Building a Relationship? Or Tearing it Down?Joyce Fetteroll, Sandra Dodd and others
**Just one other question... How do the rest of you handle teens whose rooms should be condemned, and who won't lift a finger to help around the house, even to rinse out their dishes? Whenever I try to force them, or bring their father into it, he gets mad and everything gets worse. Is this just a phase, like terrible twos, that will eventually pass? Any suggestions?**
Rethink what you’re trying to do rather than how you’re trying to do it. Get a new perspective on it so you can see things in a new way.
By Meridy on Thursday, February 5, 2004 - 01:18 pm:
You people are an inspiration. Please pray, or think of me as I try to change me. I woke up this morning with a new hope and determination to enjoy my kids before they grow up and move out. I'm so glad I found this site before it was too late. : )
Nancy B. quoted this on the UnschoolingDiscussion list, and Melissa responded (below):
Cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
[After someone in another discussion was going on about how children should do chores so they won't grow up to be like her husband, I got a side note, and responded to that as follows. —Sandra]
-=-It's possible that the poster has a husband who doesn't clean up and is an asshole about it. (Not completely uncommon in our culture.) That can certainly color one's perceptions. (Probably color them an angry red color.) I wouldn't want to raise a son to be like that. -=-
Do you think requiring chores will ensure non-asshole-adult-status?
Was your friend's husband required to do chores?
Is the purpose of chores so that a child will learn to do chores? Learn not to be an asshole? If it's lessons, how does it not fall under the principles of natural learning?
Holly had two disposable cameras with her in England. Her hosts sent her home with a disc with 445 high-quality photos, but still.... So we got those back, each with a disc, and I downloaded one, marking the other while I was doing that. OOPS. The second envelope had Holly's prints and negatives, but the disk was a family's pictures of the Roman colliseum, and some other stuff looked like Italy and Spain. They had a teenaged boy with them. He did not look the last bit happy to be there. He wouldn't pose with the adults, but sullenly on the side. Anyone want to take a bet that he's been made to do chores and was supposed to be extremely grateful to go on vacation with people who had treated him as property (or as a very underprivileged housemate, for anyone who was about to claim that when people share a house they share upkeep)? I'm betting chores and school and shame. There was a harsh face on the boy, and they've captured it in photos (if they ever get their photos, I mean. I did go back and impress upon the photo lab that trying to find them before they come in, pay, go home, and discover they have Holly's pictures of cows on the Thames. . .
Well, we have Holly's now. The difference between Holly's face in her photos and that poor teenaged boy's is like two different worlds. Granted, Holly's younger and was off without her family which probably lit her up some, but she WAS with a family, and she could've been surly, theoretically.
(Joyce, another day, made her points again. I never know whether to just refer people to already-written information (links to these pages) or have things be redone over and over. We get some of both. —Sandra) On Jun 30, 2005, at 1:19 PM, jeans5kids wrote:
how do you get your kids to clean.How could your husband get you to scrub the garage floor?
He could yell or threaten or bribe or beg. But what kind of relationship would that create between you?
What if your child had a tower of collectible soda cans that was always falling over. What if he decided that since you're part of the family that restacking them once a week was part of your job. How could he get you to do that? And how could he get you to stack them in the "proper" (e.g. his) order? And what if you didn't do it to his standards and didn't do as good a job as he knew you were capable of?
Now what if he said once a week "Mom, would you mind keeping me company while I stack these cans? Maybe we could listen to a book on tape together. Or you could tell me about the project your working on." Sometimes you might not be able to join him because you were in the middle of something. Sometimes you might help him stack just because it feels good to help him out. And if he was truly thankful in a way that let you know that he knew there were more interesting things you could be doing, you'd be more likely to help him. On the other hand if he criticized your stacking, or came to expect you to help him you'd be less likely to help and might even be less likely to spend time with him.
So, how can you get your kids to clean?
You could make them. And take withdrawals from your relationship account with them to pay for it. They might be angry with you but you'd have a clean house.
Or, if your relationship with them is important, you can shift your thinking and see the house and all the tasks as belonging to you. And then invite them to help. And acknowledge that you appreciate their help -- no matter how small -- knowing that they could be playing a video game or watching a favorite show instead and they've chosen to be with you.
or should I just let it slide like I originally said??I think creativity flourishes in controlled chaos better than in total chaos or total clean.
Someone expressed cleaning up her kids toys as like providing a fresh canvas for them :-)
Sometimes when the house gets out of control I look at it and am overwhelmed. There's just too much stuff and I don't know where to begin. I think cleaning is like that always for kids, even when it's a small task. I could see a huge difference in my daughter's attitude towards a mess as she got closer to puberty. Now, though she'd rather do other things! ;-), tidying up doesn't seem like an insurmountable mountain to her. Not because i trained her how to put things away! ;-) But just because she's older.
I think you could keep their playroom from becoming a disaster area and invite them along to help. But accept no as an answer.
MORE?chores *** other daily considerations *** choices *** "have to"? *** rules vs. principles *** radical unschooling
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