When kids grow up and enter their teenage years, most parents struggle trying to get them to help with chores and/or taking on responsibilities around the house. Cleanliness is an integral part of human life, but cleaning with teens can be a unique challenge in itself. Piles of dirty clothes, dirty dishes and “who knows what”, are common among households with teens and kids. These by-products of lifeare perfect breeding grounds for bacteria, fungi, mold and various types of harmful microorganisms, not to mention the unsightly clutter. Here, we’ll be discussing how to motivate your teen to clean.
Plan Ahead and Avoid Confrontations:Avoid any situation that might lead to an inevitable confrontation. Assign specific chores ahead of time, so that your teen won’t feel attacked without any warnings. Do not assign multiple chores at one time, but make sure you’re not letting them off too easy. Using a calendar, discuss and plan a cleaning schedule with them a few days in advance.
Be Flexible: Teens have a tendency to be stubborn about their independence; however, the “teenage years”are when they should be taught valuable life skills. They need to learn self-discipline, how to work hard and work smart and good work ethic. Being flexible will help you tackle their rising defiance. Give them incentives, such as, letting them play games on the computer as soon as the chores are completed. Offer them some flexibility, and let them decide when it’s time to get to work. This will help them in honing their time management skills and by making them more independent. Most importantly, it will help take some of the burden off your shoulders. It will also help you set a good example by following a flexible approach.
RewardThem: There has been some disagreement on this topic among parents. Some parents pay their teen an allowance for doing household chores, while others feel that pay-outs/compensation doesn’t teach them anything valuable. Sometimes, there is an alternative to deal with this dilemma. Follow an approach based on compensation and compromise; it will help your teen learn important life lessons. Some of these responsibilities include: mowing the grass, washing the car, babysitting younger sibling, cleaning his/her own room, helping with meals, etc. Don’t pile on too much at once. Let them have some input on schedule, time and compensation. All of these jobs will assist your teen in becoming a productive member of the family and society. You can also pay your teens to do “extra” chores around the home. Remember, the goals are teaching the teen responsibility and getting the jobs done. Don’t avoid push-back. It come quite naturally. Hopefully, one day they will be independent, which will require self-discipline and hard work. They may hate it now, but they will thank you later. Endure the time in between. It’s worth it.
Restrict Extra Privileges: Restrict supply of frequent cash or unlimited freedom to your teen. Purchase only items that are needed for school, etc. instead of buying all the things your teen “wants”. Don’t be the ATM for their every demand.
Be Strict and Clear About Rewards and Consequences: Set some rules and make your teen aware of the consequences if they fail to do their chores. Write things down. Make lists. Follow up. Some consequences you could use are: no allowance, less privileges, no access to phone, no internet, no car, etc. Stay firm, and stick to your guns! Let your teen figure out how to avoid the consequences.
Reminders: Keep reminding your teen to complete their assigned chores. Don’t nag. If you are going to remind them once, make it count. Pay attention to your tone, in order to prevent any possible conflict.
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