Many of us experience the frustration of a messy house with teenagers just sitting around doing nothing. Here are some tips for motivating your teen to help you clean.
Like many other moms, I am going through the challenge of getting my teens to help me clean right now. Consequently, I did some research. Those of you that have teens should know that you are not alone in your frustration with getting your teen to do chores. Here is what you need to know...
First of all, what you need to know is that your preteens and teens are growing up. Their bodies are rapidly maturing. They are tired. And they are preparing themselves to leave you (thank goodness, ha ha). But how do we motivate teens to be responsible for household upkeep? It starts with a glass of wine (just kidding!). Seriously, though, there are ways to motivate your teenager to do chores without yelling to the rooftops. Here are some tips...
Of course, your teenager will think this is "cheesy," but sit down with them and make out a written agreement. The agreement should include what is expected of him or her (or them) on a daily and weekly basis. This can include whatever you think is important, such as a made-up bed, taking out the garbage, taking care of the pets, as well as cleaning up the bathroom after getting ready for school, dishes, vacuuming, laundry and dusting.
On the "agreement," there should be information about what will happen if they do not fulfill their responsibilities. This could include loss of electronics, loss of cell phone or television time, in addition to time with friends or if they fight with siblings.
Reward your teen for adhering to the agreement. Take away privileges if the agreement is not met. Be strong! They will, perhaps, say terrible things to you. But don't "join the dance." Simply add another day to the disciplinary measure for disrespect. I might add that the disciplinary measures should be well-spelled out in the agreement so there is a no-nonsense approach, thereby saving you emotional energy. When disciplining your teen, refer to the agreement that they signed.
Remember to reward them and affirm them when they do adhere to the agreement. Teenagers are motivated by freedom, the ability to buy things (allowance), use their electronic tablets, cell phone, Facebook and Twitter. Build them up when they do what is right.
There is no need to nag or yell when you put this system in place, according to experts. Just hoping the experts experienced teen behavior first-hand. But here's hoping one day, no matter how much they "hate" you for being "unfair," they will understand and respect you. Do you have additional ideas for motivating a teen to do chores, sans a good beating (ha ha)? We'd love to hear your ideas on Facebook or Twitter!