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Parenting Issues This forum is for discussing any of the parenting issues involved in your divorce, including parenting of step-children.

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  #1  
Old 08-10-2011, 12:20 PM
Mess Mess is offline
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Default Housework venting...

@$@$^&*#!!!!!

There.
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Old 08-10-2011, 12:27 PM
Mess Mess is offline
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Default So here's the thing...

I have a 14 year old with a typical 14 year old's room (AAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!) and a 7 year old who leaves a trail of toys and spills behind him where ever he goes. He's so effin sweet about it though...

My 14 year old also has a 14-year-old's desk in the living room so at least she can sit on the internet and ignore me in plain sight. It too is covered in 14-year-old clutter.

I work full time and take courses part-time. I'm going to school full-time in September and working part-time then. I have my kids 5 nights a week.

I think it is spelled O V E R W H E L M E D.

At what point do you take a shovel and just get everything to the curb and then take a firehose to the place?

I'm historically a neat guy, and had a handle on the housework up until the last year or so. But I've been falling further and further behind, and every time I turn my back to cook supper my kids are disassembling something and then spilling something sticky on it and pushing it all under the couch.

I've been working on it. My little guy is tidying and bringing his cups back to the kitchen, and my daughter is doing 3 loads of laundry a week and we have a truce with her room. Even so, I have to do an hour of tidying just so I can sweep the floor.

So my question to the group is, is it just me? Am I totally a loser and disfunctional and need psychiatric treatment to improve my performance, or does everyone go through this?
  #3  
Old 08-10-2011, 01:01 PM
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Gary M Gary M is offline
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It's not just you, amigo: Mine are 15 & 16 .... summer break is proving, um, challenging.

The "deal" I have with my two is that whatever is on their side of their bedroom doors is theirs, and everything else is mine. This deal, of course, goes largely unobserved by my sweet li'l cherubs, but it does keep the mess to a minimum.

More importantly, it gives me a pre-authorized rant when I get home and the kitchen is destroyed

Cheers!

Gary
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Old 08-10-2011, 01:30 PM
frustratedwithex frustratedwithex is offline
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Quote:
I'm historically a neat guy, and had a handle on the housework up until the last year or so.
You have to redefine what this looks like. You are going to go crazy trying to live up to this old standard if you are in school full time.

I think everyone goes through this.

At 7 years old, your little guy is very eager to please and will most likely want to please you, so get him to empty the dishwasher, set the table, etc.

At 14, she will most likely think everything you ask her to do is unfair. If she is doing 3 loads of laundry a week, that is incredible. Most 14 years old don't know where the washing machine is, let alone know how to turn one on!

For me, I say anything in the public areas of the house need to be kept tidy. If her desk is frustrating for you, I would say to her, keep the cluter to a min. and if it isn't the way you want it you say that you will clear it yourself and then dump in a bin or bag. You will have to do this a couple of times and then she will get the message.

One of the best things I did when time was short, was a group clean. Set the timer for 10 or 15 minutes and clean as much as you can. You take the bathroom, one kid takes the kitchen, one the living room and pick up as much as you can. it won't be perfect, but it will be much better than it was.

Define what you are trying to achieve. A house that is live-able, or a camera ready picture perfect house.
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Old 08-10-2011, 01:43 PM
HappyMomma HappyMomma is offline
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You are not alone.

I have a 17 year old and a 7 and 5 year old and the 17 year old is by far the messiest of all so I know exactly what you're going through. We had a truce on his room for a long time but I had to nix it because it smelled so bad that it was smelling up the house!

I used to just do it myself but I'm getting much better at making them all pick up instead. It's a huge hassle at first but worth the effort (I think). Things seem to be improving. As frustrated said, the young ones love to please so they are getting pretty good at tidying up after themselves. And once and a while we surprise them with a reward (treat) if they have been doing it without being asked.

I've also done myself the favour of restricting where food/drinks are allowed. I never did before but what a difference it makes! They hate it but they're getting used to it.

Funny that teenagers don't get why a clean place is important. I remember being exactly the same though so I know that it at some point it changes. Unfortunately, it won't likely be until after he's moved out.
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Old 08-10-2011, 01:51 PM
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NBDad NBDad is offline
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Yeah definitely not just you. Kids are pigs.

You only have the 2...wanna trade for my 10?

Between my wife and I we have....

11.5, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 5, 3, 1, 3 weeks.

I swear I can hire them out as a demolition crew. Force of nature unto themselves. Now if only I could harness that power for my own purposes.

Quote:
Most 14 years old don't know where the washing machine is, let alone know how to turn one on!
Both my 11.5 AND the 9 year old know how to flip the laundry. The others aren't tall enough yet to reach

The 11.5 year old can cook minor meals relatively unsupervised. Soup, Kraft dinner, etc. She's on par with most college kids I know. That was HER choice, she asked to be taught. Recently she's graduated to frying hamburger for spaghetti sauce.

She can also change a diaper, feed, dress or bathe a baby or the younger children in a pinch.

We have some rules on general crap in the public areas. If it's on the floor after I've asked you to put it away, you run the danger of losing it. If you refuse to clean your room *I'LL* do it...but my way involves garbage bags and a shovel. Mind you've I've never actually had to enforce that.

It'll all about the kid, at 7 your son should be able to load and unload the dishwasher, help out with drying the pots and pans, etc.

We have the four oldest in a routine for chores. Kicker is that you cannot expect them to do an adult quality job. Through the week when the kids are doing the big after dinner/before bed chore it's a lick and a promise. Get it reasonably presentable.

On the weekend when I'm home THAT'S when we give it a really good clean. All in the expectations. I don't expect them to be perfect. I DO expect them to pitch in and clean up the messes they generate.

If you are in school, etc and having some issues, maybe it's time to give your oldest some additional responsibility. Or time to start getting the 7 year old more involved.
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Old 08-10-2011, 01:54 PM
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Quote:
I've also done myself the favour of restricting where food/drinks are allowed
HERE HERE! You'd be amazed at the sticky, crumby issues that magically disappear. We have a kitchen and a kitchen table. That's where you eat/drink.

Since my kitchen table it old as crap, it's ALSO where you color with your markers and stuff. I don't care if it gets on the table. (You won't be able to notice the difference anyway ) I DO care if it gets on the walls or the hardwood floors.
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Old 08-10-2011, 01:56 PM
Mess Mess is offline
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This all actually is making me feel MUCH better. Thx!
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Old 08-10-2011, 01:58 PM
HappyMomma HappyMomma is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NBDad View Post

Since my kitchen table it old as crap, it's ALSO where you color with your markers and stuff. I don't care if it gets on the table. (You won't be able to notice the difference anyway ) I DO care if it gets on the walls or the hardwood floors.
LOL! Same! We re-stained my kitchen table last summer but before that it was covered in drawings, etc. Was almost sad to see it go.

And holy crap! 10 kids!!!! Do you ever have them all at the same time????
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Old 08-10-2011, 02:00 PM
SillyMe SillyMe is offline
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Personally, I think you should just let it all go. You can't I know, its dysfunctional so, I am willing to help. You can come over to my place, watch my kids wreck my house, then clean up after them. Pretty soon, you will want your own Messy children back and think you are getting a great deal. Meanwhile, I would have had a break and a few beers and you got to work on your psychotic performance...its win win

P.S. Who does the other 3 loads of laundry? Or wait, better yet...who puts it away?
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