Ranting About Chores!!!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by DaisyFace, Feb 17, 2009.

  1. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Well, don't say I didn't warn you...this is a rant!!

    As most of you parents were keenly aware, this past weekend was an extended one due to the President's Day holiday. My husband, DS, and difficult child spent Saturday AND Sunday in front of the television....cartoons, movies and video games all day long.

    By Monday, the living room looked and smelled as if it had been lived in "all day long" for two days straight....empty soda cans, snack wrappers, empty popcorn bowls, (not to mention a scattering of dead socks and other cast-off clothing). And when it became clear that Mom was going make everyone get off their butts and do some chores--it set difficult child right off.

    So here we are once again, all working to together to clean up and difficult child is having a little angry fit in her bedroom because she is unwilling to do even her regular chore of washing the dishes and wiping the kitchen counters.

    This time, however, she comes out of her bedroom and begins to give me "tips" on how I can do a better job cleaning. You know, what sponge I should be using, or "Mom, the bleach spray is under the sink, ya know". While I would have liked to have told her where she could stick that sponge...I didn't. I didn't yell. I just said that if she was not going to help us, the least she could do was to get out of our way.

    Eventually, the house was clean. (Yea!!!) After all the work was done...difficult child announces that now she is going to play on the computer. I didn't yell--I just said "No.". Which set her off again...angry, attitude, stomping around. I explained that you don't get privileges if you are unwilling to help around the house.

    NOW comes the waterworks...and a whole list of reasons why she can't possibly be expected to wash dishes--and not one of the "reasons" is her fault--they are all mine! Mom doesn't buy the right kind of dish soap. Mom doesn't buy the right kind of sponges. Mom didn't show me how to wash dishes the right way. Mom complains if there's food left on the plates after I wash them. Mom makes me do dishes even if I had a bad day at school!!

    I am SOOO sick of this!!! We have "negotiated" family chores many times...and it makes no difference what chore difficult child decides that she is willing to do--there are always a million reasons why she can't actually do it...and it is ALWAYS Mom's fault...and Mom is ALWAYS so unreasonable about it...etc. etc. etc.

    So we "negotiated" family responsibilities again last night. difficult child decided that she wants all of her brother's current chores--which is largely yard work, cleaning up after the dogs, taking out the trash. This was fine with her brother...if she wants to pick up dog poop--it's OK with him.

    I guess we'll see how it goes. Today is garbage day...

    Cross your fingers!

  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Oh I so understand and can sympathize with you. I remember the chore wars and they really havent gone away here yet. It seems if you have any kids at home they will whine and complain that they cant (whine whine whine)do their chore and its not fair (whine whine whine).

    It made my ears bleed.
  3. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    I'm not sure negotiating is the way to go here it gives her control. I do not think she should have any control over this issue because she doesnt show any level of responsibility. I think you should tell her what is expected, when it is expected and what the consequences are if she does not live up to her desginated responsibilities. If/when she doesn't do the chores the consequences kick in. Make sure the conseequences only affect her and not anyone else int he family. Some kids do need to have some choices but other kids need a hard line. I suspect your daughter is alot like mine was and just needs the "set in stone" method. -RM
  4. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Well, that's it exactly...

    There IS no level of responsibility...nor is there any reward in the world that is great enough...nor any consequence that is bad enough...

    We tried the "negotiation method" figuring that maybe if she had more input, she would be more of a team player. She got assigned the dishes as her chore because she felt that yard work and taking out the trash were "boy chores" and she said that she wanted a "girl" chore. Fair enough.

    Then she spent months playing these passive-aggressive games such as "losing" the sponges...emptying half the container of dish-soap onto the dishes so that we would be completely out of soap by the middle of every week....or running the sink full-blast until she was out of hot water and then couldn't wash dishes because there was no hot water left....or filling a sink with soapy water and then only "dipping" dishes into the water and putting them away {and then I'd find "clean" glasses in the cabinet with milk dribbles crusted down the insides or coffee cups with lipstick on the rim--FUN!!}.

    We've gotten into the habit of washing everything before we use it....

    So what can we do? How do you stop this passive-aggressive carp?

    Now that her chore will be yard work, I suspect we will suddenly have a rash of broken or missing rakes--we'll be out of trash bags every-other-day--and we'll "forget" which night is garbage night....even if someone reminds us.


    I'm certainly open to suggestions...

  5. lizzie09

    lizzie09 lizzie

    Its important to get this across to both difficult children and pcs before they become old enough to refuse point blank to help at all,

    In my case Pcs x 3 are by far the worst offenders and I have come to dread the weekend..same scenario like you have....dead socks, clothes, wrappers, cans etc.

    I wasnt backed by my husband in the early days because he wouldnt be the bad guy and any effort I made to get help was either ignored or met with a pathetic attempt..

    At the mo |I have iwthdrawn my washing services completely and I cant get into 2 rooms to even consider cleaning them which I wont do anyway

    AGGGGGHHH be warned!

    Start when they are young.......compliane or remove privileges is the best way I think
  6. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    I sympathize. We struggle with this issue, too. For my difficult child, it didn't work to try to figure out what she would "like" to do because she complains no matter what it is. We finally assigned her to help with the dishes after dinner and to unload the dishwasher. If she doesn't do it, she gets her allowance reduced and/or her privileges (TV, computer, cell phone, going places with friends) removed, depending on the situation. I also tell her she will be fired from her job if she is too unpleasant or doesn't do it right and she will lose her allowance, which would cramp her social life.

    She still has her days of chore refusal but at least she has a consequence for it. Fortunately, for us, she likes her $ and social privileges enough that she is fairly compliant.

    What does your difficult child like to do?
  7. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    We tried to tie allowance to chores--but that didn't work because she always chose NOT doing the chore over the $$$. Priviledges like watching TV, using the phone, playing computer games--she doesn't want them badly enough to EARN them. If we take them away--she gets mad and just goes and does something else.

    The only thing which seems to get through to her is removing her mp3 player--and because that is the only thing she seems to take seriously...we save that consequence for big issues and don't remove it for daily non-compliance stuff.

    difficult child can go for long periods of time not watching television or playing video games...and if hiding in her bedroom keeps her from having to pitch in--that's just fine with her.

    I vascillate between wanting to really motivate her to do chores and have some privileges and responsibilities (and participate in "normal teenage activities")---and forget it, let her stay in her room if it means we don't have to have yet another violent outburst over picking up laundry or whatever trivial thing is the problem.

  8. I don't really have too much to add; we have many of the same issues here. difficult child's responsibilities are pretty minimal because of refusal and we get tired mostly of him just doing a poor job. I do know that if difficult child is told to do a chore, I pretty much have to wait through his meltdown and then he'll do it (that's only in the last few months).

    However, I absolutely love the comment I read about firing for attitude or poor job. We are in the process of trying to go back to paying difficult child for chores. Money's important and lack of will definitely cramp his social life. Because of the need for a social life, removing the cell phone and money is a motivator. But it wasn't 6 months ago. Cell phone removal would incite a rage fest.
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Have you read any of the books and things about Asperger's in girls? I am just wondering if they might have some perspective on this and on how to manage it.

    It also might be helpful to get the Love and Logic book for Special Needs Children. You can find it on their website (www.loveandlogic.com). I found it very helpful.

    I am sorry about the chore wars. We go through them too. Esp with Jess being sick.
  10. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    While K is only 7 she does not have chores, per se. But she does have to help with things around the house. I have found that if I let it get to be too much when I come in and expect her to do it all at once or even if I ask her when she is not doing well, it becomes too much for her.
    I have to help her to do it in small directed sections or segments.
    Like, let's pick up your books. Obviously your difficult child is older so she can be expected to possibly do more.
    K helps with sweeping, but I don't expect her to do a perfect job. I am happy at this point that she helps. I make a big deal that she is helping, I reward her, I am trying to keep it positive, not a *chore* because the word *chore* seems to be equated with the negative.
    We just started with allowance, we start with 5$ on Friday, she gets some taken away or given back depending on her behaviours.
    I ask her to clean up something in her room, I will help her even. Throw a bit of a fit. No argument, that is 25 cents. More arguing, more money.
    I even keep this fun, when she is doing really well I tell her how good she is doing and make a big deal about giving her 25 cents back.
    It is working for now, maybe not next week, then we will search for something else.
    Taking stuff away from her does not work for now either.
    I find with a lot of our kids you have to revisit things because they change constantly.
    On the other hand 13 yo girls with hormones, well they are moody and want to sit in there rooms!
    So you could also be fighting a losing battle especially with the Depression and possible Aspergers.
    Hang in there. Fun times!
  11. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I will look into those!