DEAR ABBY: I'm the mother of two teenagers, ages 13 and 15. I am trying to teach them to do chores and help around the house, but all I get is attitude from them.
I try to explain that I didn't grow up with a dishwasher and I washed all the dishes by hand. Well, now that we have a dishwasher, they don't want to load or unload it either! I try not to spoil my kids, but I guess it's too late. Sometimes I get so frustrated that I just do the chores myself.
What am I doing wrong as a parent? My kids are either on their iPhone or iPad or Xbox. They have a better childhood than I ever had, but they don't understand. It's hurtful when their response is "Let me live," or "You don't understand anything," or "I can't wait to get out of the house and get away from you!" This is very hurtful, and I guess I just needed to vent to someone other than my husband. Thanks for letting me. -- STRESSED-OUT MOM
DEAR MOM: You're welcome. Now, may I offer a suggestion? You should not be doing your teenagers' chores for them. Instead, start instituting consequences if they shirk their responsibilities. An effective consequence would be to confiscate their iPhone, iPad or Xbox if the chores aren't done when they're supposed to be. And if they talk disrespectfully to you -- ditto!