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Mom going on strike, or what if I just act like my kids...


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I am so sick and tired of my kids not doing things I ask. They have been great kids and still are.... but...

 

Nagging to get school work done, nagging to clean room, telling my 14 year old to wash her smelly dog a month ago.... still have a smelly dog.

 

My husband lives in another city and comes home on weekends. He won't parent the kids, stays on the computer and likes to be their buddy. He has lots of suggestions for me, like how he'd make them mind, etc. I wish he'd take is own advice and step up.

 

Now ladies, I'm wondering, what if: I supply the fridge with hotdogs and have bread, soup and cereal on hand... when the kids ask when's dinner or what's for lunch, I'll respond "Make it youself, sweetie".

 

What if: I stop doing laundry, refuse to drive them to: soccer, friend's house, church socials, movies, etc.

 

I think you get the picture. After a week of this, perhaps they'll understand what it is that I do and what little is expected of them in return.

 

Last straw today, beside dd not washing the dog, my son was complaining about being bored. I asked him to wash my car which is really OUR car, the one I use to take them everywhere. The same car with gum wrappers, smelly soccer things, a bowling ball & a four week old sandwich in the back. What does visiting dad do? Not step forward and insist he wash mom's (OUR) car... he's paying him $15!!!!! My son is 12 and the only other chores he has are: keeping room reasonably clean and unloading the dishwasher.

 

When I mentioned to my husband the idea of mom going on strike to try and set examples, he told me he thought that was 'cruel'. I'm not trying to be cruel, really.

 

One last thing, I've never been a push over mom. What says, goes around here, but then 'went'. Where, I don't know. My kids are boy12 andgirl, 14.

 

Thanks for ANY advice. K:nopity:

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I think you've got a great idea, except for stocking the fridge. My son wouldn't mind scarfing down on that stuff one bit, and probably wouldn't even notice I wasn't cooking. Put stuff in there that they have to cook -- and not nuke 'ems, either -- and that might get their attention.

 

I'm having a similar issue here right now and I'm 'bout ready to throw him out. He did something last night that just floored me -- and when I was upset I basically got, "Well, there's nothing I can do about it now."

 

So I'm probably not the one to be answering this thread, because at this point I'm thinking a roof over their heads is too generous. :lol:

 

I'm sorry you're hubby isn't supporting you. That's got to add to the frustration tremendously. At least mine is on my side -- he's just not here. :D

 

Good luck to you!

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I think a family meeting would be in order and you discuss the situation as a family unit and work together towards solutions.

 

If you really don't want to do anything, I'd try scheduling yourself to go out of town (or out of the house) for a few days instead of sitting on the couch and being snarky. But - they might call your bluff. They might be happier not having you around.

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Alas, mine are 7, 4, and 4. Like air traffic controllers and public safety, I have a no-strike contract.

 

I will, however, come picket with you. :D

 

ETA: I do rather like the quid pro quo, though. Them: Will you take me to Suzie's? You: Hmmmm... I can't. The dog's not washed.

 

Or, better, give them a visual example like the Spoon Theory. Yes, I understand it addresses the issues of debilitating but "invisible" diseases (I'm not using "invisible" as a euphemism for "fake", just indicating that the person doesn't have any glaring outward signs of illness, as referred to in the paper), but I think the visual impact of you starting out with so many spoons (of energy) for the day and seeing how every time you have to remind, cajole, whatever, it takes another out of the pile may illustrate the point.

Edited by MyCrazyHouse
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My son is 12 and the only other chores he has are: keeping room reasonably clean and unloading the dishwasher.

 

 

 

This seems like part of the problem. My 11 year olds do way more work than that, and they still have time for school, friends, sports, music practice.

 

I wouldn't go on strike. I would get rid of any televisions and computer use and video games or cell phones for a while, and I would let my kids know that we have a new bottom line in the house, and the bottom line is, "You live here, you work here."

 

My husband is a great co-parent and I understand your frustration with that part of it. But I would use the time when he is out of town to get the house clean, and then have a "when Daddy's here, that's our time to relax and play" and make the requirements much less. But there is no way I would be doing a 16 year old's laundry, or washing dishes after dinner or vacuuming the steps.

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This seems like part of the problem. My 11 year olds do way more work than that, and they still have time for school, friends, sports, music practice.

 

I wouldn't go on strike. I would get rid of any televisions and computer use and video games or cell phones for a while, and I would let my kids know that we have a new bottom line in the house, and the bottom line is, "You live here, you work here."

 

My husband is a great co-parent and I understand your frustration with that part of it. But I would use the time when he is out of town to get the house clean, and then have a "when Daddy's here, that's our time to relax and play" and make the requirements much less. But there is no way I would be doing a 16 year old's laundry, or washing dishes after dinner or vacuuming the steps.

:iagree:

 

I especially agree with the "You live here, you work here" rule. It is the rule of my house. And having the weekend be down time with the dad that is away during the week sounds like it will help too.

 

We get our work done, or nobody gets to have fun at my house. So no taking kids to soccer or to friends unless the work is done. No tv, video games, cellphones, music, whatever unless the work is done by everyone. Simple. No strikes necessary. I hate to tell you that the kids will get worse and will get a bigger sense of entitlement if you don't step-up and deal with this. And your resentment will just get bigger proportionaltly.

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I've been listening to some of the Love and Logic CDs, trying to internalize the ideas and change my parenting. One idea I love is that I don't tell my kids what they're going to do, but I tell them what I'm going to do.

 

For example: I'll be happy to cook dinner after the dw is unloaded. I'll be happy to drive you to soccer practice after your room is cleaned up. I'll be happy to wash your clothes after you bring them to the laundry room.

 

And when they protest, don't argue with them because it does no good. When they say "that's not fair," respond with, "I know." When they say, "you don't love me," give them a big smile and say, "nice try." I didn't really "get" love and logic parenting until I listened to the CDs and heard the way Jim Fay says these things. It really works when I remember to do it.

 

Your library might have some of the love and logic books and CDs if it sounds like something that you'd like to try. They also have a website. I think the address is http://www.loveandlogic.com .

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Mine's in Boot Camp at the moment: Two weeks of intensive training. It is also two weeks of intensive mom and dad work but we reached a limit. We don't have any big problems but we're sick and tired of all the little problems. My girl is on a strict regimen of No Speaking Whatsoever Unless Spoken To (though we have breaks of that once in the morning, at noon, at night, and at prayer times), Up At 6, Bed at 7, One Outfit (that must be laundered daily), Menial Tasks (at any time she is not otherwise constructively engaged), Absolute Immediate Obedience, Zero Privledges, et c.

 

She's been getting up at 6 to scrub this and that. She then fixes her breakfast and sits quietly till prayer time. We pray and have a little talk and snuggle (I can't do w/o). School starts. In the past when I would just complain about messy or incorrectly labled papers I'm stepping up to where I should have all along and making her rewrite them, every word, until I'm satisfied. Any attitude has gotten push-ups, sit-ups, et c. At first she didn't mind but after a while . . . She usually gets 10 at a time and they have to be nose-to-floor, perfect push-ups or she does them twice. Mouth-washings for verbal infractions (blessedly few).

 

I'm on all day and Dad takes over in the evening. At first he said that he doesn't get to see her enough to have to be the bad guy in the little time he does get. I helped him see that he was only enabling her. Now he's 100% on board. It took some convincing. I do understand his point. It is true that he only sees her in the evening (and in your case on weekends) and that if he spends that time confining her to her room or being the hard-nose, they don't get any pleasant time together at all. He's afraid of squandering what he does get. I was truly adamant about him seeing that enabling was not the quality time he thought it was and that it did not help her to respect him. He came around.

 

My daughter is coming around, too. It didn't take many rewritten papers to finally see beautiful handwriting that I have *never* seen before. The Spoken When Spoken To aspect is mostly for interrupting, sassing, and grumbling. I feel that if she can't use her mouth better, she can't use it at all. She's having the hardest time of all with this one and frankly, so am I.

 

I still let her eat-at-will from the fresh fruits/veggies but in the afternoon when we usually have a treat she gets bread and water if she's hungry or nothing. We often have a treat in the evening at prayer (cinnamon toast or something) but for this also she just gets bread and water or nothing.

 

She has taken on almost all of my house chores. Lest you think this is some kind of vacation for me, please rethink! This is very hard.

 

This is a two-week Boot Camp and we're half-way through. None of us can wait till it's over.

 

Some things will still remain in place, though. She'll still have to rewrite papers if they're messy. This is especially true now that I've seen what she's truly capable of. She'll still continue to get up at 6. We get a lot more done if she does. Imagine that. She won't continue to scrub aimlessly but she will be doing those chores that just never seem to get done.

 

When asked, she hates Boot Camp but will admit that the bad habits that we deplore are bad and that she wants to get rid of them, too. She freely admits that while she does not want to have to rewrite papers she is very pleased with her neat work. She also says that she dislikes when she interrupts but that it's habit and one she wants to break.

 

So, this is difficult work but I have the support of my husband. I really had to talk him around, though. He has an older brother who's an alcoholic/user and the word "enable" really struck home with him.

 

By the way, there won't be any kind of celebration when Boot Camp is over. My daughter and husband both think that some kind of reward is in order. I think that a respectful, well-run home and home-life are their own rewards. They grudgingly agree.

 

Oh, I made a list of things I consider Constructively Engaged. My girl should always be constructively engaged and may not, under any circumstances, be idle. She may rest if needed and I do encourage an afternoon rest period. Reading, extra instrument practice, calligraphy work, building, training a pet, project work, cleaning, organizing drawers/closets, writing (stories or journal), kata practice, et c. She isn't limited to what I put on that list and can choose whatever she wants if I have nothing else for her to do.

 

I hope you have success in what you want to do. I wouldn't choose a strike for myself b/c I know I enabled her and that I am complicit in her "crimes." This training is doing us all good, not just my daughter. We are seeing the ways we've enabled her to disrespect us (interrupting, never quite getting to what we've asked, et c) and that is good for us. It is definately hard work for us but necessary work and it's doing us all good.

 

good luck.

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For example: I'll be happy to cook dinner after the dw is unloaded. I'll be happy to drive you to soccer practice after your room is cleaned up. I'll be happy to wash your clothes after you bring them to the laundry room. 

I will give it a try. Before they weren't this difficult to get to do things. Don't know why... teens? I also like someone's thoughts that my husband is enabling their behaviour.

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I sometimes give my kids plenty of "In a minute" or "After I finish this" and then ignore them or continue to do whatever I am doing just to give them a taste of their own medicine. Gee, I forget to fetch the dirty clothes out of my dd's room and only wash what is in the laundry basket, too...when I feel like it.

 

They get the point, eventually.

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I don't remember the Walton's episode but what immediately came to mind was the Berenstain Bears, "Trouble With Grown-Ups" book.

Our theory is that if the parents are working harder than the kids, something serious is out of whack in our home. We work hard and so do they. If they don't step up, they earn the privilege of doing someone else's share (maybe mine) in order to learn how to serve with a pleasant attitude.

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