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So. Hypothetical question


Scarlett
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Why did someone have to stay up waiting for the clothes to dry? I just leave them in the dryer and take them out in the morning. If they were your dss's clothes, and he waited to do them until late at night, then if they are a bit wrinkled from staying in the dryer overnight, that's his problem, not yours.

 

I personally love to do laundry and have all kinds of quirks about how I think things should be done. I teach my kids *why* I want things done a certain way, but if they choose to do them another way, it's not really my problem. (You dye your underpants pink because red shirt + hot water + white undies = pink undies and you didn't put the Synthrapol in to prevent that, well then you'll be wearing pink undies.)

Yep. This happens here. DS17 does his own laundry completely. I almost never even see it anymore. But he's a little weak on Executive Function so this means when he does get around to doing his laundry, it's 11 at night sometimes, and he just realized he has no clean uniform pants for school tomorrow. I wish he didn't do it this way, but frankly, not my problem. He can set his own alarm to swap into the dryer at midnight. He can get up early tomorrow and dry laundry before school. Or he can go to school in damp pants because he failed to plan properly. OH WELL.

 

Scarlet, I agree with Garga that it seems like there's a bigger issue than thoughtless teenager behavior. ((Hugs))) for that. I have been in the same place, thinking, "Why doesn't anyone accommodate me?" See, I'm so agreeable and a peacenik. I'm the one trying to make things smooth for everyone else. Once in a while, I have gone bananas because "nobody cares!" about the things that matter to me..."oh, I see I'm the only one in the entire household who can fill the peppergrinder with peppercorns! Nobody but me realizes the solution to the tottering pile of recycling is to put it in the outside bin! The mail would just pile up forever if *I* didn't do something about it!" And so on. So, I hear you. But I also agree that you need to refocus because this stuff will eat you alive and not do your family relationships much good.

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If your teenage son found a pair of clean jeans in his room that were not his...and threw said clean jeans on the laundry room floor...how would you react. Side note, family knows you don't like clothes thrown on the laundry floor in general certainly not clean clothes.

 

 

It'd go something like this, "Hey!  Did you throw CLEAN clothes on MY laundry floor?  Dude, come on!  Get in here and figure out where they go."  End of story. :P :D

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Once in a while, I have gone bananas because "nobody cares!" about the things that matter to me..."oh, I see I'm the only one in the entire household who can fill the peppergrinder with peppercorns! Nobody but me realizes the solution to the tottering pile of recycling is to put it in the outside bin! The mail would just pile up forever if *I* didn't do something about it!" And so on. So, I hear you. But I also agree that you need to refocus because this stuff will eat you alive and not do your family relationships much good.

 

I'm sorry, but this made :lol: because I've had such similar thoughts. They often happen when I go in the bathroom and find a new roll of toilet paper propped ON TOP of the empty roll of toilet paper. Once I'd had such a hard day while the kids lazed around, and youngest DD had come into the kitchen while I was trying to both empty the dishwasher and start dinner dinner in a hurry, and I angrily said something about them doing nothing around the house and then not even bothering with their schoolwork on top of it, and she said, "Well mom, this is YOUR fault. If you want us to do our schoolwork, you have to MAKE us!" Let's just say I took to my bed for the rest of the evening and night and no one was allowed to talk to me until the next day. Everyone was very confused and apologetic, but it totally made no tangible difference in the long run, of course  :glare:

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I had been in the laundry room at 10:30 the night before.....and they weren't there.....where did they come from. So I asked around. Ds told me.....

How awesome that your son was honest with you! Really it's pretty unusual for a teen to admit to doing something they can see you are upset about.

 

At that point I would have said "thanks for telling me. These are clean and belong to ... Could you please go give them to him? Clothes don't go on the laundry room floor. Thanks!"

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Your teen sounds normal. Your frustration from such a minor incident sounds abnormal, so I am guessing there's more going on here than you care to share. Whatever is making you feel really upset about this is what should be addressed.

 

Are you tired, depressed, dealing with an unusually stressing situation, or is it a pattern of behavior that has gotten unbearable? Instead of putting out minor fires, I'd recommend finding what's really stressing you out and dealing with that.

 

What I do: My kids, except for the youngest, do their own laundry. DS (15) is the worst! To preserve my sanity, if he leaves me an issue I have to deal with, I just fine him. No lecture. If his clothes are taking up space and I have to fold them, I charge him. I may, if he's home, tell him to do it, but he's got about 5min before I quit waiting. I charge for my time and my annoyance and if he has no money he can work it off with extra jobs around the house. I'd rather he just do what he's been told and that I didn't have to do it, but it's not worth being upset all the time. I have control over what I allow myself to be mad about. I fine him to make it hurt and to teach him that if he's always expecting people to do his work, then he'll be poor. I also fine him because it makes me feel better to have my time compensated!

 

You matter and your feelings matter. I don't know your situation, but sometimes not caring about the little things is the answer. If you have a million things the kids aren't doing right, either you may be a little uptight or your kids aren't able to keep up yet for whatever reason. Even if what you are asking of them is completely reasonable for the average family, and it could be, if they are consistently failing to live up to it, the best solution is to work on one or two things at a time.

 

I am sympathetic. I think my teen is on the less than average side of tidiness and responsibility. To give you an idea, the not caring and focusing on one habit at a time are recommendations from his therapist. We deal with the same issues. Sometimes you can't expect normal and expectations are what will make you crazy.

 

 

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I just dont know why nothing that is important to me can be important to other people. When called on a small thing that bugs me.....I get no apology or cooperation. I get stone faces and bull faces. I can ignore it and just pick it up. Sure. It takes much less energy to do that then spend an hour hashing it out. But when do I matter?

 

How long is your list of things that matter?

 

I realized a few years ago that my Type A perfectionism was getting in the way of me having healthy relationships with family members whose personal habits varied from my own.  I had a very, very long list of preferences and ways of doing things and frankly, it really isn't a moral issue if clothes all face the same way in the closet.  I realized that I was taking all of these "non-compliance with household rules" as personal affronts.  It wasn't that, at all.  Frankly it's their house just as much as it's my house, and I really needed to reset my emotional barometer.

 

My list of things that matter shrank considerably.  

 

It is hard to house share with people.  It really is.  Kid and teenage brains are not fully developed, and frankly there is some point most days where I'm frustrated with them.....but relationships > stuff.  It will pay off in the long run.

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Thanks everyone. Really. I was crying so hard last night while I was posting. Dss even asked me if I was ok. Dh petted me.

 

This morning my son apologized for 'the jeans'. And he said good bye to me. Both rather stiffly but hey it was something. Lol.

 

You are right, all of you, that basically I just over reacted. So I think I will apologize for that.

 

As usual it is impossible to tell all that happened.....we had all been out that night and I told ds to be home by 10:30. He didn't like that so instead of joining us and his friends for ice cream he just went home. One of his friends asked me if he was ok because he was so upset looking as he left. I was like whatever....if he wants to skip 45 minutes of fun with friends because I won't let him stay out until 11:00 he can do that. So since he was home I asked him to reboot laundry. If he was passive aggressive toward anyone it was me, not dss because he was mad at me. But honestly I really believe he didn't even notice they were wet. Because that is his pattern. Totally oblivious in his own world. And when I woke him it is doubtful he was asleep. But I shouldn't have woke him up.

 

When pressed as to why his solution was to throw the jeans on the laundry room floor he said because he had tried them on he felt he had dirtied them. Even though he just got out of the shower. He has a hamper in his room so why he didn't put them in his hamper I don't know.

 

And one of the reasons it was important that dss not have clothes in washer dryer is because I knew I would be bringing home my bosses laundry Wednesday evening. So when I took 4 loads of bosses laundry into my laundry room the last thing I wanted to see is a pair of jeans on the floor. And yes sunday evening I talked to both boys about my schedule getting really tight and how they needed to have their laundry done so I could do bosses.

 

There is just a lot going on and I need cooperation. But yes I do agree the relationship is more important than the irritants.

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I think I'd just be really happy that he didn't claim the jeans as his own and start wearing them.

 

I always thought it was teen girls who fought over clothes. My teen boys are the same size and have far too many arguments about which pair of jeans belongs to which teen. 

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I think I'd just be really happy that he didn't claim the jeans as his own and start wearing them.

 

I always thought it was teen girls who fought over clothes. My teen boys are the same size and have far too many arguments about which pair of jeans belongs to which teen.

I still don't know whose jeans they were. They all three wear different sizes so that is the reason he knew they weren't his. If they had fit him I am sure he would have worn them. Because he just wouldn't have noticed they weren't his,

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How long is your list of things that matter?

 

I realized a few years ago that my Type A perfectionism was getting in the way of me having healthy relationships with family members whose personal habits varied from my own. I had a very, very long list of preferences and ways of doing things and frankly, it really isn't a moral issue if clothes all face the same way in the closet. I realized that I was taking all of these "non-compliance with household rules" as personal affronts. It wasn't that, at all. Frankly it's their house just as much as it's my house, and I really needed to reset my emotional barometer.

 

My list of things that matter shrank considerably.

 

It is hard to house share with people. It really is. Kid and teenage brains are not fully developed, and frankly there is some point most days where I'm frustrated with them.....but relationships > stuff. It will pay off in the long run.

It is possible my list is too long. And am going to think about it.

 

In the meantime though the laundry thing is an issue when I have to come home with my bosses laundry on Wednesday evening.

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I can't really say what I would have done for that exact offense. But I can tell you I reached a breaking point the day I asked one ds to do some ridiculously simple thing and he turned to me and said, "That's not my chore. That's YOUR chore."

 

So what I did was list every tiny thing required to keep up the house, property, cars, etc., and turn it over to all 5 of them. I let them have some say in the overall plan. And I spent some time in the beginning teaching them how to do the things they weren't familiar with, making it clear that I would be checking their work until I knew they were doing all of it the way I had told them to do it. But all this only took a few months even with 5 kids. And the hardest part was standing back and letting them take it over once they got going, I was so used to doing so much of it.

 

Maybe you're at that breaking point? No idea. You're ds and dss are definitely capable of doing all of it at their ages, especially with your working now. It's probably just a matter of where you want to spend the energy - training them and checking up on their work -- or continuing to do most of it yourself.

 

And, ftr, my ds's were in their mid-teens when I did this. Dd's were younger. And they all did fine with it. And it didn't damage our relationships. In fact, I think it helped to the point that I remember thinking I really should have done it much sooner than I did.

I made the first attempt at that on Sunday with my laundry schedule and maybe two other items ---trash and their bathroom. I wrote it up and talked to them about how my work schedule was going to be. I guess I expected too much too soon. Patience is not my strong point.

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Okay, I must have missed it. Who put the wrong jeans into the boy's room? Was it his brother? Was it him? Was it you? Was it his dad?

Because, my response would be different in each case.

 

If his brother - two comments to both Bro putting jeans into wrong room - "You put your jeans in your brother's room. Pay attention next time. Luckily he noticed and just didn't stuff them in the back of his closet".   Bro who throw clean jeans on floor - "Hey, you know better than to throw clean clothes on the floor. Put them where they belong."

 

If it was him, "What?? Seriously, how did this happen. Don't toss clean cloth on the floor - go put them in your brother's room."

 

If it was you, "Oops, son, I made a mistake. But your correct response would have been to toss them in your brother's room, not on the laundry room floor. Try again."

 

If it was dad, pretty same as if you made the mistake.

 

I understand and sympathize with it appearing that everyone is taking you for granted and not paying attention to how you want things done. Only you can evaluate whether this is continual or just one slip up. If continual, then family meeting time, use specific examples. Explain that we all have to live together, and it is better to try to work with some basic guidelines. I have girls, but sometimes how I want things done - it just doesn't make sense to them. We can discuss, maybe make compromises, maybe come to some understanding of the other's viewpoint, and work some solution out. But, no one in my house is perfect. We still mess up. I don't think they do that on purpose to offend me, but because they were in a hurry, didn't think (usually I think it is this!), whatever. A gentle reminder usually serves to solve the problem - at least temporarily.

 

If there is something that I *need* done a certain way because it bothers me if it isn't (which I can't think of anything now because I'm pretty laid back), I would just take over that and I would do it so I know it was done right. My dh does not like anyone else to change oil in the vehicles. So he does it himself (except when he was teaching the girls to do that, and he was closely supervising to make sure it was done correctly). He is particular about this thing, so he makes sure no one else can mess it up. 

 

I have found that with almost-adult people/kids in the house, I do need to shift my standards some to accommodate them. I don't look into their rooms very often. I'm just happier, and they are happier. So, yes, in some ways, let stuff go. Because relationships and getting along are more important than stuff. But your family should be able to find some compromise so everyone is not too overwhelmed or feeling like their opinion/feelings aren't important. 

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When your ds was a toddler, did you take his lack of consideration for you, and the resulting behavior, personally? Because the reality is that teens are in the same egocentric stage as toddlers. Their brains are in a state of physiological re-wiring, they are psychologically completely focused on self identity creation, and they are not thinking about your desires for the laundry one bit. These are the realities which you can read about in human development textbooks.

 

So what works best on the toddler brain? Passive aggressive or emotional responses where we take their behaviors personally? Or kind and compassionate and Dispassionate teaching about empathy and knowledge along with hand-over-hand skill building? At my house we do a lot of working alongside our teens to make things right when something has gone a bit wrong. Is it exhausting? Yes. Just like parenting toddlers is exhausting. But that's what parenting is all about - giving of ourselves in a selfless manner even when we don't want to. Blaming, chastising, taking it personally, making it about you, none of these things help.

 

How long did it take for my neurotypical kids to learn to eat properly at table? With practice every single night? Years and years.

 

The younger kids still throw both clean and dirty clothes on the laundry room floor. One of them is 14yo! We're still working on it. C'est la vie.

Edited by Amy in NH
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Scarlett, years ago dh and I decided to have each other's backs. We had two teens and it felt like we were raising feral cats.  Some things drove me crazy but didn't bother dh at all...and some things bugged dh but didn't even register on my radar. So we decided to team up, always.  And to this day we do that. When a kid does something like what your ds does....technically he did what you told him- reboot laundry- and the whole throw jeans on the floor thing....if I talked to ds about it but got 'that attitude' then I usually vented to dh, who then handed it on my behalf. 

 

You're applying intent to ds's actions- to you it feels like he intentionally did things to either make you mad. Sure, his actions made you mad, but he's a teen and probably didn't intend that...he just wanted to be done with the chore you assigned and was too lazy to return the jeans to the rightful owner.  But the fact remains that it irritates you!  I'm on your side that it's irritating. 

 

In our house, dh would talk to one or both kids while I was not around. He'd tell them that I like things done a certain way and that I'm having a hard time working and not being able to do everything. So hey, guys, let's show some respect and pitch in and do a good job for Mom.   It didn't always work the first time, but he can be less emotional about it because it wasn't HIS irritation.  And when something bothered him, I stood up for him. 

 

Don't get me wrong- he wasn't fighting my battles for me- I had already talked to the kid. But they quickly learned that dh and I were a team and we were in charge of the house rules.    

 

It's been REALLY hard for me to loosen up my standards when I've turned chores over to other family members.  So I do know how you feel about that! 

:grouphug:

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I still don't know whose jeans they were. They all three wear different sizes so that is the reason he knew they weren't his. If they had fit him I am sure he would have worn them. Because he just wouldn't have noticed they weren't his,

If you still do not know whose jeans they were, I can see why he did not know whose jeans they were and where the appropriate place to put them away would be.  I can see how he was frustrated, thinking he had clean jeans, putting them on, realizing they weren't his, but not knowing whose they were.  It is obvious that your preference is that these not be put on the laundry room floor.  Does he know where it would be appropriate to put them, given that he does not know whom they belong to?  

 

If I had three people whom I couldn't clearly tell their clothing apart in the household and who are old enough to do their own laundry, I would be having each person do his own so that clothes can remain clearly separated.

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If you still do not know whose jeans they were, I can see why he did not know whose jeans they were and where the appropriate place to put them away would be. I can see how he was frustrated, thinking he had clean jeans, putting them on, realizing they weren't his, but not knowing whose they were. It is obvious that your preference is that these not be put on the laundry room floor. Does he know where it would be appropriate to put them, given that he does not know whom they belong to?

 

If I had three people whom I couldn't clearly tell their clothing apart in the household and who are old enough to do their own laundry, I would be having each person do his own so that clothes can remain clearly separated.

Until this week I have done all the laundry, so I am sure I put them in his room in error. And this week is the first week the boys are doing their own laundry.

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I haven't read the three pages (!!!) of replies.... but what I would do is just pick them up off the floor, fold them up, and put them into the proper owner's pile of clean clothes. Not a big deal, really.

Edited by Kinsa
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It also makes sense that he wouldn't put someone else's jeans in his hamper since that is for his clothes that he washes; throwing jeans that weren't his in there would just result in a repeat of the whole problem. If it wasn't obvious to him who they belonged to and he thought they were dirty the laundry room wasn't an illogical choice.

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I haven't read all of the replies, so I may be repeating suggestions. 

 

Here's what might work:

 

Instead of writing out a time frame for when the boys can do their laundry, what if you tell them what times you need the washer/dryer for whichever loads you do. "Tuesdays and Saturdays is mom's day for the laundry room, you are welcome to it on the other 5 days" or whatever works for you. 

 

Then don't do anything for them. If laundry gets thrown on the floor, pick it up and throw it into a communal basket in the laundry room. When one of the kids can't find something, they can figure it out and hunt around. If Boy B's pants are in the basket because Boy A threw them on the floor, tell Boy B to let Boy A know that he would appreciate him just giving his pants back instead of throwing them on the floor. 

 

If they don't have clean clothes, or the clothes smell musty because they forgot to dry them fully, you don't have to worry about it. You had your days to get your stuff done and you can just let them deal. It will (hopefully) take you out of the laundry loop. One kid has to wear the same outfit twice in a row because he forgot to wash his clothes? Oh well.... 

 

I know it's hard, but teenagers are notorious for not thinking about how their actions affect others. DS isn't that age yet, but I spent 8 years working with teens full time and a good portion of them don't always think things through. If you can, it'll help your frame of mind if instead of thinking that DS threw the pants on the floor because he doesn't care about you, think of it as he threw the pants on the floor because he didn't care about the pants. They weren't his, so in that moment, he didn't care what happened to the pants. 

 

*feel free to ignore if this isn't helpful!*

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It also makes sense that he wouldn't put someone else's jeans in his hamper since that is for his clothes that he washes; throwing jeans that weren't his in there would just result in a repeat of the whole problem. If it wasn't obvious to him who they belonged to and he thought they were dirty the laundry room wasn't an illogical choice.

Well that is a good point. Since they are doing their own laundry now. However there are three hampers in the laundry room.

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I haven't read all of the replies, so I may be repeating suggestions.

 

Here's what might work:

 

Instead of writing out a time frame for when the boys can do their laundry, what if you tell them what times you need the washer/dryer for whichever loads you do. "Tuesdays and Saturdays is mom's day for the laundry room, you are welcome to it on the other 5 days" or whatever works for you.

 

Then don't do anything for them. If laundry gets thrown on the floor, pick it up and throw it into a communal basket in the laundry room. When one of the kids can't find something, they can figure it out and hunt around. If Boy B's pants are in the basket because Boy A threw them on the floor, tell Boy B to let Boy A know that he would appreciate him just giving his pants back instead of throwing them on the floor.

 

If they don't have clean clothes, or the clothes smell musty because they forgot to dry them fully, you don't have to worry about it. You had your days to get your stuff done and you can just let them deal. It will (hopefully) take you out of the laundry loop. One kid has to wear the same outfit twice in a row because he forgot to wash his clothes? Oh well....

 

I know it's hard, but teenagers are notorious for not thinking about how their actions affect others. DS isn't that age yet, but I spent 8 years working with teens full time and a good portion of them don't always think things through. If you can, it'll help your frame of mind if instead of thinking that DS threw the pants on the floor because he doesn't care about you, think of it as he threw the pants on the floor because he didn't care about the pants. They weren't his, so in that moment, he didn't care what happened to the pants.

 

*feel free to ignore if this isn't helpful!*

 

Ha. I want access to my washer and dryer all the time. Maybe I need a second laundry room. That is an awesome idea for a house plan. Teen laundry room.

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I haven't read the three pages (!!!) of replies.... but what I would do is just pick them up off the floor, fold them up, and put them into the proper owner's pile of clean clothes. Not a big deal, really.

Yes in hind site that would have been the best idea. Lol.....maybe he got his impulsiveness from me.

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Scarlett, I have reacted just like you did. ESPECIALLY to the "clean laundry put in the dirty hamper" thing. The reason is because what it FEELS like it communicates. It FEELS like:

 

-- your time and energy don't matter

-- my lazy right to throw this where I want is more important than being considerate of you 

-- you are just my servant anyway, so who cares? 

 

I mean, seriously -- that is what goes through my mind in those dark times when a teenage boy is being an idiot about laundry (I'm talking a stack of clean, folded shorts thrown into the dirty hamper). And I went OFF... tears, yelling, the whole bit.

 

The thing is, I realized after my embarrassing meltdown that:

1. Just because an action FEELs like it means something doesn't mean it does.

2. Sometimes it's actually good for kids to see the emotional impact of their laziness.

 

On #1.... sometimes I am grouchy because I have PMS. I am short/irritable towards DH. He could interpret that as "she takes me for granted, she doesn't care about my feelings, she doesn't love me" -- but in reality, I am just being a jerk. Those dark conclusions really aren't true, even though they might FEEL true. Thankfully, he is good at not taking my lapses of niceness personally. 

 

On #2... don't be ashamed that your son saw how his laziness made you feel. Sometimes a wakeup call is good, especially for teenagers. Huh, wow, moms have feelings?... who knew?

 

New day. You're fine. The jeans weren't the end of the world and neither was your meltdown. Do something nice for yourself today (you DO matter).

 

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When your ds was a toddler, did you take his lack of consideration for you, and the resulting behavior, personally? Because the reality is that teens are in the same egocentric stage as toddlers. Their brains are in a state of physiological re-wiring, they are psychologically completely focused on self identity creation, and they are not thinking about your desires for the laundry one bit. These are the realities which you can read about in human development textbooks.

 

So what works best on the toddler brain? Passive aggressive or emotional responses where we take their behaviors personally? Or kind and compassionate and Dispassionate teaching about empathy and knowledge along with hand-over-hand skill building? At my house we do a lot of working alongside our teens to make things right when something has gone a bit wrong. Is it exhausting? Yes. Just like parenting toddlers is exhausting. But that's what parenting is all about - giving of ourselves in a selfless manner even when we don't want to. Blaming, chastising, taking it personally, making it about you, none of these things help.

 

How long did it take for my neurotypical kids to learn to eat properly at table? With practice every single night? Years and years.

 

The younger kids still throw both clean and dirty clothes on the laundry room floor. One of them is 14yo! We're still working on it. C'est la vie.

Maybe my memory is fading like with childbirth but ds was a joy as a toddler. I found him so easy and pleasant and compliant. He could make a bed at age 4 better than most adults. Now he slings the cover up over his pillow and the sheets are hanging out the edge....but I decided that was not a bottle worth fighting.

 

But I get your point that it isn't about me. I do know he can't think straight because he has so much going on in his brain.

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I just dont know why nothing that is important to me can be important to other people. When called on a small thing that bugs me.....I get no apology or cooperation. I get stone faces and bull faces. I can ignore it and just pick it up. Sure. It takes much less energy to do that then spend an hour hashing it out. But when do I matter?

I didn't read all of the replies...

 

Once upon a time, my three girls were clearly different sizes, and laundry sorting was easy. Then the lines blurred... I began The Infamous Dot System... Eldest got one dot on her clothing, usually on the size label. Middle got two, Baby got three. If an item was handed down, a dot was added.

 

Right around the time they were all within 1-2 sizes of each other and could most share any clothing item, they collectively decided that there would be No More Dots. And Mom lost her mind, because an item might be owned by Eldest, but be frequently worn by Baby, and end up in Middle's closet because I thought it was hers and I put it with her clothes. (our washing machine is broken so DH does all the laundry once/week at a laundromat, I do the sorting)

 

All this to say, my girls are well aware that if there are grumblings over laundry or others people's clothing tossed carelessly if it ends up in the wrong room, then I will go back to labeling all of their clothes with their full names to make MY life easier, or they will have the option of paying to do their own laundry at the laundromat.

 

Oh, and the girls have a large laundry basket of unmatched socks. The sock basket is also the lost and found for misplaced clothes, since everybody looks there almost daily. So maybe have a spot, even if you need to buy a new basket (make it a different style or color to stand out) and let that be the Mystery Basket.

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Scarlett, I have reacted just like you did. ESPECIALLY to the "clean laundry put in the dirty hamper" thing. The reason is because what it FEELS like it communicates. It FEELS like:

 

-- your time and energy don't matter

-- my lazy right to throw this where I want is more important than being considerate of you

-- you are just my servant anyway, so who cares?

 

I mean, seriously -- that is what goes through my mind in those dark times when a teenage boy is being an idiot about laundry (I'm talking a stack of clean, folded shorts thrown into the dirty hamper). And I went OFF... tears, yelling, the whole bit.

 

The thing is, I realized after my embarrassing meltdown that:

1. Just because an action FEELs like it means something doesn't mean it does.

2. Sometimes it's actually good for kids to see the emotional impact of their laziness.

 

On #1.... sometimes I am grouchy because I have PMS. I am short/irritable towards DH. He could interpret that as "she takes me for granted, she doesn't care about my feelings, she doesn't love me" -- but in reality, I am just being a jerk. Those dark conclusions really aren't true, even though they might FEEL true. Thankfully, he is good at not taking my lapses of niceness personally.

 

On #2... don't be ashamed that your son saw how his laziness made you feel. Sometimes a wakeup call is good, especially for teenagers. Huh, wow, moms have feelings?... who knew?

 

New day. You're fine. The jeans weren't the end of the world and neither was your meltdown. Do something nice for yourself today (you DO matter).

Thank you. I have been working on my bosses laundry since 7 and I have to go into the city to,buy his groceries and come home and wash and cut up fruit and veggies for him and then deliver it all to him.

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I didn't read all of the replies...

 

Once upon a time, my three girls were clearly different sizes, and laundry sorting was easy. Then the lines blurred... I began The Infamous Dot System... Eldest got one dot on her clothing, usually on the size label. Middle got two, Baby got three. If an item was handed down, a dot was added.

 

Right around the time they were all within 1-2 sizes of each other and could most share any clothing item, they collectively decided that there would be No More Dots. And Mom lost her mind, because an item might be owned by Eldest, but be frequently worn by Baby, and end up in Middle's closet because I thought it was hers and I put it with her clothes. (our washing machine is broken so DH does all the laundry once/week at a laundromat, I do the sorting)

 

All this to say, my girls are well aware that if there are grumblings over laundry or others people's clothing tossed carelessly if it ends up in the wrong room, then I will go back to labeling all of their clothes with their full names to make MY life easier, or they will have the option of paying to do their own laundry at the laundromat.

 

Oh, and the girls have a large laundry basket of unmatched socks. The sock basket is also the lost and found for misplaced clothes, since everybody looks there almost daily. So maybe have a spot, even if you need to buy a new basket (make it a different style or color to stand out) and let that be the Mystery Basket.

I got all twitchy just reading your post. Lol

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:grouphug: :grouphug:

 

Awww, Scarlett, you do matter.

 

It's just that your boys are at a horrible, no good, awful stage of development. They can't see past their own noses. Only they matter to themselves. It's not evil, it's just the toddler=teen stage of development. You are the mom/giver, and they see you as impervious.

 

I totally get what you are feeling. TOTALLY. This is a universal mom thing, IMHO.

 

Get your affirmation and caring from your dh and other peers, and look forward to a day when you can squoosh grand babies and give them noisy toys and lots of sugar and let them stay up late to watch Disney movies . . . That's what keeps me going, lol.

 

Just a couple more years, and these grumpy spoiled teens will be out of our hair and thankful for Mom cooking, Mom laundry service, etc when they come home to visit. And, we'll be thankful for their smelly clothes on the bathroom floor . . . really, it'll happen.

I am looking forward to calmer days.

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How is he expected to know if someone else's pants left on the floor are dirty or clean?

 

I don't think it's unreasonable to hazzard towards dirty.

 

I'd be annoyed and get on to him for putting it on yet another though different floor. (Especially as my laundry area is also the main house entry walk path.)

 

I'd tell whoever the pants belong to to put their own stuff up and they won't have to worry about where it ends up.

 

Common annoyance among minors of any age of my household is anything to go by.

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Your teen sounds normal. Your frustration from such a minor incident sounds abnormal, so I am guessing there's more going on here than you care to share. Whatever is making you feel really upset about this is what should be addressed.

 

Are you tired, depressed, dealing with an unusually stressing situation, or is it a pattern of behavior that has gotten unbearable? Instead of putting out minor fires, I'd recommend finding what's really stressing you out and dealing with that.

 

What I do: My kids, except for the youngest, do their own laundry. DS (15) is the worst! To preserve my sanity, if he leaves me an issue I have to deal with, I just fine him. No lecture. If his clothes are taking up space and I have to fold them, I charge him. I may, if he's home, tell him to do it, but he's got about 5min before I quit waiting. I charge for my time and my annoyance and if he has no money he can work it off with extra jobs around the house. I'd rather he just do what he's been told and that I didn't have to do it, but it's not worth being upset all the time. I have control over what I allow myself to be mad about. I fine him to make it hurt and to teach him that if he's always expecting people to do his work, then he'll be poor. I also fine him because it makes me feel better to have my time compensated!

 

You matter and your feelings matter. I don't know your situation, but sometimes not caring about the little things is the answer. If you have a million things the kids aren't doing right, either you may be a little uptight or your kids aren't able to keep up yet for whatever reason. Even if what you are asking of them is completely reasonable for the average family, and it could be, if they are consistently failing to live up to it, the best solution is to work on one or two things at a time.

 

I am sympathetic. I think my teen is on the less than average side of tidiness and responsibility. To give you an idea, the not caring and focusing on one habit at a time are recommendations from his therapist. We deal with the same issues. Sometimes you can't expect normal and expectations are what will make you crazy.

Well I am not depressed but I am a little overwhelmed with everything. Dh starts a new job on Monday which will help....and I am working 3 plus days a week and trying to make sure the house keeps running and my boys get their school work done.

 

Normal stuff I guess. But a new normal for me.

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How is he expected to know if someone else's pants left on the floor are dirty or clean?

 

I don't think it's unreasonable to hazzard towards dirty.

 

I'd be annoyed and get on to him for putting it on yet another though different floor. (Especially as my laundry area is also the main house entry walk path.)

 

I'd tell whoever the pants belong to to put their own stuff up and they won't have to worry about where it ends up.

 

Common annoyance among minors of any age of my household is anything to go by.

They weren't on the floor when he found them. They were in his drawer, folded and clean. He tried them on and realized they weren't his. So he took them off and walked to the laundry room and tossed them on the floor.

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We have laundry issues in our house, too.  I do the bulk of it, but 17yo ds does some of his own.  I have been known to wake him to transfer his clothes (after they're in the dryer it's not my problem).  With the jeans on the floor they would have ended up back on his bed.  And again.  And again.  As long as it takes to condition him to understand that clothes don't get thrown on my laundry room floor, especially as there is a basket there that collects all the household laundry (kitchen, dining, etc)

This morning was funny.  I folded the laundry I did last night while ds panicked that he had no clean socks.  There was one in the load I did and the basket was empty last night.  Too bad, so sorry!  If clothes don't make it into the basket to be washed it's not my problem.  I'm guessing his room will produce at least 12 pairs this afternoon - and the washer is empty for him. :)

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We have laundry issues in our house, too. I do the bulk of it, but 17yo ds does some of his own. I have been known to wake him to transfer his clothes (after they're in the dryer it's not my problem). With the jeans on the floor they would have ended up back on his bed. And again. And again. As long as it takes to condition him to understand that clothes don't get thrown on my laundry room floor, especially as there is a basket there that collects all the household laundry (kitchen, dining, etc)

This morning was funny. I folded the laundry I did last night while ds panicked that he had no clean socks. There was one in the load I did and the basket was empty last night. Too bad, so sorry! If clothes don't make it into the basket to be washed it's not my problem. I'm guessing his room will produce at least 12 pairs this afternoon - and the washer is empty for him. :)

Ds lets wash clothes pile up in their shower. It looks unsightly and is inconsiderate to dss. I reminded and reminded and reminded him. Then I started putting them in his bedroom floor right by his bed. I did that for a week or so with me improvement. Then I started putting them on his pillow. He got MUCH better very quickly. But it feels mean to me to do that......I guess it is better than melting down like I did last night.

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Ds lets wash clothes pile up in their shower. It looks unsightly and is inconsiderate to dss. I reminded and reminded and reminded him. Then I started putting them in his bedroom floor right by his bed. I did that for a week or so with me improvement. Then I started putting them on his pillow. He got MUCH better very quickly. But it feels mean to me to do that......I guess it is better than melting down like I did last night.

 

My dad used to take my brother's stuff that he left everywhere and put it in a big black garbage bag. He didn't throw it away, just put it in the basement. My brother would flip out that his stuff had been "stolen" by dad, but he did learn to keep his messes in his own space fairly quickly. 

 

You could also try my mom's method - which was to do such a horrendous job at both laundry and lunch making that my brother and I begged her to stay away and just let us handle it. :-) We were both doing laundry by 9-10 because we had too many things that had shrunk or gotten discolored or had set in stains from her laundry methods. And she packed us terrible lunches - american cheese sandwiches with lots of mayo, apple on top of the sandwich and warm OJ. Ugh....we both started making our lunches young too. It was probably a plot to get us independent early!

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I haven't read through the whole thread.

 

In the past, I would have reacted pretty emotionally. It is an action that pretty much screams inconsideration. There were so many of these type things that would happen each day.

 

However, now I tend to just assign a consequence and move on.. no emotional reponse needed. Boy can do a few extra loads of laundry or something. It is amazing how consequences in my house have helped people who "couldn't remember" to improve their memory . Lectures and emotionality made my kids' eyes glaze over and didn't change anything. I don't feel as upset now. Plus, I get all my laundry done by someone else:). Win, win.

 

Of course if your laundry room floor is not beloved by your two long haired shedding dogs like mine is, I would probably brush off the jeans and call the owner to come get them. Other inconsiderate teen behavior gets my chores done though.

Edited by Silver Brook
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I got all twitchy just reading your post. Lol

Why?

 

And apologies for weird typos or autocorrects... bad eyes, fat fingers, and iPad do not mix well, especially before coffee.

 

If I were being less wordy, I would say either label clothing to make it easy for me, or the kids either do their own or put things where they belong. (Where the laundry doer says they belong, LOL!)

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In our household, by the time 'teenage' became a descriptive adjective, most kiddos were doing their own laundry.   With one or two children who didn't understand the value of my hard work, doing their own laundry was no longer optional but mandatory if they wanted to wear clean clothing. 

 

 

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In our household, by the time 'teenage' became a descriptive adjective, most kiddos were doing their own laundry.   With one or two children who didn't understand the value of my hard work, doing their own laundry was no longer optional but mandatory if they wanted to wear clean clothing. 

 

The problem is when they don't care if they wear clean clothing or not. Seriously. I have a 13yo ds who could not care less if his pants have food or dirt all over them.  :glare:

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Why?

 

And apologies for weird typos or autocorrects... bad eyes, fat fingers, and iPad do not mix well, especially before coffee.

 

If I were being less wordy, I would say either label clothing to make it easy for me, or the kids either do their own or put things where they belong. (Where the laundry doer says they belong, LOL!)

I just meant the thought of 3 girls of the same clothes etc.

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Very little. Ds has no clue whose clothes he shoved into the basket all damp. Seriously this wasn't ds angry at dss. It was ds Unconcerned about clothes period.

 

Well of course he was unconcerned about clothes, he's a teenage boy. Do you honestly expect teenagers to care about that kind of thing?  If so, why would you?  There's a reason household organization, household life hacks and chore charts are marketed to mothers-they're the only ones who care. Sure, a few type A males care too, but they're the exception, not the rule. 

 

A lack of realistic expectations seem to be the root of the problem here. Are you surprised by the difficulties of step-parenting?  Are you surprised by the complexities of sibling dynamics now that they're new? Are you surprised by teenage boy norms?  Did you not grow up in a blended family? Did you not grow up with brothers?  One of the by products of small families is that so many people grow up without understanding that each gender can have quite a large range of different types that are all perfectly normal.  I had 3 older brothers completely different from each other in every way.  No romantic notions about men or boys on my part ever. My mother often referred to, "the defective Y chromosome" when she talked about the dumb things my brothers did-usually as teens.  She just took the military approach (the military knows how to deal with males) and every time the job wasn't done correctly there were real consequences-the job was redone and another chores was added for the sake of practice. Privileges were revoked.  Payment was made.

 

Wait, do I understand correctly that one kid was expected to finish another kid's chore?  No one should be assigned finishing up another kid's chores unless the first kid is seriously sick or injured or out of town. Are you trying to get on one kid's good side by volunteering the other kid? Were you trying to avoid an annoying response from the first kid by making the second kid finish the job? Did you put your desire for the laundry to be completed at a certain time over the importance of making a kid follow through with their assigned chore?  If I were the kid who had been assigned finishing the first kid's chores for no good reason, I'd be angry too. Angrier and far more verbally confrontational to my parent than throwing a clean pair of pants on the laundry room floor.

 

Doing things for kids who can do them for themselves may be motivated by love, but it's a bad policy all around.

 

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Oddly, your entire explanation now makes perfect sense.

 

Listen, you've been under a lot of stress lately. I get that. When we're stressed, we lose it for no reason and then feel silly later. We have all been there, every single one of us.

 

And then your sons are, well... they're a bit immature. Because they're still teens, and teenagers are immature. It's a bad combination - your residual stress plus their innate immaturity.

 

I bet that now that you've explained it, this particular scenario will never happen again.

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Well of course he was unconcerned about clothes, he's a teenage boy. Do you honestly expect teenagers to care about that kind of thing? I think throwing a pair of clean jeans that belonged to someone else in the floor was inconsiderate.  And yes I do expect a measure of consideration.

 

 

If so, why would you?  There's a reason household organization, household life hacks and chore charts are marketed to mothers-they're the only ones who care. Sure, a few type A males care too, but they're the exception, not the rule. 

A lack of realistic expectations seem to be the root of the problem here. Are you surprised by the difficulties of step-parenting? This situation had nothing to do with step parenting.  This is my bio son.  I have had him since birth.  Are you surprised by the complexities of sibling dynamics now that they're new?  The dynamic between my son and me is not new.  We have been together for almost 17 years.  Are you surprised by teenage boy norms?  Surprised?  No I realize it is normal but it is not acceptable.  Did you not grow up in a blended family? No, I did not but again this had nothing to do with blended family.  Did you not grow up with brothers?  Yes I have a brother.  One of the by products of small families is that so many people grow up without understanding that each gender can have quite a large range of different types that are all perfectly normal.  I had 3 older brothers completely different from each other in every way.  No romantic notions about men or boys on my part ever. My mother often referred to, "the defective Y chromosome" when she talked about the dumb things my brothers did-usually as teens.  She just took the military approach (the military knows how to deal with males) and every time the job wasn't done correctly there were real consequences-the job was redone and another chores was added for the sake of practice. Privileges were revoked.  Payment was made.

 

Wait, do I understand correctly that one kid was expected to finish another kid's chore?  No not finish.  Just move clothes to the dryer. No one should be assigned finishing up another kid's chores unless the first kid is seriously sick or injured or out of town. Are you trying to get on one kid's good side by volunteering the other kid? Um, no, I was trying to get the laundry done.Were you trying to avoid an annoying response from the first kid by making the second kid finish the job? Again, no, the first kid wasn't home to move the laundry and the 2nd kid was. Did you put your desire for the laundry to be completed at a certain time over the importance of making a kid follow through with their assigned chore?  Well, yes I guess I did.  If I were the kid who had been assigned finishing the first kid's chores for no good reason, I'd be angry too. Angrier and far more verbally confrontational to my parent than throwing a clean pair of pants on the laundry room floor. The kid that was asked to move laundry to the dryer wasn't angry about that request.  And he had no idea it was the other kid's laundry.  And he didn't throw the clean jeans in the floor the next morning because he was angry.  He did it because it was the easiest thing to do.  

 

Doing things for kids who can do them for themselves may be motivated by love, but it's a bad policy all around.

 

 

 

Your entire post above shows you don't really understand what happened.  And that is ok, I am not always the best at explaining things.  

 

Edited to add---this had NOTHING to do with any dynamic between the boys.  It was between ds and me.

Edited by Scarlett
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Oddly, your entire explanation now makes perfect sense.

 

Listen, you've been under a lot of stress lately. I get that. When we're stressed, we lose it for no reason and then feel silly later. We have all been there, every single one of us.

 

And then your sons are, well... they're a bit immature. Because they're still teens, and teenagers are immature. It's a bad combination - your residual stress plus their innate immaturity.

 

I bet that now that you've explained it, this particular scenario will never happen again.

 

 

I hope not.  When ds got home at lunch I told him I was sorry for over reacting.  And he told me he will try to not do that (throw clean clothes in the floor) again.

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