When children are still small it is easier to make them help you cleaning the house. However, when they become teenagers their natural instincts make them rebel against any rules, including your home cleaning routine. This is why, involving a teen to help with chores can be a challenging task, but it is your job as a parent to make them contribute at housework.
This is good not only for you, but for them as well – cleaning and other chores make them more organised and teaches them discipline and both qualities will benefit them further in life. So, how to make the stubborn teens do their chores? Our experts share 6 tips to help you get your teenagers clean at home.
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Set Realistic Expectations
Don’t fool yourself – nobody is able to make their teens do all the chores in the house. If you assign too many tasks to your adolescent, the chances they do any of them decrease. Decide what is essential, and what – isn’t. For example – some chores – like making the beds every morning may be not as important as putting the dishes into the dishwasher after every meal, or throwing away the garbage. Also, if they want to invite their friends, they need to clean after that.
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Negotiation is Important
Teenagers want respect – when your kids start growing, they need to feel you are not treating them as babies. To earn this respect, they often take the easiest tactics possible – become resistant to parent’s authority. So, in order to make them do the chores you want, you will need to come to an agreement. Develop a cleaning plan that is comfortable for both you and your teenager. You will need to negotiate a little, but remember – don’t be aggressive, or you will accomplish nothing.
Be Clear When Giving the Tasks
Most parents make the mistake to assume that their children know what they mean, by saying “Clean your room”. However, this task is very vague – and can be interpreted quite freely by a rebellious teenager, even if the parent thinks, that this chore is self-explanatory. Instead, you can be more specific and define the cleaning tasks – “pick your dirty clothes and put them in the laundry basket”, “vacuum the carpet in your room”, or “collect all the dirty cups from your room and put them into the kitchen sink”. By giving a specific task you don’t leave any chance for interpretation and the chance your teenagers do their chores right is rising.
You Have to Give a Good Example
If you want your teenagers to help cleaning the house, you will have to set a good example. You cannot expect your children to take their household responsibilities seriously, if you neglect yours. So, before yelling your teen that his room is a mess, or that they haven’t loaded the dishwasher, make sure that you’ve done your chores too. There can’t be double standards, or your children will decide that you are just mean, and will rebel against your cleaning rules.
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Set Reasonable Consequences in Advance
What happens if your teens don’t do their chores as they were supposed to? There have to be consequences, or you children will decide that participating in home cleaning is optional. However, never set up a punishment on the moment, while you are still angry. Set sensible consequences and make them clear in advance. For example – you can make your teenager come home 1 hour earlier for a week, delay their pocket money, or ban them from going out in the weekend.
What if all these punishments don’t work and your children still don’t clean their room and do their chores? Then, you can sit with your teens and calmly explain, that you will need to hire local home cleaners to do the job, and pay them with their pocket money. This is menacing on two levels – the idea, that they will receive less money the upcoming month, and the image of another person will go through their stuff.
Micromanaging is a Bad Idea
Give you teen a cleaning task, a deadline, show the right tools, and then back off. Be sure they know how to clean safely, but don’t push them. Let your children deal with cleaning chores in their own pace. Don’t nag your son to take out the trash every hour, when the deadline for this chore is the next morning. This will surely drive your child away and make them rebel against your attitude, by not completing their tasks. And even if your teens fail to do the chores, don’t let anger dictate your actions and never use insults. Stick to the punishment, set in advance and don’t let things get too personal or too emotional – this will help you avoid unnecessary and painful conflict.
At last, but not least – don’t try to change who your teenager is. We all have different character and temperament. You can ask your kids to help at home, you can set some rules while they are living under your roof, but don’t try to make change their personality.