Words for Teenagers

How often do you hear cries of “I’m Bored” or “There’s nothing to do” from your teens?
Our house backs on to a park and we often have teenagers with nowhere to go hanging around, some just happy having a chat and a laugh, others more intent on anti-social behaviour.

My husband found this article in the paper and it really resonated with me.

As a parent of teens I often get frustrated by their “the world owes me a living attitude” and speaking to other parents I am not alone.

The “get a job” part of the article is a tough one if your child is under 16 which I previously wrote about in my Teens at Work post, but the rest of the article has really made me think if it is something to do with the way we are raising our families.

As a child I used to argue with my step-brother and step-sister about who’s turn it was to mow the lawn, who’s turn it was to wash the car and even who got to push the trolley around the supermarket, because we all wanted to do it.  My children avoid all work at all costs and I don’t force the issue because I can’t stand the strops and it’s all because they would much rather be sat playing Minecraft, Call of Duty or Fifa 13 on their computer / console.  

Gone are the days when the teens would be outside kicking a ball about with their friends – I really struggle to get them to leave the house sometimes and all because their friends are playing the games (I have mentioned above) together online rather than going out to play, plus the teens that are out seem to be hell bent on causing trouble, whether it be graffiti or setting the play equipment for the little ones on fire!

From this term things will be different in our house.

  • Getting changed and homework has to be done before any computer time is allowed
  • Chores will be rota’d and I will teach them to stack the dishwasher / make their beds themselves even if it kills me!
  • I am resigning from lawn mowing duties – the boys are big enough to do it now
  • I will teach them to cook although if I’m honest they’re not too bad at this
The reward for this will not be monetary…….it will be pride that they have done a good job and helped the household.

I have already started work with the little ones who are certainly more eager to help, unless it involves packing toys away!

Do your teenagers think the world owes them a living too and what are you doing to try and teach them that it doesn’t?

2 thoughts on “Words for Teenagers”

  1. This is a great post! My 12 year old is getting a bit like this – just sitting around playing games on the iPad or watching telly, while his brother and sister do their homework, play outside, go to dance lessons, practice music etc etc. I think it’s time I took a leaf out of your book and got him motivated!

  2. Hurrah! I agree Kara. My two boys have also reached that age where they need to pitch in more and you’ve inspired me to get them more involved in the cooking. It seems like when they were little they always wanted to stand on a stool and “help” mummy. Now I have to tear them off the computer to come and sit down for dinner. Thanks for the inspiration!


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