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licky ktty

manicitalian in big_kids

teenage trouble

 14 yr old was living with his dad since he was 3. His dad and step mom did not teach him any responsibility. He has never done laundry, dishes, never cleaned his room, NOTHING...and i MEAN nothing! Now he has been handed to me because they cant take what they made him to be.....stuck up, arogant, sloth that knows nothing about how to grow up. this is my delema. how do teach an older dog new tricks? 


Points chart. List his daily responsibilities on the chart, and assign points to each one. At the end of each week, his total points determine his privileges for the following week -- from sitting in his room with nothing but schoolbooks (for very low points), to "normal" privs like some TV/video game time, going out with friends, whatever (for mid-range points), to extra special treats or outings (for earning all or nearly all points).

Be patient, don't nag (the chart should be posted somewhere in plain view), give it time for the chart and the consequences/rewards to sink in. Also be prepared to adjust the list and the points and the rewards as necessary (but not too often or on a whim, and never in the middle of a week). Also don't take away points -- it does require some thought in setting up the chart, but there are books out that can help (sorry, don't recall any specific titles, it's been a while for me but I used this method VERY successfully with some foster kids who were in pretty bad shape when they came to me).

Try to look past the attitude, at least for a while, a lot of that comes with teenagers no matter ho well they were raised.
In your case, you might want to start with a few basics and then add an item or two to the list each week. Overwhelming him with expectations that are so totally different than anything he knows on top of a major life change (moving from dad's home to yours) isn't likely to get anything good to happen.
We just tie responsibilities to privileges. My kids have a set number of chores - they have to complete chores and homework before they get ANY privileges. No tv/consoles/friends visits/etc.. unless the work is done first.

Its pretty simple and its a good lifelong approach to life. Work first, play later.
thank you
What chores and responsibilities has he had at your house as he was growing up? Can you build on those now that he's there full time?

A fourteen year old can do just about any chore an adult can do, but you might really have to teach him, step by step, especially things like laundry, cooking, even doing dishes.

With things like cleaning his room, give him some autonomy if you can -- ideas for how to organize things, rather than having to do it your way, etc. so he feels like it really IS his own room. Give him clear rules about how clean it has to be -- no food, all clothes put away properly, whatever your view might be.

I personally disagree with paying for chores at all (unless it's major cleaning that isn't their usual chore), and sometimes even tying them to special priviledges. This gives a rebellious child the option of deciding to just go without that priviledge or money, and not do the chores. In my house, you do your chores because you live there, not because you get paid (nobody pays me for chores).

I also personally disagree with "work first, play later" as an absolute. It's certainly a good rule of thumb, and teaches kids to prioritize. But, for example, when the weather is good, and school is still in, I always let my kids play outside after school, and then do homework and chores after that, or after dinner, because I wanted them to get that sunshine and outdoor play time.

So, all that being said, do what works best for your family and your values, be patient, and above all, make sure your child's father and stepmother are on board with the plan, because if he goes for weekends with them but has no responsibility, he may slip back even after all you've taught him.
Oddly enough, I scored a thirty-two year-old somewhat like your son...

I've been using those dolphin training tricks. I have a core list of expectations, of course, but I'll make a particular effort to make his favourite meal or take him out to a movie or something if it does occur to him to pick his clothes up off the floor, or if he does the dishes without being reminded. It's a long process, but I've seen a fair bit of progress.

Best of luck, absolutely. Fourteen's such an interesting age too. :/