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My dd9 just informed me that she feels like she does too much work and that I do nothing. Through gritted teeth (and my hands in the toilet bowl 'cause I was cleaning it) I told her, "I do more than you realize. You need to help if you are part of this family and you need to get used to it."

Ugh, what would you have said/done?

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i would've gotten up and had her finish the toilet.

;)

 

kidding.

 

all joking aside, I would sit her down one day and show her your schedules or to-do lists. My oldest DD has seen my schedule and lists for each day and now knows what I do, even AFTER they go to bed. :D

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My most recent response to a similar statement was "Well, I did 3 hours of chores before you got up this morning. Would you rather I let you do those?". Child understood the implication and wisely backed out of the room.

 

Some sort of yearly mom get-a-way sounds in order. Things done well aren't' noticed until they are undone. Sometimes you have to let them go undone.

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A mom I know heard this from her young teen daughter so over the next three days she did absolutely nothing for said daughter. No meal prep (girl couldn't share in family meals or eat leftovers mom had made), no laundry, no taking her places, etc. Daughter quickly realized how much mom does and didn't say that again.

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i would've gotten up and had her finish the toilet.

;)

 

kidding.

 

all joking aside, I would sit her down one day and show her your schedules or to-do lists. My oldest DD has seen my schedule and lists for each day and now knows what I do, even AFTER they go to bed. :D

 

Don't kid! Toilets are great attitude-adjusters!

 

When ds got this way we switched places. We sat down together and made a FULL list of *everything* each of us had to do the next day. He was sure that his list was very thorough, because he wanted to show me how much he did all day. The next morning we switched lists. By 2 pm he was exhausted, and begged to not have to continue being me. He suddenly appreciate everything I do and hasn't complained since. :D

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My dd9 just informed me that she feels like she does too much work and that I do nothing. Through gritted teeth (and my hands in the toilet bowl 'cause I was cleaning it) I told her, "I do more than you realize. You need to help if you are part of this family and you need to get used to it."

Ugh, what would you have said/done?

 

I would take a very different approach from what I've read so far.

 

Assuming I was in a fairly decent mood at the moment, had my wits about me, didn't have a headache, etc ...

 

I would have tried to emulate with her feelings. She said she "feels like she does too much." Haven't you ever felt that way? Is a feeling something you can legitimately argue with, or be mad at? Just because you "feel" a certain way doesn't make it true.

 

I might have said, "Really? I feel that way too sometimes. Imagine you had no chores for an entire week. What would you want to do with all that free time?"

 

And then let her have a nice chat with you while you finish the toilet.

 

Jenny

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I'd just show her. :)

 

It's entirely possible that it really does *seem* that way to her nine year old eyes ~ if she's asleep through some of your work (early morning, evening) or busy with school work/other activities, she may not realize just what all you do in the run of a day. Explain, show, demonstrate, etc.

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I would take a very different approach from what I've read so far.

 

Assuming I was in a fairly decent mood at the moment, had my wits about me, didn't have a headache, etc ...

 

I would have tried to emulate with her feelings. She said she "feels like she does too much." Haven't you ever felt that way? Is a feeling something you can legitimately argue with, or be mad at? Just because you "feel" a certain way doesn't make it true.

 

I might have said, "Really? I feel that way too sometimes. Imagine you had no chores for an entire week. What would you want to do with all that free time?"

 

And then let her have a nice chat with you while you finish the toilet.

 

Jenny

 

I like this. My kids are all grown and gone now, and they never said this to me. But if they had, I'd like to think that I would have responded like this.

 

You sound like a great mom!

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I would take a very different approach from what I've read so far.

 

Assuming I was in a fairly decent mood at the moment, had my wits about me, didn't have a headache, etc ...

 

That's the problem, isn't it? They tend to say things like this when I just spent the morning dealing with the 101 forms for their activities for the year, have a massive headache, and a thousand things on my plate for the day, to include a one hour each way trip to take dear child to their special activity. It makes me go "GAAAAAHHHHH?!?!?!?!!?! GRRR, GRRR, GRRR!!!!" And freak out instead of reacting in such a way as you suggest. ;)

 

I would have tried to emulate with her feelings. She said she "feels like she does too much." Haven't you ever felt that way? Is a feeling something you can legitimately argue with, or be mad at? Just because you "feel" a certain way doesn't make it true.

 

I might have said, "Really? I feel that way too sometimes. Imagine you had no chores for an entire week. What would you want to do with all that free time?"

 

And then let her have a nice chat with you while you finish the toilet.

 

Jenny

 

It sounds like such a lovely response, and I don't mean that in a head-patting, condescending way. I truly wish I could respond so calmly in the face of all adversity.

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While it's tempting to want to stop doing everything you do for a week and see how she likes it, perhaps you can make an exhaustive list of everything you do for a few days and show it to her. Just keeping adding to it as you think of things or do more things. I think she's not realizing how much you do because she's just used to those things being done and doesn't even think of them.

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Guest ME-Mommy

Attitude must in in the air today...:glare:

 

My oldest has her knickers in a twist because our well is just about dry and we are hauling water and using a privy. Her words = "it is just disgusting".

 

Then she had the nerve to call me a hillbilly...:toetap05:

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My dd9 just informed me that she feels like she does too much work and that I do nothing. Through gritted teeth (and my hands in the toilet bowl 'cause I was cleaning it) I told her, "I do more than you realize. You need to help if you are part of this family and you need to get used to it."

Ugh, what would you have said/done?

 

I think this is a substantially different attitude from "I feel like I have too much to do." I'm not likely to empathize with a child who is challenging roles in the house while one who is worn out or having a bad day can usually find compassion. This would not have gotten my nice reply.

Edited by bookfiend
grammAr
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My DD6 has informed me of something similar as well. She asked me why she had to empty the (little tiny) bathroom trash can when I didn't have to do anything. Huh??? WHAT????? I would have rattled off every single miniscule thing I do around here but I don't think it would have gotten through to her six year old self. :D

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I would have let her take over some of my responsibilities. And in my case, I would have also "handicapped" her so she could deal with them under similar stress that I have to. I wouldn't be the SLIGHTEST bit ugly about it; but a lot of times, people need to walk in other people's shoes in order to better appreciate the load others bear.

 

ETA: Of course, this is a knee jerk reaction. By the time I pushed the button, I thought that there could be other ways, milder ways, to handle it. But I'm not perfect.

Edited by 2J5M9K
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I would have tried to emulate with her feelings. She said she "feels like she does too much." Haven't you ever felt that way? Is a feeling something you can legitimately argue with, or be mad at? Just because you "feel" a certain way doesn't make it true.

 

Ah, true. That wouldn't have worked for us. Ds was yelling and screaming and ranting and raving (he's very dramatic) that he was treated like a slave while everyone else did "nothing." He was verbally acosting his siblings and then started in on me. Heh heh. No, sir. It might not have been the sweetest way of dealing with it, but I have to proudly say that I did *not* yell back (though I wanted to), or send him to his room for the rest of the night (without dinner), or take away priveleges for the rest of his life (the thought crossed my mind).

 

He hasn't done it since, so I'm very happy with the way it worked out.

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Yeah, my 7 yo has pulled that a few times. He did it one afternoon when I asked him to unload the silverware from the dishwasher. Just the silverware, mind you, not the entire dishwasher. I said, "Oh really? Do you cook dinner? Do you do the laundry? Do you clean the bathrooms?" and on and on and on. I haven't heard that since.

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A few years ago DSS made a similar comment so we switched chores for a week. I could knock his daily chores out in less than 1 hr (vacuum, clean the bathroom, take out the garbage, dinner dishes, tidy my room). I walked the dog in the morning before anyone was up and then I spent one hour that week washing the cars and another 30 minutes mowing what little lawn we have. He, on the other hand, got to climb Mt. Washmore (for 5 people), clean the kitchen, living room, dining room, DD's bedroom, the other bathroom, and his own room, run all the errands, cook all the meals, and so on. He decided that being me really sucked and he hasn't complained since.

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Two words - tomato staking. The best lessons are taught hands-on and side by side, not with words only.

 

My 11yo dd gave me a similar comment this past summer so I decided that when I had to sweat, so did she. We washed clothes, we cleaned bathrooms, we vaccuumed, etc.

 

She quickly decided that I had way more chores than she did and that she did not want to trade places. However, she did learn a ton and just tonight when she was helping me make vegetable soup, I realized that she had learned how to do it all by herself. She is much more competent around the house now than she ever was before. So I may repeat the experiment next summer, not as a punishment but more as a home ec boot camp!

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I said this to my mom once, and she gave me a list of her chores that needed to be done on just one day. I never said it to her again.

 

I did the same thing to my kids. I got tired of hearing them complain about me not having time to do whatever it was they wanted done. I handed them my three page to-do list and I have had a lot less requests since then. I also handed over the family budget and told them to see if they could do better. One of them decided that I shouldn't pay taxes. That would take care of the problem. She wasn't too happy to hear that they weren't optional. Her back up plan was for me to get a job. I referred her back to the to-do list. ;)

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A day of side by side 'in the life' is in order. I waking day worth of getting up, and seeing what you do, sitting side by side and figuring it all out. From managing schedules, planning hschool, planning dinner etc.

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