to believe that he forgets these things daily when they have been his chores for years now! He just keeps getting grounded for it. I've finally stopped dealing with it, because I can't handle it anymore. I let his dad deal with him.

    Answer by feesharose at 1:49 PM on May. 20, 2009

  • Tell him one last time not to do it and that the door will be removed if he cannot take care of it. If he fails to close the door as he should, have his father take the door off. That way you are both involved and he sees you as a team. Follow through with the consequence and he will learn to listen in other areas too. It's amazing how follow-through can improve a teenage "hearing problem". Just something to think about. Good Luck!

    Answer by TessaBianca at 2:54 PM on May. 20, 2009

  • Tell me about it. My husbands little brother , 12, forgets constantly . I ask him to put his clothes away. 20 minutes later, he is in front of the tv. I ask him to do wat i said, and he says "i forgot"..
    ..i really think something is wrong with him. He literally needs me to be behind him, till it gets done. Im no used to that. Its tough not showing any kind of frustration with him. Sometimes i wonder if he does it on purpose.

    I was actualyl recomend standards. Thats what we are going to have him start doing.

    Answer by aMbeR012005 at 5:02 PM on May. 20, 2009

  • I think you should start to forget a few things. and just oops oh well its not a big deal right?.... I think that might get the point across. Good luck!

    Answer by Shelii at 6:07 PM on May. 20, 2009

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