Sunday, 16 September 2012

How to get teenagers to help around the house (yes, really)

I've tried everything to get my two daughters to help me out around the house. Everything. I've encouraged, praised, shouted, cajoled, offered extra pocket money, withheld pocket name it I've tried it. It's caused horrible arguments between us, and I've been really upset at their lack of help.

But finally, I think I've cracked it. No, seriously I have. I may even patent the idea, although it's hardly original to be honest.

For the past 3 months - I've waited 3 months to boast about this, just to prove it's  not a flash in the pan - I haven't had to ask either of them to help me. In fact they have been falling over themselves to help out with chores. The secret? A task list, just like this one.

That's right, an A4 sheet of paper with columns for the date and what they did, with a title saying "If it's not on the list, you didn't do it." It was a last resort for me, after month of nagging, getting angry and having unnecessary and upsetting arguments with both of them.

Wow! I didn't realise my girls were so competitive! They have a named sheet each which are sellotaped to cupboard door in the kitchen and they're forever comparing lists so see who's in the lead. They're both trying to outdo each other and each month they count up the number of jobs they've each done. So far the Teenager, who has always been the most reluctant to do anything, has been 'winning' although Tall Daughter has been trying her best to catch up. But actually the real winner is me. Result!

So there you have it. The simplest of ideas with brilliant results. You're welcome.