Teenagers?


We have all heard the saying – you can led a horse to water but you can’t make it drink – but I’m going to match that and raise the stakes. I put to you my new saying – you can give a teenager a chore to do but that doesn’t guarantee it is going to happen.

Yes, it’s vent time and I suggest the faint hearted beware from here on in.

This is my alternative saying for trying to get someone to do something for themselves and I hope somewhere out there someone else understands where this is coming from. As a mother I’m starting to think I have failed because I can’t get any help around the house what so ever. Friends tell me I’m not tough enough with my boys  but I’m starting feel to be tough enough I will have to rule the house with terror.

Asking politely and offering money for their efforts lasts for as long as it takes for them to raise the money for the item they want to buy. Consequences seem of no concern to them  and when I’m finally pushed to my limits and turn into a crazed, wild eyed, tantrum queen they seem to apply male selective deafness and either roll their eyes or totally ignore me. What am I doing wrong?

I’ve tried leaving the requested task, say bring out your dirty cloths, to them and what happens? I have a small wash load followed by a week of complaints of nothing clean to wear and then the mother load of washing that won’t fit on the cloths line the next week.  Taking away privileges doesn’t get through to them either, they just grumble about how hard their life is, and guess who has to put up with the grumbling? Sorry, no prizes if you guessed me. Ask them to do the folding and leave it for them to do only leaves me without underwear in my dresser draw.  It’s not like I’m a stay at home mum, I work long hours, away from home, to support us all and all I ask in return is a little help. Is that too much to ask?

Once more I try hard to have quality time with them but Friday movie night is turning into a major exercise in stamina for me. All I can say is thank the heavens above we have our movie nights at home because I rarely see a complete movie as I rest my eyes during the films. The boys find it amusing that I can snore while in a sitting position and they inform me, shame of shame, apparently I can even manage to drool at the same time. How do I get through to them it’s not that I find the movies they like to watch boring, not that I have a chance to make any decision either way, it’s just that I’m exhausted?

I don’t want to be a mean mum, I want to teach them responsibility and how to look after themselves and others. Why can’t I do that when even when I turn into a drooling, snorting mess they don’t seem to want to listen to both the noise I make or the reason why I’m making it? I really don’t want to believe they don’t care about me and prefer to think of it as just a case of teenage selfishness. Am I right or should I just send them to the nearest army basic training camp for a few months?

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6 thoughts on “Teenagers?

  1. Hi Jillian, we have only just passed our baby’s 21st birthday and many of the comments you made are still burned into my mind. However, having taught year 8 & 9 and seen them turn into respectable young men…and having raised two boys to do likewise, after years of…nah!..dunno! ….whatever!, gives me hope that all teens will if set boundaries and example, eventually end up on the right path. Read a story about a 14 y.o. who bid his father a cheery goodnight only to wake the next morning a totally different boy. After 5-6 years of giving parents all sorts of trials, he arrived at the breakfast table with a cheery “good morning”, as if the intervening time did not exist.

    Hang in there!

    1. Thank you. I know I don’t actually don’t have anything to complain about compared to what some parents have to cope with. My boys let me know where they are and they have a strong sense of right from wrong so I think I’ve done something right.
      It’s always good to have a bit of reassurance however. thank you for stopping by and taking the time to comment and offering just that. 🙂

  2. I have the same problem here. However certain females are just as guilty so I can’t say it’s only a male issue, although they do take out the major awards for being house sloths. If I had the answer I’d be applying it too. I put it down to a lazy generation thing.

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