Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Advice for forgetful or maybe lazy teen

Posted by   + Show Post


My son is 13 and doesnt remember anything about his chores. He does remember to feed and water the dog every day.  He also has trash duty which he waits until I tell him that I am going to take it out before he gets up to do it. He is also to keep his room clean and make his bed when he gets up and sometimes he doesnt do that either. His own laundry is a new thing for him which I'm thinking is going in the same direction.

The more I think about it, the more i think he is just being lazy. He is also not brushing his teeth - yes I ask him and he still tells the truth! haha. That is non- negotiable to me. He needs to do it.

So anyway I have started a couple of new things today. He did not brush his teeth - again. He did not take the trash out after throwing something away and the trash was over flowing a little too. So I took away his allowance for the week and gave him dish duty for a week. I told  him that I should not have to remind him to get his chores done and I really hate bitching about it too cause I don't want to nag.

He has also asked to get an animal for his own today. I told him today that he needs to show better responsibility for the chores he has now and if he can prove he can do those things, then we can talk about a pet.

Any advice on how to get him to be less lazy or forgetful or whatever is going on with him? I HATE hate hate to nag about what he needs to get done and quite frankly should not have to remind or tell him to do it. Am I being too pushy? Should I let him do it in his own time as long as it gets done and doesnt affect anyone as far as trash falling on the floor, or the dog starving, etc? Should I be even tougher?> OR - sorry this is so long! Am I on the right track and just keep enforcing?

by on Jul. 9, 2012 at 5:40 PM
Replies (11-19):
by Trisha on Jul. 10, 2012 at 9:51 AM

I think writing out a list and having him check off the chores as they are completed is a great idea.  Also base his allowance on what is completed.

by on Jul. 10, 2012 at 10:19 AM

Great ideas ladies! Love them all! Thanks again!

by on Jul. 10, 2012 at 11:44 AM

My DS was really, really bad about brushing his teeth between 13 - 15.  He was honest about it too.   We just stay on top of him making him brush his teeth morning and night.   If he did a bad job we make him do it again.   One time I asked him "did you do a good job?" and he said "Yes, because if I didn't you would make me do it again."   LOL!  

My advice for you would be to change your attitude about "nagging".   A 13yo boy will not remember to do things that are not interesting to him so you are going to have to remind him and make him redo things often.  Don't let it make you mad, just be matter of fact about it.    Also COMPLIMENT him when he does a good job, say thank you and let him know you notice when he does things without being asked.    "I really appreciate when you help out without being asked" and "thank you, you did a good job cleaning the kitchen" has increased the number of times that my kids will set the table, feed the dogs, help with dinner and take out the trash/recycle without being asked.    They don't really volunteer to to the choirs they don't like, but know they have to do them well when asked because we check their work and make them redo it until the job is complete.

by on Jul. 10, 2012 at 11:58 AM

I think its an age thing. My kids (that are old enough) all started the same thing around the same age. To combat it, they have their daily chores. No privileges allowed such as computer, TV, video games, etc until the chores are done.

by Shauna on Jul. 10, 2012 at 12:08 PM

I think the list idea is a good one.

by on Jul. 10, 2012 at 12:51 PM

I like the idea of having a list written down.  I would just leave the list on the kitchen and the kids ( and DH} would check stuff off as they completed it.  That way, I didn't have to constantly nag about it and when they wanted to do something, they knew their list had to be completed first.

Sometimes I would mix it up a bit and just make one long list and each kid had to do a certain number of items and initial them when completed.  This got the chores done faster,  because they had to be speedy and race to get the easier chores on the list! LOL

Quoting luckysevenwow:

When mine were that I age I had a list of what was expected of them everyday. They were not allowed to do anything until all the chores were down. Some days the trash went out half full and other days over flowing, but it was done everyday and in a timely fashion. If they did not do what was asked they had to do their siblings chores. In your case I would have extra chores to add to his list for a certian amount of time. Within a moth or so it just became habit.

Every once in a while they would slip, but over all it made me a happy momma.

by on Jul. 10, 2012 at 12:52 PM

I think they need to invent a shock collar for teens!!!! LOL

Quoting rebeccasmly:

I think its an age thing. My kids (that are old enough) all started the same thing around the same age. To combat it, they have their daily chores. No privileges allowed such as computer, TV, video games, etc until the chores are done.

by on Jul. 10, 2012 at 3:43 PM

First of all, welcome to the world of teenagers! This behavior is very typical from all that I have been able to find. My husband and I have adopted, so most of our kids have special needs. Because of that we don't "know" what normal is so we have done much research and asking of other parents. My son is 12 and very delayed, but he will take his shower in the morning and NOT wash his hair. UGH! I think that if your son wants a pet of his own, and you are willing to do that, that will be motivation for him to do what he needs to do. I would def. make a chore list that he can check off when he has done the chore. If you go and find that the chore is not done to your satisfaction talk to him and make him redo it. If it is an ongoing problem that he is not completing then at least for awhile you will have to check each completed chore before he is able to check it off. Please come back and share what you have decided and what worked/didn't work with us so that we can learn from you!

by on Jul. 10, 2012 at 4:29 PM

Funny - as soon as I told him he was not getting a pet yesterday until he showed his responsibility - he did EVERYTHING this morning - including - yes, brushing his teeth! I will still make a list today though for starting tomorrow.

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)