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Norman M.
Norman M., Principal psychotherapist in private practice. Newspaper contributor, over 2000 satisfied clients on JA
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2536
Experience:  ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), ECP, UKCP Registered.
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Do you have any specifics that I could do to encourage my family

Customer Question

Do you have any specifics that I could do to encourage my family member to help me with the chores or to pick up after themselves. I see in the movies that many families even divide the dinner making between them so the mother has two nights off and one night they order in so she only makes dinner 4 nights a week. They all do their own dishes during the day or they write a chart for duties. I have seen and read these but in my house how do I get people to obey and follow that chart?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Olsen replied 2 years ago.
Hi there,
Thank you for your reply.
Yes, it's best for you to ask your family members to help with the chores.
Perhaps, you may need to talk to them individually or together with a proposal.
You may need to write down specific chores for each person (for example, your children cook dinner for all once a week - Mondays for your daughter; Tuesdays for your son).
They may disagree on your proposal as they may have their plan on that day.
Then, you may ask them to cook dinner the other day or pick another task.
They need to agree and may sign on the proposal.
You also may have to accept that their work may not be satisfactory in the beginning - for instance, they may not cook well as you do.
At times, they can buy dinner outside.
Importantly, you may need to WRITE DOWN a list of chores for them, request them assertively and seriously and negotiate with them if they disagree.
You should PUT THE LIST OF CHORES FOR THEM ON THE WALL. So they can read and remember their tasks all the time.

You may explain the benefits of their help for you. You may not feel tired and stressed out all the time. etc..

I hope your children (and husband) may start helping with chores.

Please let me know if I have overlooked any or you have more questions. Warm regards,



Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I am being charged for every answer. I was suppose to pay a monthly fee.

Also I already know everything you said. It just does not work.

I need to know How I can make them agree and go with it.

That I have not heard anything from you.

I think you are exhausted. You need to take some time off.

Expert:  Dr. Olsen replied 2 years ago.
Hi there,
I will opt out so another expert can answer your question.
Thank you for patience!
Expert:  Norman M. replied 2 years ago.

.

Children (and adults sometimes) are rather liable to push things to see what happens, and what they really need are firm boundaries. Being ‘soft’ just makes you easier to manipulate, and anger just teaches them to be angry when they in turn are faced with a difficult situation.

You need to re-evaluate your parenting style a little, perhaps.

They are quite old enough to know about actions and consequences. We humans only indulge in behaviour that bring reward of some kind. Only when that reward (whatever it might be) disappears, or the consequences of our behaviour promise to be unpleasant do we consider changing what we do.

Here is the clue to sorting things out. When you are faced with non-co-operation – give them choices, and make sure they understand the consequences of their choice – and always follow through. If you don’t they’ll just get confused.

These boundaries must include keeping the place tidy, getting full time employment, and commitment to play a part in maintaining the household . They needs to understand that support, money, lodging and so on have a price, and that price is getting sorted out.

They are quite old enough to know about actions and consequences. We humans only indulge in behaviour that brings reward of some kind. Only when that reward (whatever it might be) disappears, or the consequences of our behaviour promise to be unpleasant do we consider changing what we do.

Having a list of chores is fine, but it is only part of the answer. There has to be an unpleasant consequence for failing to comply, or why should they bother!

Here is the clue to sorting things out. When you are faced with non-co-operation – give them choices, and make sure he understands the consequences of his choice – and always follow through. If you don’t they’ll just get confused.

Consider what sanctions you might use – no mobile phone, no money, no laundry, no meals for example.

Privileges should be reinstated after they demonstrate that they has earned them by not crossing the boundaries you set.

Ask them too, what they are prepared to do to change his behaviour in future – tell them to research what might help him, what help they feel they need, and even consider a ‘contract’ between you. In other words, involve them in their own change, with a prospect of a small reward for success.

Never get angry, stay cool and in control, matter of fact and stick to the facts. Avoid drama.

Never, never be blaming or accusatory. Tell them how you feel about his behaviour, and make sure thet understand that while you love them, their bad behaviour is hurtful and will not be accepted.

Never, never be blaming or accusatory. Stick to facts, tell them how you feel about their behaviour, and make sure they understand that while you love them, their bad behaviour Is hurtful and will not be accepted.

I’m going to suggest that you get a copy of the book “How to talk so kids will listen, and how to listen so kids will talk”. Its ISBN is 1 85340 705 4.

Not only will it help you turn things around round it is also a good read!




Best wishes, NormanM

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