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Ask TherapistJen Your Own Question

TherapistJen
TherapistJen, LCSW, CPC
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 3129
Experience:  Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Certified Coach Mom of Twins.
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How can I get my 14-year-old son to get up in the morning

Resolved Question:

How can I get my 14-year-old son to get up in the morning in a timely manner (say 9-10am) and interact with the family a bit more? At the moment he is on vacation from school, gets up mid-afternoon, ignores all his chores, ignores his siblings, ignores my cheerful requests to tidy his mess up up and be helpful, ignores my suggestions for activities, and instead he spends as much time on X-Box Live as he humanely can, as well as devouring whole packets of cereal whilst declaring he is bored (you know the sort of thing). Now I know this is completely normal, I really do, but I would like to outsmart him a bit, get him helping me around the house, and being a bit more mature. This is because his lounging around, declaring his boredom and making a mess is causing me a lot of fuss and bother. Help please!
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  TherapistJen replied 4 years ago.

CoachJenK :

Hi. Welcome. I am a Licensed Master Social Worker with more than 20 years experience working with individuals and families. I am also a mom of Twins.

CoachJenK :

I am glad to know that you are aware of how normal this is...sadly knowing that does not alleviate any of the bother you feel inside. Right now he believes he makes all the rules...but he doesn't. You do.

CoachJenK :

And you hit it on the head when you said Xbox. Take that xbox and lock it in a safe....he earns the use of the xbox by following the rules and guidelines of the house. If he is bored...get a job...if he is hungry and eats all the cereal, he goes to the store to replace it. If not, there is no more cereal to be eaten. Once he begins to see that it is his choices that earn him things he might get the point.

CoachJenK :

Kids at this age are grumpy and require a lot of sleep but once up it is time to be productive.

CoachJenK :

I will wait for you to come online so we can chat further about it. and I am sure you have tried some of this stuff but I want to really drill it down and plan a family meeting laying out what is required and what he earns by doing it. this way there is no confusion and it is all up to him and you dont need to tell him off as everything has been told to him.

Customer:

Hello, I've had a bit of a chat with him and taken him out to run some errands - we also went to the coffee shop. The xbox is periodically confiscated (mainly for rudeness) but this has little effect on the messiness/laziness - he just mooches around anyway. I think a family meeting would be an excellent idea - I do this from time to time but perhaps it's a good moment to lay out the rules very clearly so he doesn't think he can get away with whatever he likes! It is my house, not his!

CoachJenK :

yes exactly. I am with you. If he wants xbox he gets it with some showing of responsibility.

CoachJenK :

have the meeting, lay it all out...the rules, the consequences so that all are clear.

CoachJenK :

you are the boss. I am with you.

Customer:

Right, well in an ideal world I would like:

Customer:

Him up between 9-10am, then to get dressed, then to make his bed. He then should come to eat breakfast downstairs. The x-box should not be turned on until that is all over.

Customer:

I supposed then I would need to give him some computer time, but I am wondering how I can get an hour's general chores out of him each day that he is on holiday (not in one session, I imagine) as this would really take the weight off the rest of us.

CoachJenK :

i like your ideal world...sounds very reasonable to me

Customer:

I know I am reasonable but he isn't!

CoachJenK :

just make it a requirement...no if ands or buts

CoachJenK :

tough...you are the boss!

Customer:

Well what about the general stropping about and yelling and arm waving that happens when I put the pressure on? I do find it wearing. I just count him for that but he still finds it hard to control himself. this is tiring for me.

CoachJenK :

it is very tiring....I would turn and walk away and say nothing....you have set the rules so there is no need to discuss

Customer:

Walking away sounds like a good plan. I am thinking up more rules now. Eat at the table. No eating in bedrooms. Do his laundry himself once a week, clean his room once a week, or x-box revoked. In fact I could just read out a long list of the things that bother me, and tell him to like it or lump it. ;.)

CoachJenK :

and you can tell him that in the meeting. I will not discuss any of it with you after this...these are the rules, these are the consequences...you can hav a tantrum but I will not engage.

CoachJenK :

AMEN! write it all down and hang it up so he cant play the confused I forgot game

Customer:

hahahahaha!

CoachJenK :

see we think alike!

Customer:

He's a very nice boy when he's engaging with us. It would be good if we saw that more often.

Customer:

All the neighbours think he's brilliant, but they don't see the dark side - the unflushed toilet and the fetid cereal bowls under the bed.

CoachJenK :

yes and as you know that stuff is normal for his age so we have to relent on some things...gotta give him a few wins along the way as well.

CoachJenK :

lol

Customer:

I did buy him a Nutella crepe this afternoon as he hadn't had any lunch. For this household it is a BIG TREAT to have a sweet food for your lunch!

CoachJenK :

yes good...let him get some things he wants too and show him that we all give to get!

Customer:

Right, my loins are now girded and I am going to tackle this when he comes in later. Thanks for your help. I think I just needed permission to do this. ;.)

CoachJenK :

go for it!

CoachJenK :

keep me posted.

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