"I hate when my mom asks me to do chores for teenagers around the house and acts like it's going to be fun," says Lori, as she rolls her eyes. "I'm not Huck Finn. White washing a fence wasn't fun then, and it isn't fun now. Neither is emptying the dishwasher, folding the laundry, or vacuuming." "I'll do my share of chores for teenagers around the house more willingly," explains Sophie, "if my brother has to do his. Once in a while my mother will ask my brother to clear the table after dinner, but no one gives him a hard time when he quits in the middle to answer the phone. Boys will be boys, I guess they figure. Me, I figure it's not fair." "I wouldn't mind helping out on chores for teenagers," explains Vicki, "if my parents let me do the job my way. We live in a home, not a hospital. I'm a daughter, not a maid. And I hate the white glove that comes out to check to see if I cut corners in the way I washed the kitchen floor. If my way's not good enough, let them do it themselves." Let's face it, dust and dirt are four-letter words to everyone. We'd all rather be doing something more fun. We've all heard our parents remind us how hard they had to work when they were doing chores for teenagers. We've all had one or another privilege threatened if we didn't do our part. And we'd all be better off if we could resolve these issues once and for all. While the statistics uphold what you've known to be true —girls do more of the work around the house (80% of girls do chores for teenagers vs. 60% of boys) —so do working moms. Researchers found that 90% of Americans spend almost half their weekends doing chores, leaving them feeling as worn out on Monday morning as they did on Friday night. The question is not whether your parents should expect you to do chores for teenagers, but how you can, with the least number of battles. It's hard to argue against each member of the family doing his part to keep the place he lives in clean and healthy. There's a sense of pride in completing any task well, even if it's surviving a boring half hour of dusting. If everyone pitches in, there's also the feeling of being connected, of being relied upon. And like it or not, that stuff about chores for teenagers teaching respect and responsibility and developing a work ethic does have some validity. So if we agree to pitch in, how can we make chores for teenagers as painless as possible?
Ask your parents to make up a list of all the chores for teenagers up for grabs. There'll probably be at least a dozen different tasks. Choose a couple of the least awful. Some of us would rather make the beds than wash the dishes Some would rather take out the garbage than throw in a wash. At least you'll have a choice. Make sure you both agree on what chores for teenagers encompasses. Be specific. Does cleaning the bathroom mean disinfecting the toilet, sink, and tub and washing the floor and shining the mirror? You'll resent it less if you know you're completing the job without being criticized for not doing what you were supposed to. Have a schedule to tell you how often certain things are expected to be done. Make sure everything you need is available and you know where it is. Don't look for a fight by saying you were willing to do chores for teenagers, but you couldn't locate the Brillo ®. Negotiate. Ask your parents for the right to take care of your room without having to live up to their expectations of clean and orderly. Then make sure to keep the door closed at all times! Be clear on when the chores for teenagers have to be done. No one wants to be told they can't go to the mall because the laundry's not folded. No one wants to be told to "DO IT NOW." If you have to do something icky, at least make sure it's not during your fav TV show. Seventy-one percent of the teens interviewed in a recent survey say their allowance depends on doing household chores for teenagers —no small bargaining tool. If your parents strongly oppose to paying you for the work you do, then suggest another reward: a movie, ice cream, a half hour later curfew one night.
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