Tuesday, March 11, 2014
You Scratch My Back, I'll Scratch Yours!
Teens will never ever want to do chores. They will never be enthusiastic, they will never do it without badgering and cajoling, and they will rarely put your need for help ahead of their own need to do whatever, even if like Jeremy, it's nothing but sitting on the coach and engaging in that mindless activity of phone worship.
Don't let your feelings get hurt, it really is not personal. They just do not see the importance of trivial matters like eating off of clean dishes, or getting a car out of the garage during a snow storm. These are matters that will be taken care of for them as they always have been. Like all good narcissists, albeit temporary ones, they think of themselves first. As long as you understand this and have a better strategy than telling them to get their lazy asses off the coach, you will be fine.
Here is the strategy. Decide how many times you will do the nag, I suggest twice, then don't say another word. If whatever the thing is driving you crazy or is time sensitive, do it yourself, or if not time sensitive, don't do it at all. Then, when your teen asks for something he needs for you to do, you calmly say, "you know honey, I would have, but since you chose to not help me with XYZ, I am not willing to help you out today. Or, "I'd love to help you out, let me know when you've done X."Be strong, because this may be something like getting to a rehearsal or practice that they depend on you for transportation. Guess what, they will just have to figure it out. Don't lecture, don't expound, don't say "you should have thought about that when I asked you to do X" Just a shoulder shrug, and a "I'm sure you'll figure it out. " As I have said many times before, actions speak way louder than words!