Thursday, January 15, 2009

Teens and chores- It's like mixing vinegar and oil

When the kids are in school for a while I find myself excited for them to take a break so we can do stuff at home or around town AND so they can catch up on their chores.  Yeah, I know, I'm dreaming.  Once they are out of school for a while (a day or two) I realize how much I appreciate when they are back in school because otherwise my house is chaos, even if they do their chores.

Now that they are back in school things at home are reaching a level of normalcy.  I don't care for the daily things like poundig on their door at 5:30 am because their alarm has been going on for too long, I have to watch them leave the house with little protection against the elements and with wet hair (I remind myself that I'm just a parent and don't know much about anything), I have to make sure they eat, did their homework, don't forget anything, etc.  Then once they leave I make the mistake of walking into their rooms only to find more chaos.

I'm not a obsessive about being organized but I do expect a certain level of order and cleanliness.  My teens however seem to thrive in their chaos, the piles of clothes, books, trash and the unmade bed.   

Sometimes frustration drives me to collect everything into several baskets just so it doesn't look so crazy, however I don't like picking up their messes.  They are old enough to know better.   I also try to remember that it's really not that important that everything looks perfect (although I don't expect perfection) mainly because I don't want to seem like an angry mom all the time.  Seems all I do these days is bark orders "Do your laundry, clean the litter box, you have kitchen duty, pick up your shoes, hang your coat...blah...blah...blah!" 

Am I alone in this battle?  

I will avoid barking orders from now on, but I'm still going to provide them with their list of things to do and simply expect they'll do them before they get whatever it is they want for the day.  The friend sleep-over, iPod, car keys, phone, TV and PC time are mine.  

It's time they begin to earn their privileges----again!