Stop the Nagging: Overcoming the Parent-Teen Chore Wars

kids playing together

Unless you’ve acquired a futuristic robot to do them for you, chores are a must in our everyday lives. How else would you go about taking care of the trash than have someone in the household do it? However, as routine as these tasks may seem, getting them done is another story if you have a teenager in the house.

Indeed, your patience can certainly be brought to bear if you have a teenager in your precious abode who may think chores are a waste of time. Getting him to do the routine is highly likely going to be a tug-of-war of sorts. And far too often, you may end up the loser.

But do be careful. Forcing him to do it can be counterproductive. You may get the task done today but you may have failed miserably to inculcate a sense of responsibility on his part. The end result? You will have to watch over him every time to get things done.

Luckily, there’s are ways you can get your teenager to do his chores with great gusto without you having to go “Incredible Hulk” — and yell your way now and then. Check out expert advice on how to end the parent-teen chore wars with ease starting today.

Avoid On-the-spot Chores

Your teenager has a life too. Plus, their behavior is also unique to their own generation. Studies show the teenager these days stand out as digital natives with needs ubiquitous when compared to other generations.

It’s a question of priority. You may think you need to accomplish things fast as an adult. Your priority is putting food on the table and ensuring a comfortable life for everyone in the family. But, your young adult has his own set of priorities too, which could mean the world to him (e.g., his computer games).

The problem with spontaneous chores is you’re asking him to drop everything he’s doing and go for it. That can mean he’d be losing time with something that is important to him, leading him to drag his feet. And pretty soon a tug-of-war of sorts ensues as you have to push him hard to do the task.

A good technique to avoid this is to get strategic about it. Plan ahead. Think of those chores that you want to be done. As much as possible, make it a role to assign ahead of time. When you do, you’re giving your teenager the space to be able to do it. And best of all, the confidence to handle it right.

As for on-the-spot chores such as “buying this and buying that” make them as sparsely as possible in cases of emergencies.

Clarify Consequences

While you may be giving them ample time to produce results, making sure they understand the consequences of their actions is key. To a large degree, the chore process is a teaching moment. It allows you to discipline your child effectively.

Be clear about it. Make sure your teen knows it’s really his choice. Everything is up to him. In this regard, you can take privileges as a direct consequence of botching a task. It’s a super-effective way to get things done. Here’s a detailed take.

It’s important you sit down and discuss these things calmly. Throwing a consequence spontaneously in the heat of a shouting match is counterproductive. If you do things in anger, you may have to apologize for it later to patch things up.

Offer Rewards

kid drinking milk

There are parents who think that your teenager should not be compensated for doing chores as it’s his responsibility. Still, you might consider giving him extra money for chores that need a lot of time and effort.

A good example is painting your newly-installed faux brick wall. While real bricks are sturdier, fake bricks can give you the rich looks of real bricks without going through the hassle of buying one. A faux brick wall panel, though much less expensive than a real one, can give you stunning results to last for years.

Brick faux painting can take time. It also needs attention to detail. When you give your teen ample compensation, he will not only appreciate it but will also look forward to more chore opportunities.

And it’s a glorious opportunity. At a time when the virus is putting us all in lockdown mode, such a set-up could be a lifesaver. You give him an ingenious way to earn while at the same time making sure your house is in proper order. In short, it’s a win-win.

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