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Ask Coach Jen K. Your Own Question

Coach Jen K.
Coach Jen K., LMSW, CPC
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1750
Experience:  Licensed Master Social Worker. Certified Coach Mom of Twins.
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I am the mother of 12 and 14 year old daughters. Over the

Resolved Question:

I am the mother of 12 and 14 year old daughters. Over the years I have done way too much for them and now they do not want to take on any responsibility in the household. They leave clothes, food, paper, sports equipment everywhere. They do nothing to help with household chores.
Whenever I try to implement a chore schedule they just end up wearing me down because I have to constantly fight with them about it.
My oldest daughter has ADD and so I'm always more concerned with her just getting her homework and school papers in order than getting anything else done.
They are both very heavily in to sports and so we constantly run run run which also makes it hard to enforce the house work. They are tired from all the activities.

How can I start making them more accountable for themselves and start helping. I know I am doing them no favors by doing everything for them.

A last note is that my husband also works long hours and so he isn't there to help enforce.

Thanks,
Frustrated Mom
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Coach Jen K. replied 2 years ago.

CoachJenK :

Hi Frustrated Mom, I am hoping to help provide some relief.

CoachJenK :

First of all, as parents we all try to do as much for our children as we can which is motivated by our love for them...that's the good news and the bad news as you are now seeing as they are just not taking responsibility for things. There seems to be a lot of involvement still on your part and the begging and pleading just isn't working. Their adolescent behavior is normal...frustrating but normal.

CoachJenK :

Now here is your task and it won't be easy for you or for them until everyone gets the new plan. I understand your daughter has ADD but still it is up tp her and the school to figure out her work schedule and her homework. What I am suggesting here is a big pull back on your part from the over involvement in certain things. Set the rules, and make sure they are clear on what the rules are.

CoachJenK :

for example if you want them to pick up after themselves then let them know that. Go back to basics and make up some charts that they each have in their room and go over it with them so there is no confusion.

CoachJenK :

Now it is up to them to follow YOUR rules....if they don't they lose a privilege...such as their beloved sports

CoachJenK :

no wiggle room...set the rules, be consistent, do NOT get worn down...they either do it or they don't THEIR choice and if they don't you must follow through with the consequence no matter how loud it gets.

CoachJenK :

Tell me some of your thoughts I know I wrote a lot.

Customer:

I have always been afraid to take away their sports because they play at a high level (travel teams) and I feel like it is not only hurting them but the whole team as well. The coaches really frown upon them missing practices and especially games.

Customer:

I do know however that the sports are something that they really care about.

CoachJenK :

I truly get that and that is why it is such a great thing to put in place because nobody wants that to be that way so they can make that choice and they will never have to lose that privilege if they follow the rules

CoachJenK :

I would also discuss it then with their coaches...they would never behave that way in practice or on the team so you are requiring them to have the same respect toward you and your home as they have for their coach, teammates, etc

CoachJenK :

you see what I am saying?

Customer:

Yes I do but it seems I start off strong and then eventually get worn down. I do not get much back up from my husband. What types of responsibilities do you feel they can handle at this age besides just picking up after themselves?

CoachJenK :

I see how you get worn...so lets figure this all out. If your husband isn't that involved it will continue to fall on you. So, lets call a family meeting...you are the boss....

CoachJenK :

Figure out what you want them to do in the house. Pick up after themselves, help you set or clean up the dinner table, whatever you believe you need them to do, etc.

CoachJenK :

In the family meeting you let them know what is being asked of them..make sure they are clear and what they need to do.

CoachJenK :

once they are let them know that in the past you have given in but not anymore because you are worn out and tired

CoachJenK :

if they dont follow through they will be restricted from practice, games, etc. until they do as they are asked.

CoachJenK :

create the chart with each day what you want to be done.

CoachJenK :

Once everyone is clear of the requirements, rules and consequences then its time to put it in place.

CoachJenK :

even if your husband doesnt help much it is still clear because it has all been laid out by you!

CoachJenK :

you cannot let them wear you down...it is the doctrine and everyone including you must live by it!

CoachJenK :

If you need help, go to their coaches

CoachJenK :

if they can respect the team then they can respect the family team as well!!!! you just need to make it be that way

Customer:

Should they get an allowance for doing what is asked or just the consequences for not doing the chores?

CoachJenK :

great question. I think I would first start with the consequences and let them know that sometime soon in the future you will also put in place an allowance as they begin to show you this is the new way.

CoachJenK :

make that the reward when it becomes natural for them to follow the rules..but not yet.

CoachJenK :

I want them to respect you and your word first

CoachJenK :

they know you are wishy washy and have taken advantage.

CoachJenK :

and remember this is helping them in the future

Customer:

I agree about the respect. they speak to me in a way they would never think of speaking to their coaches. Obviously my biggest problem is not caving in on this. Yes, they need to learn how to take care of themselves and I am not helping

CoachJenK :

yes so get tough Mom! You deserve that respect but you must believe that first...when you do you will not cave in.

CoachJenK :

when they start their complaining...turn and walk out of the room. close the door, let in a bath and sit in their and breathe....sounds cheesy but it could work

CoachJenK :

there I meant to type.

CoachJenK :

remind them ONCE of consequence and leave the room

Customer:

Right now I am away for the weekend and trying to regroup so that I can go home and start strong. I know what I need to do its just being consistent that is hard for me.

CoachJenK :

glad you are away. Yes be strong and consistent...you really have no other option. I am rooting for you! you can always come back to me when you need that support and reminder.

CoachJenK :

I feel for you and I understand it all. I practice it in my home as well.

Customer:

Ok, thank you.

Customer:

I think you have confirmed what I already know but have just been too wimpy in the past to implement. I am so hoping I can do it this time. I may need a few bottles of wine on hand. And thanks, XXXXX XXXXX need to come back to you for support and encourangement!

CoachJenK :

Yes wimpiness not allowed. you are the Mom and you will be giving them a gift for their adult years

CoachJenK :

wine, chocolate whatever is needed and you can always find me. when you put in your question at the beginning write for CoachJenK

CoachJenK :

and yes you do know it all now get to it..figure out what you want from them before you get home...write it down and be clear. NO WIGGLE ROOM

CoachJenK :

when you become whimpy I want you to hear me in your head!

Customer:

Thanks! I will start on that list right now.

CoachJenK :

I know you can do this.

CoachJenK :

enjoy your relaxing time this weekend.

Customer:

I sure hope so! I am enjoying it so far. My husband on the other hand is VERY busy.

Customer:

bye

CoachJenK :

bye and thank you.

Coach Jen K., LMSW, CPC
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1750
Experience: Licensed Master Social Worker. Certified Coach Mom of Twins.
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