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High school (public school) routine - what really works/worked for your teens?


SKL
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My 14yo 10th graders haven't had normal school since the spring of 8th grade.  They are capable of doing every routine task teens normally do, but there is a lot they won't do without reminding / nagging / external incentives.  I have all kinds of ideas for how to get things back on track, but I would like some inspiration and insights into what actually works with actual teens.  🙂

They each have their own bedroom and share a bathroom.  They get most meals on their own, one way or another, and they are supposed to clean up after their own meals (except for dish washing, which I don't mind doing).  They mostly take care of their own sports and band stuff, though they ask me to do their laundry (but they should at least bring me the dirty clothes).  They help with the pup, but not always willingly.  They generally care to finish their school work, but they will put it off and sometimes do a lousy job, especially if they don't enjoy the class/teacher.

Their school-year schedule will start out like this:

  • Leave at 7:30am to drive to school.  School ends at 2:30.  Kids have 1 study hall + lunch.  Some classes require significant daily homework.
  • Marching band: practices 4 hours per week (after school 2 evenings), usually 1 game per week, and some special events.
  • Sports: Kid1 has soccer practices or games 6 days per week.  Kid2 has horse / barn work 3-4 days per week.  We also do TKD once a week - they need to prepare for their 3rd dan blackbelt test in Sept/Oct.
  • We have a very active (currently 6mo) puppy who needs a lot of attention and supervision.
  • Wednesday nights for 8 weeks we will be doing a disaster response training course.

What I want from my kids is to do the following without daily reminders/nagging:

  • Maintain some sort of calendar to keep organized.
  • Get ready for everything on time, including planning enough in advance to have their desired clothes clean, know where everything is, etc.
  • Plan and prepare healthy meals, including ordering or purchasing food enough in advance.  Also don't "forget" about vitamins/supplements.
  • Clean up after themselves throughout the day.  Morning - used clothes in the hamper, sink wiped down, washrags hung to dry, garbage in the bin.  Evening - clear their own food mess, used socks in the bin, shoes / coats / sports equipment in logical places, make sure the downstairs is safe for the puppy.  Night or weekend - tidy their rooms.  Also don't trash my car.
  • Pup duty - split up the time after school when they are not both at sports, until 10pm.  Help clean up puppy poo and other odd pet jobs.
  • Finish their homework properly before a reasonable sleep time.
  • Speak respectfully to the adults in the house.

So what works/worked for getting/keeping your teens on track?

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My son will be a 9th grader this year and I've got my ears wide open for suggestions as we're working on this as well.

 

There are a couple of changes here.

1. The High School has a A/B Schedule. So he goes to A classes on an A day and to B classes on the B day. We have purchased two backpacks and are going to try keeping the classes separate by which backpack he tkes each day. We'll see how that goes.

 

(Band is a 2 period class because he goes to band everyday -- A days and B days)

 

His marching band schedule is also different.

Monday -- 3 hrs practice after school

Wed-Friday -- 1.5 hours practice before school

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What I've found with my teens is 2-3 weeks of a new routine is intensive for me in terms of wrangling and reminding and building the habit.  But after that it starts to roll much easier at least with kids without additional EF challenges.  And my own kids haven't particularly been EF mature.  I also find after 3-4 weeks, if something is still a thorn in my side, I tend to re-asses what my goal is and if it's worth follow up. Like maybe my kid doesn't really have the time for all the chores I have in mind. etc.  There is a reason kids aren't adults until 18, and some still have plenty of brain maturation to do at that age.  I'm about to remind my 20 year old to do a couple things since he is moving into a new apartment on campus this week.  I don't think it is realistic to think you won't be reminding teens about things at all.  If I do need to do reminders, I find putting it on my own calendar with a pop up reminder is helpful so I don't drop the ball or help them set up a calendar with a daily list of things to do before technology or whatever that pops up on their devices.  We really like google calendar.   For homeschooling, we use an online planner but I think that would overkill for this kind of thing. Things like vitamins, I find if you put them in like one of those daily boxes and leave them in their spot, they are much more likely to get that done.  So maybe you'll find some things to help streamline and remind without your intervention.  

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This is very dependent on the exact teens you are speaking about.  I have one (younger) teen that could and would do all of that on her own with little prompting.  I have another who really could not.  She needs more reminders, support, and helpers put into place.  I would suggest that you help them write out a color coded calendar- you could do it family style or each kids individually (or even both).  Each kid has their own color, morning activities toward the top of the days Square, evening activities put on the bottom of the square.  I'd have a meeting over the weekend to discuss any extras they need for the week, clothing details, etc.  I actually have mine do the dishes and their laundry, so clothes not ready is on them.  Each afternoon ask if they have stuff ready for the morning- no fun until everything is ready to go the next morning- its s good habit to get into and makes for smoother mornings.  

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It sounds like you are wanting them to function as college roommates, and that may or may not be feasible with the actual kid in front of you. It’s actually going to be the rare kid that can do all of those things, including planning, ordering, and preparing healthy meals in the mix of all of that.

Start with step 1, which is time management. I’d work on shared Google calendaring, and set up autoreminders and alarms.

My kids don’t really need outside incentives. They understand that they need to grow and prepare to be functional adults. Only one of my three (ironically, the youngest one) can really manage independently without reminders. She has strong EF skills.
 

 

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39 minutes ago, prairiewindmomma said:

It sounds like you are wanting them to function as college roommates, and that may or may not be feasible with the actual kid in front of you. It’s actually going to be the rare kid that can do all of those things, including planning, ordering, and preparing healthy meals in the mix of all of that.

 

Yes!

OP, you are expecting a lot of them and there doesn't seem to be any margin.  The typical ups and downs of illness, exhaustion, teen drama are all going to throw your expectations out the door on a regular basis.  And, it really would be kid dependent.  The schedule they  have and your expectations would absolutely exhaust me if I were your child.  My dd, on the other hand,  could have probably handled it but been strung out a bit and on edge. Neither of my boys could have managed this before the end of senior year (well ds 2 isn't there yet, but he's making good progress in that direction.)

That said, the PPs have good advice, start small and add slowly to build up to what you want.  Inspect what you expect.

If there calendar organization skills aren't there yet have a weekly meeting where you help them put things on their calendar.

Plan the meals together.  While they will have to have the skills you are expecting  they are still young.  At your calendar meeting plan out healthy meals together and then rotate who orders the food. I would use this meeting to also split up the pup chores and make sure they think through the laundry issues. 

For the daily chores, set a timer on your phone for when you will inspect them.  Have clear consequences you can follow through with for them being left undone. They just are not going to "remember" to do things they don't think are important.

Also, along with inspect what you expect, remember connection before expectation.  With a schedule this tight it would be easy to just fall into monitoring the tasks that make the house run.  Build in ample time to connect and hang out and enjoy each other. Teens are more cooperative when they feel connected. They are also more respectful.

Edited by freesia
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I would expect leadership on meals to come from you--maybe a shared app like Plan to Eat (or can Cozi do this?) could keep all of you on the same page with regard to the menu and shopping list. That on top of the school, extracurriculars, chores, puppy care, and self-care together may require more bandwidth than a lot of teens will have. Y'all do seem like a high-energy family, so you can tinker a bit and see what everybody can do. 🙂

In general, if they have smartphones, maybe an app can help them keep track of the daily checklists and keep things from falling through the cracks. They could do Habitica individually for the most customization (but if they want, create a Party together for shared challenges), or you could all use Cozi or a chore-sharing app together. (Some even let siblings compete for points, so one of them could try to win the day/week by being the first to get to puppy-proofing in the evening, for example, if that would motivate them.)

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A word about food ... we have limitations because one of my kids basically doesn't like food/eating.  There are only a few safe go-to's for her.  Otherwise she has to figure out what she wants at a given time.  This is why we don't do "family meals" the traditional way.  Instead, we try to keep stocked with things they can make fairly quickly on an individual basis.  The challenge is to get the picky eater to choose "real food" and include some fruits/veggies.  Just the thought of this struggle is making me tired, LOL.  But on the positive side, she does seem to understand why these are things she needs to do.

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2 minutes ago, SKL said:

A word about food ... we have limitations because one of my kids basically doesn't like food/eating.  There are only a few safe go-to's for her.  Otherwise she has to figure out what she wants at a given time.  This is why we don't do "family meals" the traditional way.  Instead, we try to keep stocked with things they can make fairly quickly on an individual basis.  The challenge is to get the picky eater to choose "real food" and include some fruits/veggies.  Just the thought of this struggle is making me tired, LOL.  But on the positive side, she does seem to understand why these are things she needs to do.

I have two of these kids in the mix. 

We sit down every Sunday and have that child commit to things they are willing to eat that week. It's a five minute conversation, and then their items go onto the grocery list for order and pickup. You can't directly control what they actually eat, but I usually ask: 

1. What's your breakfast plan? If they have no words, I ask if they are still willing to eat x, y, or z. I try to have at least three choices.

2. What vegetable are you willing to snack on? What salad kits would you like for me to order?

3. Would you rather I order x or y for snack fruit?

4. Is there any meal on this menu that you are not willing to try? What are you going to do instead?

Generally, because the anxiety shuts the thinking down as we go to talk about food, I pull out a laminated list of options for them to look at as we have the conversation. One of my kids ate santa fe salad bowl kits for lunch every day for six months straight and then one day could not tolerate them any more.  Serious food jags.  It's important that we talk each week because they will not communicate when a food stops being an option for them, they just won't eat. One of the other things I try to do is have three "safe" options for every meal category so they know that if they try something, they have a fall back, but that committing to try something or eat a little of what they don't like is part of the work of expanding their palate.  I use food chaining techniques to expand food options--building off of a known safe item to a new thing.

If you haven't really sat down with an occupational therapist or a SL-P who works with sensory food stuff, I highly, highly recommend it.  This is especially true if disordered eating overlaps with disordered body imaging or anxiety.

 

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My kid could not have done that at 14. We had a good routine, though, of sitting down weekly and organizing what needed to be in consideration.  For you guys, it would probably look like weekly meal planning together, making sure everyone had some sort of plan for daily menus and grocery shopping could be done.

I will say my kid functioned to music, mostly because his preschool-aged brother functioned to music.  Wake up was Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride or The Circle of Life.  We had "tidy up music" from Aqua: Happy Boys And Happy Girls.  Annoying AF, but the music went off when things got done.

For other things, it was a very clear line in the sand.  My oldest found out the hard way when he skipped homework, got hopelessly behind, and took off to a basketball tournament 2 hours away.  I got an email from his guidance counselor and drove all the way out to get him.  End result was him being cut from the team for not taking care of responsibilities, and having to do the work he skipped. 

I don't nag.  I just set limits (and turn off the wifi) 😉

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Adding to the above:

The child who could not function in any organizational capacity in his teens went off to college and did reasonably well, setting down a schedule for himself as soon as he got his syllabi.  He worked at two of the local places here before joining the military, and I was stopped by the supervisors in both so they could tell me how great my kid is and how he keeps everything running, is super organized, etc.  His NCOs constantly lean on him now because they know he's the person to get things done.

So, yeah, I did a LOT of work in his teen years helping him learn what works for him and how to set himself up.  And there was a lot of tears on my part thinking he was hopeless.  But he is really an amazing person now and it was worth taking that time to intensely parent in the high school years.

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Good suggestions from other posters.

My teens need reminders. Sometimes even the 19 year old, who has no executive function issues. So I would expect to have to give reminders.

For one of my kids, executive functioning is a real issue. I created a paper checklist for him and attached it to a clipboard and tied a pen to the clipboard. This checklist includes all of his morning and nighttime duties in his room (shower, clean the sink, pick clothes off of the floor, brush teeth, etc.). We do check to make sure that he does his checklist daily (or he will slack off), but having a list means that we no longer have to give a verbal reminder for every single little thing, which was driving all of us nuts.

We like the clipboard, but I'm sure there are apps that would allow you do do a similar checklist. I've considered switching to an app that would tie finishing the checklist to a dollar value, so that he would have an added incentive, but I haven't researched that yet.

I do think that it might help, in general, to tie the completion of responsibilities to some kind of privileges, so that they gain a sense of the benefits of completing tasks, and not just view them as chores. We have never given monetary rewards to our kids, so I have been slow to thinking of things in this way, but I think with a lot of responsibility given, it can help morale to also have an incentive of some kind. Not necessarily money, but perhaps earning a privilege.

Your kids are really, really, really busy. If they thrive with that kind of schedule, fine. But I would keep an eye on it. I have some kids who can stay really busy and others who need downtime in order to function well.

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Adding -- I have one teen who is an honors student, plays sax in the marching band, runs cross country, plays guitar and takes private lessons (serious musician who wants to be a professional), participates in a church band and youth group, and now has a part time job.

It's a lot.

So I get what it's like to have busy kids. I would not recommend this kind of schedule, unless the kid 100% chooses it for themselves.

I do expect my kids to do their own laundry and clean their rooms and bathrooms, and sometimes help with dishes or other household chores.

Your list seems unrealistic, though, to be honest. Perhaps it's aspirational and means you want them to be working toward being able to do it all? I would count on making small steps toward independence in a lot of those areas, because the teens will just plain be tired.

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I find myself wondering....how many of these things have been freely chosen by them?  Do they want to be third degree black belts?  To do a disaster training course?  Almost no kids can handle both demanding sports and marching band.  Did they choose both of those things?  As in, did they beg to do both?  

And then to have them caring for a puppy and doing all their own cooking and meal planning?  I mean, I feel like as my kids have gotten older, our relationship is more like roommates than it was when they were younger, but I'm not getting a feeling of family and connection from this schedule.  It just all feels like way, way too much.  

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This is a lot for 14.  I was maintaining that kind of schedule at 15/16 b/c my mom was traveling a lot and I was caring for my siblings (which is, I suppose, like puppy duty) but I don’t recommend it.

We’ve instituted a mandatory weekly schedule meeting for the next year while DH is away. Each peep brings their planner to the table for dinner and we record school holidays, family trips, etc. so they can see and anticipate conflicts. I manage groceries and cook dinners and some surprise breakfasts/brunches but they are obligated to tell me needs in advance or ride their bikes/drive their car/get a ride to the grocery store on their own. This year, oldest is working, making doctor/dentist appointments independently, doing friend activities with parental notice and next year will add in college app stuff. We’re trying to ease them into more schedule maintenance. Maybe try that?

We still have to remind about cleaning, hygiene, etc. but if someone’s PE uniform/favorite outfit is dirty, not my problem. We passed that off two/three years ago. They also share a bathroom and clean it themselves. I try not to go in there and only insist on a thorough cleaning when they’ve avoided the tub for a month.

Edited by Sneezyone
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First, thanks for posting. I work in a high school, will actually start teaching this year after being an EA for 3 years, and hearing about the real life challenges helps me think about my students in a whole-person kind of way.

Second, I taught summer school this summer. All of the staff noted that kids are still affected by the pandemic. And maybe more so in our state as we did not return to in-person learning until May 3. Some students remained online at that time. And what they told us and what we saw this summer is that there is some anxiety, some overwhelmedness about being around other people. We spent more time on building relationships than I think we planned to do. I would expect that your kids may come home and just need to crash. Have some downtime. With that in mind, I would look to optimize what they get done in study hall. As the math teacher, I would set a goal for getting math done in study hall. Do it while it's still fresh in your brain and hopefully they also have some help available in study hall that they wouldn't have at home. If there is any other nightly homework, try to get it done at school--science worksheets, foreign language flash cards, etc. Longer reading assignments could be done at home lying in bed.

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19 minutes ago, hippymamato3 said:

You expect your teens to plan and prepare their own healthy meals, including ordering and paying? This is bizarre. I know full grown adults who don't do all these things on top of working a full day (school is a full time job!) 

Only one of mine has any interest in REAL cooking. I can send him in for Italian parsley and he won’t come back with cilantro; I can ask for a Swede/rutabaga and I won’t get a turnip. Lol. The other has only learned to make her favorite foods. Same house, different kids. I think they’ll both survive although one will probably eat a lot more ramen. Oldest plans to marry a fabulous cook. Lol. I wish her Godspeed. It worked for my aunts!

Edited by Sneezyone
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My last teen daughter (of 3) is a senior this year. My teen experience has been different for each one.

In general, my philosophy now (somewhat different than with my first) is to prioritize and choose battles. The assistance I offer is individualized informally to a kid's needs.

It's hard to offer specifics, because it's so personality and need-dependent. I do know that two of mine would struggle greatly trying to maintain a calendar. One is still not able to use one at age 26, and has figured out other ways to function. Cleaning, as described above...no, not happening. Healthy meals...no, not really. Supplements...nope, just can't keep that up. Pet duties...yes, some of that, but they would be gone a lot too, so difficult to make that a routine for them.

Getting places on time...yes. Excellent academics...yes. Creative thought...yes. Meaningful community involvement...yes.

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To answer some questions - yes, they chose the marching band and sports.  They begged for the puppy for years, and made all the promises, LOL.  For TKD they have already met all the official requirements to qualify for the test, so now it's just maintaining, which is not difficult for them.  Maybe 1-2 hours per week.

They did not choose the disaster preparedness course.  They also didn't choose to go to high school, but some things parents get to decide.  🙂

As for the food, they both know how to cook and have been getting most of their own meals for some time now.  They prefer it this way.  The only thing is that one of them needs to step up the quality.  As mentioned in one of my prior posts, she has food issues and needs more freedom to decide what, when, and how much she is going to eat.  Otherwise she just won't eat.

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I'm surprised some people find this so hard.  I would think most of it is just a series of seconds of thinking ... do I drop this wrapper on the floor or into the trash bin?  Do I place this washrag on the counter or hang it over the tub?  Should this dirty underwear be a decoration for the bathroom floor, or should I walk three steps over to the hamper and drop it in?  ...  Done eating, shall I leave all my mess on the placemat / coffee table or bring it with me toward the sink?  ... Would it be a good or bad idea to leave my dirty socks where the puppy could eat them?  ... How do I make sure that my school and sports stuff will be easy to grab when I leave for school tomorrow morning?

Forgot to add in that I'd love them to flush toilets and turn off lights closer to 100% of the time.  😛

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7 minutes ago, SKL said:

I'm surprised some people find this so hard.  I would think most of it is just a series of seconds of thinking ... do I drop this wrapper on the floor or into the trash bin?  Do I place this washrag on the counter or hang it over the tub?  Should this dirty underwear be a decoration for the bathroom floor, or should I walk three steps over to the hamper and drop it in?  ...  Done eating, shall I leave all my mess on the placemat / coffee table or bring it with me toward the sink?  ... Would it be a good or bad idea to leave my dirty socks where the puppy could eat them?  ... How do I make sure that my school and sports stuff will be easy to grab when I leave for school tomorrow morning?

Forgot to add in that I'd love them to flush toilets and turn off lights closer to 100% of the time.  😛

All of this points to EF issues.  It is super obvious to the functional brain, but an uphill battles for those with ADHD.

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13 minutes ago, SKL said:

I'm surprised some people find this so hard.  I would think most of it is just a series of seconds of thinking ... do I drop this wrapper on the floor or into the trash bin?  Do I place this washrag on the counter or hang it over the tub?  Should this dirty underwear be a decoration for the bathroom floor, or should I walk three steps over to the hamper and drop it in?  ...  Done eating, shall I leave all my mess on the placemat / coffee table or bring it with me toward the sink?  ... Would it be a good or bad idea to leave my dirty socks where the puppy could eat them?  ... How do I make sure that my school and sports stuff will be easy to grab when I leave for school tomorrow morning?

Forgot to add in that I'd love them to flush toilets and turn off lights closer to 100% of the time.  😛

It's easy for some people, not so much for others. My oldest adult daughter was here this past weekend, and there were a few incidents that reminded me that  brains vary a lot.

Editing to add that I suspect that there is a lot of ADHD in the homeschooling community in general, which leads people to alternative means of education.

Edited by GoodGrief3
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10 minutes ago, SKL said:

I'm surprised some people find this so hard.  I would think most of it is just a series of seconds of thinking ... do I drop this wrapper on the floor or into the trash bin?  Do I place this washrag on the counter or hang it over the tub?  Should this dirty underwear be a decoration for the bathroom floor, or should I walk three steps over to the hamper and drop it in?  ...  Done eating, shall I leave all my mess on the placemat / coffee table or bring it with me toward the sink?  ... Would it be a good or bad idea to leave my dirty socks where the puppy could eat them?  ... How do I make sure that my school and sports stuff will be easy to grab when I leave for school tomorrow morning?

Forgot to add in that I'd love them to flush toilets and turn off lights closer to 100% of the time.  😛

I suspect you have above average EF skills.  Most teens I know (and all but one of mine) don't really care about most of the above.  The "prefer" a messy room (they tell me), after sports they strew their socks through the living room.  TKD gear goes on the chair when they come in the house and stays there until I call them to get it.  They just don't care.  When you care and are organized, it's not hard at all.

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18 minutes ago, SKL said:

As for the food, they both know how to cook and have been getting most of their own meals for some time now.  They prefer it this way.  The only thing is that one of them needs to step up the quality.  As mentioned in one of my prior posts, she has food issues and needs more freedom to decide what, when, and how much she is going to eat.  Otherwise she just won't eat.

This sounds a lot like my dd who has ARFID (Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder). For my dd, it goes way beyond being a picky eater - she has sensory issues that make eating difficult. She also has noise intolerance (misophonia). Based on your description, I would recommend looking into ARFID - there is treatment that can help.

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Kids can really vary in their EF development/maturity even if not ADHD.  I have a son who is very much like his father.  Not a great multi tasker.  Over the years, DH has developed a lot of skills.  Like if I need him to do something, I send it in an e-mail.  It will get done if I do this.  If I do not, it's in one ear and out the other.  He religiously uses an online calendar with reminders.  My dad was like this too.  I carried a tiny notebook with him everywhere for years and was lost without it.   DS is a college student and he is a dean's list student in 2 rigorous majors.  But still has stuff fall through the cracks every semester on him.  Like ordering his books too late so he doesn't have them early in the semester, etc.  

My 17 yo daughter is really good with EF.  If you're talking about things she wants to do.  Like she'll make a pie with 3 layers, put together flash cards to practice theater lines, sit at the piano for an hour practicing vocal music.   She is 100% on top of syllabus for her independent classes, she follow up with people without reminders, etc.   If I tried to drag her to something like disaster preparedness, she would make my life miserable and it wouldn't be worth it for me.  Having her do chores as they affect her is best - her own laundry, her own room, sorting her own stuff.  That can get done.  She will help when asked.  But assuming she will jump in with more just because it's obvious just ends up as frustrating to me.  Like no one in this house besides me seems to notice a full garbage can or an empty toilet paper roll.  I think both the teens and you will find find a balance that will continue to evolve over the years.  You can't make someone value and prioritize something they don't really care about.  Picking my battles and thinking about what I want relationships to look like these final years of parenting is where I have set the priority.  

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1 hour ago, SKL said:

I'm surprised some people find this so hard.  I would think most of it is just a series of seconds of thinking ... do I drop this wrapper on the floor or into the trash bin?  Do I place this washrag on the counter or hang it over the tub?  Should this dirty underwear be a decoration for the bathroom floor, or should I walk three steps over to the hamper and drop it in?  ...  Done eating, shall I leave all my mess on the placemat / coffee table or bring it with me toward the sink?  ... Would it be a good or bad idea to leave my dirty socks where the puppy could eat them?  ... How do I make sure that my school and sports stuff will be easy to grab when I leave for school tomorrow morning?

Forgot to add in that I'd love them to flush toilets and turn off lights closer to 100% of the time.  😛

EF

I struggle with this myself, so I've taught myself to have a mental checklist (and it includes looking at each.individual.thing. in the room and determining what needs to be done with it).  For my kids, I worked hard on teaching them a variation that works to jumpstart whatever method works for them.  They are repeatedly taught to think "what needs to happen here?" when they walk in a room.  I have cues on the walls for things that are "forgotten" often: there's a reminder on the window above the sink to check the dishwasher before putting their plates in the sink, a chore checklist in front of the toilet because it's something to read on the pot, a reminder to go back and turn off their bedroom lights at the top of the stairs.  Bright, neon paper to catch the eye.

My goal is to create the habit, much like teaching a toddler.  You don't let them fail and then complain they failed, you create an environment in which failure is intentional when it does happen.

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I'm not going to lie. I couldn't manage all that NOW at age 45. It would be way too much and I'd be fried. I mean, something has to give, and so if they are doing their food, sports daily, marching band almost daily, martial arts, and hours of homework...something is going to be done badly at some point. Probably often. School being the least "fun" that's the ball that gets dropped. 

Honestly, two sports and marching band in the same season seems like a recipe for disaster. (TKD and soccer, or TKD and horses). My sister was active, but my parent limited her to one sport at a time. 

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15 minutes ago, ktgrok said:

I'm not going to lie. I couldn't manage all that NOW at age 45. It would be way too much and I'd be fried. I mean, something has to give, and so if they are doing their food, sports daily, marching band almost daily, martial arts, and hours of homework...something is going to be done badly at some point. Probably often. School being the least "fun" that's the ball that gets dropped. 

Honestly, two sports and marching band in the same season seems like a recipe for disaster. (TKD and soccer, or TKD and horses). My sister was active, but my parent limited her to one sport at a time. 

Yep, I agree.  I have 2 teens currently and I want them to mature and be responsible too, but their biggest job during the year is school.  They are also dance (and sadly commute to dance).   I don't pile all this on them during the school year and week.  It is too much with their workload and dance.  Thinking back to high school myself I couldn't have managed it either.  I did do some clubs, a sport, and worked.  But I didn't have to do anything at home. 

During the year my kids have pet care in the morning (dogs for my son and chickens for my dd).  They make their own breakfast. Then they  have school from 8-3.   Then from 3-9:30 they dance.  Rush a shower and to bed.   That is with the commute time to and from dance.    They get homework done during the day or in the car.  They are virtually schooled so that does help.  Violin practice and lesson is during school hours.

I do more of their chores during the week.  I want them to focus on school and get sleep.   If we are doing dance in person our lunches our the big family meal that I cook.  They make their own meals to bring to dance.  The only chore I would ask for them is to keep their room somewhat picked up and take out the trash.  

I do their laundry during the week.   If they have time on the weekends (when not in show season) they would do some.  But weekends they have homework and relaxing.

But they don't have time to work, do other sports, or anything else. 

Oh and we got an older puppy in 2020 and they were not responsible for puppy duty during the day.  That was my fulltime job.   Now just my 75% job as she is a little less crazy.

I think you should dial back their chores and the things they are in.  

Now in the summer they do more around the house and for themselves.  

Maybe add in a thing once school has been in session for at least a month or 2.  

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