laziness of difficult child



difficult child does absolutely nothing at home. I have been "nagging" him to help out. Clean his room, shut off his light. I ask him to put his clothes away. I wash fold and even bring them into his room and set them on his bed. He throws them on the floor! I tell him I tell husband that difficult child needs chores. No response at all from husband and difficult child tells me that he doesn't have ANY friends that have chores. So, I asked around. Some kids have a whole LIST of chores. How can I get him to do anything? I would be happy with the smallest thing.

Saturday morning there was a neighborhood garage sale going on. husband and I were outside doing things and we had to put the puppy in the house because she kept wandering off, and running up to people. Well, puppy was in the window whining and barking. This woke up difficult child. Both husband and I noticed later that we had phone calls on our cell phones from the house phone at this time. difficult child actually picked up the phone in his room to call us because the dog woke him up! We didn't have our phones with us outside. difficult child got up and you could hear him screaming at the dog houses away. It was almost 10am. So lazy that he couldn't even walk outside to talk to us if he had a problem! :hammer:


I find it helpful with J to figure out what the most important issues are that we need to deal with at the moment (a la Ross Greene in The Explosive Child). In our case, it's medications, therapy, homework and going to school (and in the summer going to camp). He can't seem to handle much more than that at this point. So his room is a mess, he doesn't do many chores (on occasion, he will walk the dog or take the recycling out), he's not great on the hygiene front, but we can only work on so many issues at one time. I don't look at this as laziness -- I believe J has to confront so many more emotional issues than the average kid has to deal with that he just can't be that average kid.

Just my two cents.
In my personal experience, nagging is going to get you nowhere. In fact, it will have an opposite effect. I agree with smallworld, you need to use the basket method. If it is important to you that difficult child has responsibilities, then you need to define them SPECIFICALLY. For example, "keep your room clean" is entirely too vague. You would need to sublist the chores:
Put clean clothes away
Put dirty clothes in hamper
Make bed daily
Keep toys/baseball bards/etc in proper places
sweep/vacuum weekly

In addition, I would only give two or three chores. For each chore, again, specifically list what needs to be done. try not to nag beyond his chores. And try not to react to his quirks (i.e., calling to complain that he was woken up).

Put it on a chart. in my humble opinion, it is more beneficial to reward when the chores are done than to punish if they are NOT done.

SO let's say in the course of a week, he keeps his room clean, walks the dog, and takes out the garbage. You may treat him to ice cream or a pack of baseball cards. Maybe a movie or special time fishing with dad.

Give that a try.


I don't know why I am so surprised. Everything regarding difficult child is complicated and frustrating.
I will give that a try. The pack of cards may do the trick.