Tuesday, July 1, 2014
You Want Me To Do WHAT!!!!
And This... (It's a two ZITS kind of day)
Teens are really, really lucky these days. We have snow plow people to shovel us out in the winter, we have landscapers to mow our lawns, and we have house cleaners to clean our homes. Obviously not everybody can and does hire people, but with busy families and crazy schedules, often this is the only way to get protected time with kids and much needed time for parents to do all the other non-home related tasks that need to get done. Not much left for kids to do these days!
Younger kids actually like helping out. It makes them feel important and useful to the family. A pat on the head, a hug and a thank you so much for all your help is the miracle drug that gets kids to do what you want. A teenager, not so much. From their perspective, none of this stuff is important. A teen doesn't much care if the lawn looks like a meadow, or the snow piles up so the door won't open, or the whole idea of cleanliness is next to godliness.. As long as they can find their phone under the pile of dirty/clean laundry...it's all good.
Responsibility to the family doesn't much play into it like it did when they were younger. As long as their needs are met, again..it's all good. But honestly, it isn't such a good thing to feed into their "I'm the center of my own world" kind of thinking. And sometimes it is important to reinforce that in fact they are a member of the family, and sometimes even when it is inconvenient, unpleasant, icky, boring and stupid, it is good to get them to mow the lawn, shovel the snow, or wash a dish. Remember that relationships in life are reciprocal. So the next time you need that chore done, no need to whine, beg, or yell, just a "let me know when you've finished___________________ and I'll be glad to /drive/do/give/buy ______________for you!