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Home » CHFWeb Forum » TitusTwo » Kids being irrisponsible
Kids being irrisponsible [message #817679] Thu, 21 July 2016 09:48 Go to next message
praise2christ  is currently offline praise2christ
Messages: 2166
Registered: August 2009
Location: Northern KY
Senior Member
I mentioned over in the daily posts that I had a revelation about my kids being messy. I have always struggled to keep my house clean and it is a huge area of stress in my life and in my marriage. While my twins were gone to camp, I worked on cleaning and unpacking. Even in the midst of the chaos of unpacking I was able to keep the house pretty neat. DH and I cleaned up after ourselves and I walked Jack through doing the same. Dishes were always done and never in the sink, toys were put away, and the things weren't out of place (as much as is possible when not everything has a home, yet). Then, the kids got home.

I feel like I have been following them around and making them come back to clean things up constantly. I never do it for them (except if it is something I discover after they are in bed that can't wait for morning - like peanut butter that was left out last night) and always make them do it. But, it is still me who has to point things out and make them clean it up. They also have daily chores they are responsible for, but I have to remind them to do them every day. This has always been the way it is and I can't figure out how to make them see what is needed for themselves.

Added to that, I don't always see the mess until it is out of control. Possibly because I was busy with something else (like painting, yesterday) or because I'm in another room.

This type of overlooking or forgetfulness shows up in other areas, as well - especially for DS. I have to remind him to put on deodorant (something he has had to do for 3 years), comb his hair, etc. Should I really be having to do this every day for a 10yo? Or are my expectations too high?

What can I do to help my 10yos be more responsible without constant prodding?

Stacy, mom to 12-year-old boy/girl twins and a three-year-old boy.

"Every man's life is a fairy tale written by God's finger." Hans Christian Andersen
Re: Kids being irrisponsible [message #817680 is a reply to message #817679 ] Thu, 21 July 2016 10:46 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Messages: 3792
Registered: April 2005
Location: AZ (but it's a DRY heat!)
Senior Member
Something I just did (for my 13yo, lol!) was to make up a chart. It has all of his daily responsibilities on it, with a little box beside each to tick off when he's done. It includes each school subject, too, since he's mostly working on his own now. It does include things like brushing his teeth, etc., because he still slacks in that area. Confused I put it in a page protector and he can use a dry (or wet) erase marker to tick off each thing as it is done. It's a new thing, so idk if it is going to help or not, but thought I'd throw it out there fwiw.

I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. ~Phil 3:13-14~
Re: Kids being irrisponsible [message #817681 is a reply to message #817679 ] Thu, 21 July 2016 10:53 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Leigh  is currently offline Leigh
Messages: 4572
Registered: April 2005
Location: Tennessee
Senior Member
I would start charging money. If I have to be the maid to kids old enough to help manage the house, then I'm going to draw pay for it.


"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

~~Benjamin Franklin

Re: Kids being irrisponsible [message #817682 is a reply to message #817679 ] Thu, 21 July 2016 11:12 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Messages: 4138
Registered: April 2005
Senior Member
Oh, Stacy, I don't know about the cleaning. All three of my older kids were different. My eldest was and is wonderful. She didn't want to be interrupted, called back and constantly told the same thing over and over again...so ultimately she learned to do it, and right, the first time before Mom had a chance to complain/remind. Jonah, my 4 1/2 year old, has suddenly started to work against me (at lightening speed) in what used to be a put-away-when-done method. All I know, from being both a wife and a mother, is that it is so important to your future DIL that something work, LOL.

With deodorant, I think that this is a very normal occurrence. At some point, around the age of 13 or 14, he'll discover body spray and douse that as much as he can, to mask lack of deodorant. It'll get worse for about three years when "girls" enter the scene. Blessedly, a third party eventually mentions the stink and things will begin to right themselves. At least, that was my experience with Max. Laughing

Re: Kids being irrisponsible [message #817693 is a reply to message #817679 ] Fri, 22 July 2016 13:30 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Rosemary-MI  is currently offline Rosemary-MI
Messages: 1313
Registered: April 2005
Location: Lower mid Michigan
Senior Member
I second the charts. Have check off boxes and put several in a binder, one for each room and a personal one. Have them go through the binder every day. You can set specific times. Like morning list (first page in book)- brush teeth, make bed, put on deodorant, etc. Before bed page (last page in book)- bathe, put dirty clothes in hamper, hang up towel, etc. You can fill in other pages like a - before you eat lunch page for cleaning up anything that was used in the morning.

One thing to do if your son does not want to wear deodorant is have him smell his shirt the next morning. He will quickly get the idea that it stinks! Then tell him everyone can smell that.


I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it!
Re: Kids being irrisponsible [message #817694 is a reply to message #817679 ] Fri, 22 July 2016 17:28 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Elise  is currently offline Elise
Messages: 1954
Registered: April 2006
Location: Ohio
Senior Member
When my kids were 11 and 13, I spent a few hours creating rotating chore charts. It took a while because I compiled all the chores I wanted them to do, even every other week or once a month things, and rotated them through the charts. If it was dd's week to empty the dishwasher, then it was ds's week to set the table for dinner. They had cleaning chores Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. They were each responsible for laundry each week, too. Once I had the charts set up, it made things SO much easier. They didn't have to ask me what to do. I didn't have to remember what I wanted them to do. It was there in black and white. They knew there was no point in asking to watch something or play until that day's boxes were checked off. The charts were kept on their school clipboard, so it was convenient and easy to find them.

I included things like:

Empty all waste baskets and take out the trash.
Take trash cans to the curb/return
Brush the dog
Run the sweeper upstairs
Dust the living room
Help Mom make dinner one day a week
Clean the bathroom sink and toilet

We kept this system for at least three years, maybe more.

Oh, I had to train myself at the beginning to meet all requests with, "let me see your chart."

[Updated on: Fri, 22 July 2016 17:30]


Wife to Dan
Retired homeschool mom to Emily and Bryan
Academic Resource Tutor at a local high school - basically Mom-at-the-kitchen-table for about 50 students
Re: Kids being irrisponsible [message #818600 is a reply to message #817679 ] Tue, 18 October 2016 21:15 Go to previous messageGo to next message
janetR  is currently offline janetR
Messages: 1937
Registered: March 2010
Location: TX
Senior Member
I know I'm very late to the party, but here are my two cents:

Ten years old is just the beginning of boy smells. Confused Sorry.

I was definitely a chore-chart kind of mom, but I second Elise's statement that "I had to train myself to respond to all requests with "Let me see your chart."

An idea that worked for us, as far as being responsible for one's own messes - this is my version of the "take it away and earn it back" system: Periodically, when kids' stuff had been left out, I would go through and collect everything and put it in a basket in my room that was visible to them but not accessible. (In other words, they were not allowed to touch anything in there!) If they wanted something back, all they had to do was ask, but with these conditions:
One request per day
If that child had any messes out when he asked (that could include lunch dishes left on the table, dirty socks in the family room, etc), then the request was wasted because the answer was no. This encouraged them to think of taking care of their own responsibilities, motivated by wanting a special item back.
After reasonable opportunity and time to ask for things back, I went through the basket. Broken and forgotten things were thrown away or given away. Things that I thought they might want later (books to share with their kids or a special gift from Grandma) or that I wanted to keep were boxed up and stored in the attic. Necessary items (the socks) went into the laundry and back in the dresser. If there were very recent additions to the basket, I might leave those items in there as the start to the next collection.

I only had to do this about three times - it really made a lasting difference around here. After that, no one was perfect, but everyone became more aware of his own messes.

daughter of the King since 1980
wife to dh since 1981
mom to five of the most incredible adults on the planet, one wonderful 18yo, and grandma to two bouncy grandsons
Re: Kids being irrisponsible [message #818608 is a reply to message #818600 ] Wed, 19 October 2016 08:19 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Lisa R.  is currently offline Lisa R.
Messages: 14917
Registered: April 2005
Location: Georgia
Senior Member

Just a little parenting funny. We did the occasional "pick up everything and make them earn it back" thing. Worked well. However, I have a word of warning...don't put library books in there and then put it where you don't see it regularly. Very Happy I didn't enjoy paying the fines for trying to teach them a lesson (I didn't realize the library books were in the stack of stuff!) Laughing

Lisa R.
Re: Kids being irrisponsible [message #818624 is a reply to message #817679 ] Wed, 19 October 2016 21:28 Go to previous message
Sherry in NH  is currently offline Sherry in NH
Messages: 9593
Registered: April 2005
Location: Small Town New Hampshire
Senior Member
This is ongoing and to be expected...they will likely be fine adults....you will miss this time...my friend Brenda, mom of eleven kids tole me once: if I had it to do over again, I would have a lot, lot more fun with my kids. Make clean up times often and fun...don't be frustrated...each annoyance has a flip positive and you are going to miss them when they are gone.

In Jesus

Sherry from NH
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