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discipline help!!!

Posted by on Dec. 18, 2012 at 9:32 PM
  • 21 Replies

My SO's younger brother has moved in with us to go to school in the city. He's 17.

He's a really sweet and good kid. We get along most of the time. 

Kind of a know it all, but he's 17, I expect nothing less.

The issue is this. Living in our house, I expect him to abide by our rules and he has his own set of responsibilities. One of which is he does dishes after dinner.

When he came to our house, he didn't know how to wash dishes properly. There was always grease or food leftover on them. I've taught him how to wash them properly.

He has not washed dishes the way I've taught him once. My SO and I constantly find dirty dishes in the dish rack and we'll just re-wash them and tell him later that there were dirty dishes. When I am still in the kitchen after dinner (I'm normally not because I give my 11 month old DD a bath following dinner and that's when he is washing dishes) and catch him washing dishes incorrectly I will ask him to please wash the dishes the way I taught him, and then he'll just give me some cockamame excuse for why he's doing it the way he's doing it. I like to pick my battles and so I wont say anything further except 'well i hope they're clean cause your brother and I are sick of finding dirty dishes in the drying rack'

Well tonight, as I was watching him wash the dishes I lost my temper and I raised my voice at him. My conversation follows


ME: Brother in Law, I'm so sick and tired of finding dirty dishes in the rack. I've asked you time and time again to wash dishes properly yet you still insist on washing dishes your way which isn't getting the dishes cleaned. Fine if you want to wash them your way go ahead, but from now on if I find even one dirty dish in the rack, then I will drag you back to the kitchen and you can wash every single dish all over again, regardless of how clean you perceive them to be'

Brother in Law: But I am washing the dishes your way, look!!

Me: No you're not, none of dishes have been rinsed....(and I go on to point out the other things that he is doing incorrectly)

Brother in Law: but but

Me: no more buts! I'm so tired of you always having an excuse for everything, I'm not interested, just do the dishes your way and understand that you'll be doing them twice if they are dirty!


I storm off

So my question is

1. how did I handle this?

2. what do i do going forward? he's not talking to me, and I don't want us to be hostile with eachother.

I really do love him like a brother, and hate that it came to the point where I raised my voice

3. Do i apologize for raising my voice? I mean I've already talked to him nicely about this issue, is it worth revisiting the issue? I don't want to be the hard ass, but I do want him to respect me


and for any of those that are asking why my SO isn't a part of this conversation it's because he's the most unconfrontational person on this planet. He's like an ostrich, he'll just stick his head in the sand hoping problems go away. He is absolutely no help whatsoever on this matter and no amount of persuasion will change that. It's an outside issue that I'm dealing with on another level. 

I appreciate any and all advice. Thank you in advance. 

by on Dec. 18, 2012 at 9:32 PM
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Replies (1-10):
fammatthews4
by Trisha on Dec. 18, 2012 at 9:47 PM

honestly you should have pointed out the dirty dishes the very first time it happened and made him rewash them at that point.  Now that you told him that you are going to do this make sure you follow through and it's not just an empty threat.  Also you said you "taught" him how to do the dishes your way.  How did you teach?  Did you tell or did you demonstrate?  If you just told him how you wanted them done, maybe it's time you demonstrate, if you demonstrated maybe it's time to give him a refresher course.

FindersKeepers
by on Dec. 18, 2012 at 9:47 PM
1 mom liked this

My DS is 16 and he can be half-A$$ about many choirs.... My policy is to not get mad and just make him do it again, and again and again... until it is done correctly.    Re-washing them yourself is not teaching him anything.   Yelling is not teaching him anything.    Re-work does.  

I laughed so hard one day bc DS did a choir, I asked him if he did a good job he said...

"Yes, bc if I don't you will make me do it again.... "  (with annoyed teenager tone)

I said "Good, you're learning."    =)

mzzlyn
by on Dec. 18, 2012 at 11:29 PM

I did point it out the first time, I guess I was hoping he would be an adult about it and recognize that he did something wrong and fix it. I've never raised a teenager before (I'm a 29 yr old FTM to an 11 month old) and was hoping that that would be enough, the subsequent times that we found dirty dishes I should've made him re-wash them. I'm sad that it got to this point.

As for teaching him, I've demonstrated with him twice. He's an exceedingly smart kid, he knows how to do it properly, this is just him being lazy.

I'll give him the option of a refresher in the case that he truly did forget, and yes I will definitely follow through if I find anymore dirty dishes. Thank you for your advice

Quoting fammatthews4:

honestly you should have pointed out the dirty dishes the very first time it happened and made him rewash them at that point.  Now that you told him that you are going to do this make sure you follow through and it's not just an empty threat.  Also you said you "taught" him how to do the dishes your way.  How did you teach?  Did you tell or did you demonstrate?  If you just told him how you wanted them done, maybe it's time you demonstrate, if you demonstrated maybe it's time to give him a refresher course.


mzzlyn
by on Dec. 18, 2012 at 11:30 PM

I will definitely make him re-do it. What do you do if he refuses to re-do a chore?

Quoting FindersKeepers:

My DS is 16 and he can be half-A$$ about many choirs.... My policy is to not get mad and just make him do it again, and again and again... until it is done correctly.    Re-washing them yourself is not teaching him anything.   Yelling is not teaching him anything.    Re-work does.  

I laughed so hard one day bc DS did a choir, I asked him if he did a good job he said...

"Yes, bc if I don't you will make me do it again.... "  (with annoyed teenager tone)

I said "Good, you're learning."    =)


michelledavis
by on Dec. 18, 2012 at 11:53 PM
1 mom liked this
Seriously this kid has never washed a dish a day in his life? That is hard to believe. His BM must have spoiled him rotten. So the attitude is def normal. He has never had to do anything or follow thru with it. He is probably use to quiting things if they get too difficult or he loses interest. Someone is always there to pick up the pieces for him. He needs to be made to understand that he is living in YOUR house. You cook, you clean and you take care of your daughter. You should not have to treat him like a child. If he wants to eat the food you cook and sleep in your house with heat, power and a hot shower with clean clothes then he can do one measly chore. It's really not too much to ask of him. Always keep your head held high with a serious tone. Let him know if he wants to be treated as an adult he needs to be responsible like one & chores at home is a great place to start.
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wakymom
by Gold Member on Dec. 19, 2012 at 1:17 PM
2 moms liked this

 Making him re-do the dishes is the way I'd go, too.

I don't see anything wrong w/ apologizing for raising your voice. I've apologized to my kids before for yelling when I shouldn't have. Not only does it show you're human and make mistakes, but it shows that you are willing to admit when you are wrong, which then can help them feel ok about admitting they are wrong sometimes, too.

 

 

 

 

 

tyfry7496
by on Dec. 19, 2012 at 2:33 PM
First, he's not an adult so you won't get an adult response. Second, if he continues leaving dirty dishes he then washes them over and every single dish, cup, utensil, etc in your house. My grandpa did this to us and just the threat of all those dishes was enough to keep us on the right track.

Quoting mzzlyn:

I did point it out the first time, I guess I was hoping he would be
an adult about it and recognize that he did something wrong and fix it.
I've never raised a teenager before (I'm a 29 yr old FTM to an 11 month
old) and was hoping that that would be enough, the subsequent times that
we found dirty dishes I should've made him re-wash them. I'm sad that
it got to this point.

As for teaching him, I've demonstrated with
him twice. He's an exceedingly smart kid, he knows how to do it
properly, this is just him being lazy.

I'll give him the option of a refresher in the case that he truly did forget, and yes I will definitely follow through if I find anymore dirty dishes. Thank you for your advice


Quoting fammatthews4:

honestly you should have pointed out the dirty dishes the very first time it happened and made him rewash them at that point.  Now that you told him that you are going to do this make sure you follow through and it's not just an empty threat.  Also you said you "taught" him how to do the dishes your way.  How did you teach?  Did you tell or did you demonstrate?  If you just told him how you wanted them done, maybe it's time you demonstrate, if you demonstrated maybe it's time to give him a refresher course.


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Monsita
by on Dec. 19, 2012 at 3:55 PM
1 mom liked this

bow downYou are handling this JUST RIGHT!!  In couple days you both can talk in a calm way about HOW IMPORTAN IT IS TO HAVE CLEAN DISHES...your heath depend on it!!

FindersKeepers
by on Dec. 19, 2012 at 11:20 PM

Well hang in there... there is not a hand book for this kind of thing, but sounds like you are handling it well.

My 17yo niece moved in with us during her senior year of high school.   I am not sure what the circumstances of your situation are, but for us.... We decided that since she made the ADULT decision of moving out of her parents house (where everything was provided for her) that she had to start managing other parts of her life as an ADULT.   This meant she had to clean up after herself, she could eat with us but if she came at went at another time she needed to provide her own food, getting a job and no wake up calls for school.   I know it was a tough few months for her.  We wanted to support her with free room and board to make sure she graduated from high school, but we were not to be taken advantage of and she needed the reality check to stop taking for granted what her parents provided for her.   She got a job, graduated from high school and started college.  She was able to heal the rift with her parents after a few months of reality.   When she moved out of our place we explained to her that any roommates were going to expect her to cook, clean and take care of her own responsibilities.... and even though she didn't like it, that is what we were trying to teach her. 

That's my opinion anyway.... he will be out on his own soon....you will be doing him a favor to treat him part-way between roommate and a child.  

Quoting mzzlyn:

I did point it out the first time, I guess I was hoping he would be an adult about it and recognize that he did something wrong and fix it. I've never raised a teenager before (I'm a 29 yr old FTM to an 11 month old) and was hoping that that would be enough, the subsequent times that we found dirty dishes I should've made him re-wash them. I'm sad that it got to this point.

As for teaching him, I've demonstrated with him twice. He's an exceedingly smart kid, he knows how to do it properly, this is just him being lazy.

I'll give him the option of a refresher in the case that he truly did forget, and yes I will definitely follow through if I find anymore dirty dishes. Thank you for your advice

Quoting fammatthews4:

honestly you should have pointed out the dirty dishes the very first time it happened and made him rewash them at that point.  Now that you told him that you are going to do this make sure you follow through and it's not just an empty threat.  Also you said you "taught" him how to do the dishes your way.  How did you teach?  Did you tell or did you demonstrate?  If you just told him how you wanted them done, maybe it's time you demonstrate, if you demonstrated maybe it's time to give him a refresher course.

 


hollydaze1974
by on Dec. 19, 2012 at 11:28 PM
1 mom liked this
Wow. Um, no words here. Good luck.
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