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How do I get my 2 SSs to be more productive and responsible?

My two stepsons are 11 and 10, and all they want to do all day on the weekends is play videogames. They are not allowed to play them on schooldays, so when the weekend comes, that is all they want to do. Meanwhile, my SO and I want to go and do activities outside, but they whine all the time they are away from their games. Also too, I can not get them to clean anything! Their room is a total disaster, and I refuse to pick up after them, but when it comes to their messes in the common rooms, I have no choice because my daughter, who is 1, will get into everything. How can I get them to take more responsibility? And why do I feel like I am still raising little kids with them? Neither are interested in girls, and the 11 year old had sex ed at school, and when he had to do the work on the worksheet, he didn't name the parts, but put answers like, where your peepee comes out. Are they immature? And how do I fix that?

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Asked by ssyotka at 9:29 AM on Sep. 6, 2009 in Tweens (9-12)

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Answers (5)
  • Since they seem to love the video games so much, they seem like privilege # 1 to use to get them to do what they need to do. I would allow video games on school days for a limited time, but make the privilege contingent on completing tasks like homework and cleaning their room. For example, if you complete your homework, clean your room, and put away your toys in the common rooms, you may have 45 minutes of video games on a weekday, but all these tasks must be completed first, and to my satisfaction (which means "where the pee pee comes out" is not going to pass muster.) Expect them to try to do a half-assed job for the first couple of weeks, until they realize this is firm. And no video games on the weekend, either, unless the same criteria are met.

    Answer by SWasson at 9:43 AM on Sep. 6, 2009

  • Hey Sarah, I agree with the above poster. I would limit their video games during the week day. Also depending on chores I would do a chore chart and if they do not follow it then no games! You need to be firm and make sure that there is not fun activities done until there chores are done and done right. Also make sure there dad is on board so that he will back you up. Call me when you get a chance so we can catch up!

    Answer by klane24 at 10:04 AM on Sep. 6, 2009

  • I agree with above poster, plus I guess I am slightly meaner. All toys... clothes... video games... etc. left out in common areas (kitchen, living room, bathroom, etc.) would end up in the trash. Maybe just a trash bag where they could still earn the chance to earn their stuff back, but it would not be "cleaned up" by me, just tossed. Also, I would put a limit to the video games on the weekends too. Maybe an hour in the morning and an hour at night. If they started taking care of their stuff better, I might extend the times a bit during the winter.

    Answer by Amber115 at 5:08 PM on Sep. 6, 2009

  • Why do you only limit the video games for weekends? Are they doing what they should during the week? If so they should at least have a little time with them. That is their way of relaxing. As far as being interested in the opposite sex don't push it. They are young and at this point they are probably thinking it is "yucky". You can't fix that. Also think about what they have to do in school it is alot of pressure these days. Give them time on the weekends to do what they want but also maybe as someone suggested a chore chart. Make a list of what needs to be done before the end of the weekend. That may help as well.

    Answer by robinsi2000 at 10:42 AM on Sep. 7, 2009

  • Maturity comes with time. Let them be kids. If their room is a mess then shut their door. Your dd shouldn't be in their room anyway.

    Answer by admckenzie at 12:48 PM on Sep. 7, 2009

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