Are there any teens here who do chores?
I'm the same as you. I don't have a list of things for my DS to do, I just ask him to do stuff as it comes up, and some weeks are full of chores, and then a week or two can go by with me not asking help with anything.
As the step-parent of grown step-kids (I've been in their lives since they were 10 and 12), I can sort of relate to your SO, though. My thing was feeling that I was doing too much around the house and the kids not enough. It also used to irk me when I was doing chores, and they were just sitting around and watching it all happen.
What helped me was to tell my DH that certain things were not going to be done by me, and that he could either get his kids to do them, or do them himself. That way it was him doing the chores that his kids could have/should have been doing, and not me.
Maybe you could speak to your partner and find out which chores your partner thinks the kids should take over, and then you can decide whether your kids will do them or you will do them in their stead.
IMO, a non-parent should not dictate how their SO parents the step-kids, but on the other hand, the parent should make sure that the SO is not burdened in any way by their parenting decisions (especially when the couple disagrees).
Darn, I couldn't find an "embarrassment" Emoticon up there. HA!
That sounds alot like my DD and I now. And yes, she does whatever I ask her to, usually pretty close to when I ask. It was different when there were more of us in the house and I was working all the time. THEN I became "disabled" and ill off and on (MS) and it makes me absolutely NUTS to have people buzzing around me doing things I think I should be doing when I'm confined in some way. (Lived on a recliner for 3 years once, not a pretty sight).
When I'm up and around (MOST days at the moment :) I'll go clean the bathroom while she does the kitchen, or I have her haul laundry for me- we have to go outside and down a sloped driveway to get to the door under the house where the laundry room is, a real drag in the winter- but I do the laundry. She knows how but I always do it better, says ME. Whoever wanders by the kitchen garbage takes it out, no lists or anything now. She's a responsible and trustworthy kid and good student. Of course we aren't always the best of buds but for the most part she respects my choices and decisions as THE MOM without alot of grumbling and asks permission for what she wants- like is it ok for the BF to come over, and dosen't argue if for some reason I say no.
My teens (and my 7 year old) all have chores-- not nearly as many as some of the kids of parents on this board, but a decent amount.
The boys (19, 17, and 14) all help to care for their younger sister, whether that means making her lunch, taking her to the park, reading to her, or playing with her (it's a treat to watch my 6 foot tall 17 year old playing "Tinker Bell's Pardon My Pixie Dust" game with his sister).
I have the two at home, and if I did not make them do chores, they would never lift a finger! so I understand what you mean! For the longest time my oldest who is 18, and my dd who is 13 were arguing over WHO was going to feed the dogs and at what time?! So, I nipped that in the bud this time around, and told my son he was now feeding the dogs, and my dd is now in charge of all things cat related, and that includes the cat box. Each day after school she must scoop the poop, and last night was the first night for her, and after I explained the procedure in detail, gave her gloves, plastic bag etc, you would have thought I was killing her, by the screeches coming out of the room we keep the cat box in! Dh and I snickered in silence since I had changed the litter the night before.
I am a firm believer that the kids can pick up, vacuum, take care of the dishwasher and the bathroom etc. You just have to enforce the rules and stand firm, and I always have to remind my kids, otherwise they will either put it off, or will not do it.
Since your partner obviously has helped raise your kiddo's, by all means get her thoughts, ask her which chores she thinks the kids should be doing, and I hope the two of you can come to a consensus of what should be done around the house.
Children need to learn responsibility. They need contribute to the household upkeep. They need to learn that things must be done, even if they are NOT told to do them. They need to learn <>. They will NOT learn these things sitting on their behinds watching YOU work. Give them chores.
By the age your kids are now, mine were: feeding and walking the dogs, setting the table and cleaning up after meals, making their beds, making an occasional meal, cleaning their bathroom, vacuuming, dusting, washing their own clothes if they didn't like the way I did them, folding and putting clothes away, and (at twelve) mowing our acre on the rider, and babysitting other peoples' kids--including cooking meals and light housekeeping.
I have to laugh about the cat box because my 2nd DH came w/ a cat & dog & I am definitely not a pet person. Because he worked long hours, I would end up taking the dog for a walk a lot, which I wasn't very happy about, but I refused to clean the litter box! I know that he hardly cleaned it at all either, which just grossed me out to think of the cat walking on the furniture that I was sitting on, but when it got particularly gross, I would just announce to him "the litter box needs cleaning."
As far as my kids, my DD did her own laundry starting in hs, so it's about time to enforce that w/ DS--he does actually know how to do it. Right now, I at least make him gather up his stuff and bring it downstairs. Since he's a boy he gets to mow the lawn. I probably don't have him doing as much stuff as he should--I use him more for heavy lifting type stuff, but I can't really make him do anything where there's dust as he's allergic. They both will clear the table & put their stuff in the dishwasher and maybe help put it away. He can also cook little meals for himself if I'm not home. I would say that my DD never really took it upon herself to clean w/o being asked until she had been at college for a couple of years. I was just shocked when I came home from work & found her cleaning the kitchen.
There's three of us in the home right now, but for many years there was five of us.
"Chores" in my home has never included picking up after oneself (that was just something you did), and my step-kids always did their own laundry and made their own breakfast and lunch. Those weren't considered chores any more than wiping one's own butt and dressing oneself would have been. You want to eat...you make yourself food. You want clean clothes...you do your laundry.
Whether your kids do chores (tasks other than taking care of themselves, such as floor mopping or bathroom cleaning) or not is up to individual parents values. It's fine if you don't see it as important, but you should not expect a non-parent to pick up their slack. That falls to the parent making the rules.
It's your house and your kids so you get to make that choice. It's not a choice that would fit my family. That being said, if my DH was fed up doing a certain chore and wanted my DS to be doing it, and if I disagreed about DS doing it then I'd make that chore my responsibility.
That seems fair to me. No one is being told how to raise their kid, and also no one is becoming resentful by doing work they feel is unfair for them to have to be doing.
Who does the 'housework' in your house?
It was funny:) My dd was shocked that I was asking her to do such a thing! I told her if it is scooped daily, it is much easier to keep clean! We found her "ewwww" and "this is disgusting" quite amusing! We just let her rant and rave.