Eps 359: Encouragement for inviting our teens to contributeEpisode 359
A solo show all about how to shift into the “roommate mentality” when inviting our teens to contribute and help out around the house. I know, I know, it can feel really tough to get them up and moving… But I am confident there are some nuggets here in this pod that will help you turn things around.
Community is everything!
Join our community Facebook groups:
Takeaways from the show
- Why it’s so hard to get our teens to help out
- A bit about “social interest”
- Teasing apart the “roommate” mentality
- Tips around balance, willingness and communication
- Belief Behind Behavior playlist on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/2csn5mc61rkCr1GrGklfr3?si=6ba194569c684b72
- Language to support with drawing them in, connecting and letting go or what you think it SHOULD look like, and making it work for your family
Today Joyful Courage means to be willing to shift and pivot and look for ways to encourage that also allows connection to come through. Be playful! It’s the best way to draw our kids in.Subscribe to the Podcast
contributions, chores, kids, roommate, feel, helping, teens, meaning, struggle, vacuum, debris, parents, revenge, conversation, house, contribute, happening, listen, learning, care
Hello, Welcome back. Welcome to the joyful courage podcast, a place for inspiration and transformation as we work to keep it together. While parenting our tweens and teens. This is real work people. And when we can focus on our own growth and nurturing the connection with our kids, we can move through the turbulence in a way that allows for relationships to remain intact. My name is Casey already, I am your fearless host. I'm a positive discipline trainer, space holder coach and the adolescent lead at sprouted ball. Also, Mama to a 20 year old daughter and a 17 year old son, I am walking right beside you on the path of raising our kids with positive discipline and conscious parenting. This show is meant to be a resource to you and I work really hard to keep it really real, transparent and authentic so that you feel seen and supported. Today is a solo show and I'm confident that what I share will be useful to you. Please don't forget sharing truly is caring. If you love today's show, please please pass the link around snap a screenshot posted on your socials or texted to your friends. Together we can make an even bigger impact on families around the globe. If you're feeling extra special, you can rate and review us over in Apple podcasts. I'm so glad that you're here. Welcome. Welcome. Welcome. Enjoy the show. Hey, everybody, welcome back to a new solo show. You and me hanging out for however long, however long it takes for me to say what I need to say. And for you to get through whatever you're doing while listening to a podcast. Hi, how are you? Wowzer. It's the final Thursday of January 2023. Weird. I don't really want to be one of those people that can't stop talking about how fast time is going by. But I kind of feel a little bit like I'm living inside of the prison of time. It's true. I have a really good friend. And we're planning a joint 50th Birthday vacation basically. And it's trippy to me that I'm turning 50 this year. It's also super awesome. And I'm excited about it. I've also got grown kids while they feel grown. One of them's got one foot out the door. And then let me tell you it is pretty amazing to hear my oldest say, I'm ready to move out. I'm ready to move out but I can't leave yet. Like I'm ready. But it's not time versus the other way around with her needing to move out and not being ready. Like hey, listen, this is a good problem to have. Yeah, it's pretty wild. It's pretty wild and watching my son just design his life as well and taking college classes while still in high school. Like somebody asked me so are you an empty nester yet I said no, I'm not. I'm not not an empty nester yet, but man, we're getting there. And am I excited? Do I think about it, my whole vibe is I'm not going to sit here and be sad about it right now. I'm going to save the experience for when I'm actually in the experience. I'm excited for my kids. I think my kids are amazing human beings and grateful to be their mom, I know that this is the time of life to set them free to push them out of the nest. And you know, and I get to grow through a transition into a new phase. And that's exciting to me, because I'm a personal growth junkie. So I'm like, sweet. Okay, what's next? And oh, man, I really like my kids. I don't want them to go very far away. Anyway, what else can I tell you? Oh, so let me tell you about what I'm going to talk about today. So this pod was inspired by a post that I put in the joyful courage parents of teens Facebook group. Also, I keep a little running tally of topics that I want to podcast about. And then I forget that I completely forgot that I spent some time kind of curating this list. And so today, I was like, Oh, I'm gonna take a look at that list. What do I want to talk about? What do I want to record? And sure enough, on the list was the sentence adopting a roommate mentality. And I was like, Oh, that's perfect. Because I posted in the Facebook group, let me see. I'm gonna pull it up. Facebook. Isn't it so weird how long we've all Then on Facebook for now, like it's just this thing anyway,
I think it's weird. So I posted after redoing so we have a whiteboard. And we have had many different iterations of do some shores on the whiteboard. And my latest effort I shared in the Facebook group, I just took a picture of it, I put it in the group, and I wrote, you know, I love a whiteboard. Here's the latest effort in supporting my family to do more around the house. What is your process for this? So I just wanted to start conversation around what other people do to support teens. Because remember when they were little, and we were, you know, if you were a positive discipline parent, you probably made some routine charts and some chore charts and like, those visuals were so useful, and a tool that many of us leaned on when our kids were little, and then they get bigger, we forget that they're still really useful. So I wanted to show the community like, hey, look, this is what I'm doing. What are you doing? And I got a lot of response. And I had one mama say, Hey, I know your kids are older. So I'm genuinely curious as to when you think it's okay to use, quote, roommates when referring to your kids. I know it's a word that sparks different emotions. For me, I own that. I'm still curious though, it might help me process at all for the better. Thank you. Because at the bottom, so my whiteboard has like at the top, it says What have you done to contribute today. And then there's a list of things that they could potentially do to help out around the house like bathrooms, dishes, sweeping, taking care of clutter, vacuuming, taking out the garbage. And then at the bottom, it says Be a good roommate, be a good roommate. And so this mom was like, tell me more about that. Because I think something about using the phrase roommate kind of was a little bit edgy. And I was glad that she spoke up because I responded and clarified what I meant. And, you know, it really just got me to think about why do I use that phrase when we're talking about chores and contributions. And I want to clarify straight off the bat, that I am not a parent who holds the idea that oh, you're 18 Now you got to pay rent, you got to pay your bills like equal contribution. Now that you're 18, you're an adult, one, you're not an adult at 18. Nobody is an adult at 18, even though we send them off to do adult things. Our kids aren't adults at 18. Okay, they're not they don't have fully developed brains, they're in a variety of circumstances that may or may not make it possible for them to contribute or hold themselves in that kind of way doesn't mean there aren't 18 year olds who are out the door and you know, sustainably taking care of themselves and contributing in that way. I'm not saying that's a bad thing. I'm saying that when I talk about roommates, the reason that I use that phrase is because I want my kids to connect the dots between like regular communal contribution. And the fact that they're going to be in a different kind of living situation one day, whether it's a dorm room, or an apartment or a house with a roommate or partner, whatever, be a good roommate, learn and recognize that it's a joint effort to maintain the community space and the kitchen and take care of your stuff. And so yeah, I said, you know, it works for us, because my kids are 17 and 20. And we talked about chores and contributions as being practice for when they move out and have homes of their own. They also know like, I don't want to do all this stuff. You know, it's a lot of different layers. But it is it's language to remind them that when they where they're headed, and why it might be valuable to practice taking care of that communal space. So that's what I shared. And then it just kind of got me thinking more and more about that mentality and about chores and contributions. Because a lot of parents that I work with, have teens that are challenging to encourage, to help out around the house. And like why why is it so hard? Right? And a couple of things come up. When I think about chores and contributions and one is and it's not something that typically shows up. But maybe sometimes in roommate relationships, it definitely shows up in parent child relationships. The first thing is power struggles, like we get into power struggles with our kids around chores and contributions. Game over. Nobody's gonna win that game. Sometimes our kids are in a revenge cycle. So we're talking beliefs behind the behavior right now. So sometimes it's a revenge cycle and they are feeling disconnected and hurt. And a great way to pass that on is to not engage in something they know you care about. Sometimes the problem is poor systems like poor systems, meaning it's unclear what we want them to do. So they don't do anything. Perhaps we have inappropriate expectations, maybe there's a lack of training, they're disconnected to the why, right, or we're just simply asking them to do too much. The other thing that gets in the way of encouraging your kids to contribute actually are bribes and consequences. So we're gonna get into this stuff today on the pod. Positive Discipline, as you've heard me before, is the foundation of it, where it comes from the philosophy behind it is Adlerian theory. And Alfred Adler coined a phrase called Gemeinschaft, ska fuel, if you're German, then you know that I probably butchered that word. But he coined this word Gemeinde Shopska fuel in German. And what it loosely translates to is social interest, which is basically, you know, feeling a part of a whole knowing that our contribution matters wanting to be a part of an adding to the general best interest of everyone, right. So social interest is something that we hold in positive discipline that when we, when humans, you know, have social interest, have places where they can contribute, and know that they matter, they're going to tend to show up better, they're going to tend to show up better. And as our kids were growing up, right, we wanted to create these opportunities, it was important to engage kids in chores and contribution for that purpose of social interest and nurturing that, but also, it was skill development, right? There's so many skills that are developed in the process of learning to and taking time to train them in different chores and contributions, right, we worked really hard to make it fun. We did a lot of it together. And we you know, we created systems, I remember the routine charts that we created where I always had pictures of my kids on them, they got to decorate. There was lots of choice, right? I remember doing like Saturday, housecleaning, dance parties, and we'd crank up the music, I'd make a huge poster board, well, we do a big brainstorm. And the kids would write on the big poster board, what are the things we need to get done, and then the kids would pick the things and then we'd all do it together. Like we'd all work on the house for you know, half hour, 45 minutes, and the music would be going. And it was this camaraderie, togetherness and lots of fun and some of the chores. We did it together at the same time. And some of them the kids kind of divided and conquered. But it was this sense of community of togetherness of connection and have fun, right? Plus, there's something there's a phrase that I really love, which is confident authority when we parents, you know, can stand inside of like, oh, this is what we do. Right? This is what we're doing. This is what we're doing right now. This is what's happening this morning, right? When we can stand in that confident authority, you know, which is shoulders back feet planted, like if you want to really embody competent authority, I think of, you know, think tree where we are kind and firm at the same time, but but like elevating that to another level and just really being in the firmness of Yep, this is what's happening with a smile, a genuine smile on our face and a genuine interest in inviting them in and a genuine, like, I see you kind of vibe and energy. So those things were useful when they were little, they continue to be useful. But our kids have grown to be our size or bigger. And it feels can feel like well, they should just know they should just do it. And then all this other stuff gets in the way. The fun goes out the window, the togetherness goes out the window and we're left with
why can't they just help out? Right? So yeah, so there's that, right. family meetings are part of this family meetings are still where we my family talks about routines for helping out. And when you bring in these conversations with teens, whether it's at a family meeting or not. It really has to be about you have to keep in mind balance, willingness and communication. So we're going to talk about those three things that balance, willingness and communication. I love visuals. Okay. I have let go of the idea that my kids will just do stuff to help out like they'll see what needs to be done and just do it even with my lovely whiteboard. I know that it's part of my job continues to be prompting them to get it done. Right. And this is huge, like, once I let go and realize I get to continue to be the driver while the kids are at home, I'm not super pissed off about it, right? Like, I'm not resentful and irritated that I have to be the driver is for my peace of mind. And for your peace of mind, let go of the idea that your kids are disrespecting you, if they don't unload the dishwasher without being asked or fold laundry without being asked, you know, they're still going to make mistakes, they still might do the bare minimum because they're in an environment where that's kind of okay, right. And eventually, there'll be another environments where you know, leaving your clothes in the washing machine down in the laundry room of their dorm, and somebody else needs that washer, they might go down there and see, oh, shoot, all my wet clothes are now on top of the washing machine. And now there's no dryers to use or whatever, they are gonna get to live through the natural consequence. Or, like me, they're gonna figure out that there are fluff and fold places they can actually take their laundry to, and have it washed and folded, I would do that last resort, because I totally avoided the laundry room. But you know what I'm saying, right? Like, okay, like, we get to just relax on the fact that they're not super go getters around the chores and contributions. Hold the line, be the driver, it's fine, doesn't mean you need to be overly engaged. But you know, finding that balance is important. And I'm giving you permission to be there so that you don't have to feel like you're doing it wrong. Because your kids need that extra prompting, right? And like I mentioned on Facebook, I created that board. And, you know, there's a variety of responses. And one of the mamas mentioned, like, hey, you know what, I raised three kids to adulthood, and I never had a chore list. And I asked them to do something. They did it. as they got older, they took on more responsibilities on their own, to each their own. Yeah, great, awesome. If you've got kids like that, both of my thumbs are up, congratulations, well done, or like, well done on their temperaments. Not all of us have those kids. And not all of us have that dynamic, which is fine, right? We get to look for other solutions that work for our family. And yeah, of course, I would love for them to be in contribution. without me asking. Sometimes it does happen. Sometimes it does happen, especially with the older one anymore. She's getting better and better at noticing, and taking care of business, and then letting me know she took care of business. Which I think is pretty cute.
So balance, right? Balance is like remembering to and coming back to that roommate conversation, right? Again, they're in the practice arena for what's going to come up in real life. I don't I want to make it clear to I don't treat my kids like roommates. I'm their mom, even the oldest who just turned 20. She has some financial obligations that she takes care of with us, right that we expect her to be in contribution around. But I cook her lots of meals. And I continue to be mom, even as we talked about what being a good roommate means. Yeah, so balance, when we talk about chores and contributions with our teens, especially as our teens get older. But even our young teens, you know, they move into middle school, or even early high school, and the schedule changes, right? Where they are, when they're home, all of those things starts to change. So when you're thinking about chores, and contributions, and this was something that I had to definitely reframe for myself, like, in my mind, ideally, everybody does something every day that's useful around the house, right? And then I have one of my kids who leaves the house and we don't really see him on some days, he's barely home at all. So is it useful for me to say, like, do a chore in the few minutes that you're home? You know, what works in their schedule? And he actually brought that up at a family meeting. He said, You know, I know you want us to do something every day. That doesn't really work for me. Can I do a few things over the weekend? And I said, Yeah, you can. So their schedule, what other obligations? Do they have they can they work around them to help out around the house? Like, what could that look like? Does it feel like I'm asking too much based on how much time they're home? You know, like one thing a day doesn't feel like a 10. A couple of things a day doesn't feel like too much. But remembering there's so much bandwidth that our kids have, right? They're going to school, they're navigating their friends, they're navigating their homework, they're navigating all their things. My son plays sports and has a job, you know. And even if they're not actively engaged in those things, they are mentally connected to them even when they're home, you know, sitting on the couch. So remembering that they only have so much bandwidth. So sometimes and a great place to go to find out if this is the case, sometimes we over expect, and we can go to our kids and say, here's what I noticed. I'm wondering to you, does this feel like too much? Am I just asking for too much? And what can we do so that, you know, this can feel more feasible for you, and I can feel like you're helping out around the house, right? Also, I leave their bathrooms and their rooms. So for my daughter, her bathroom is kind of the community bathroom, the guest room, guest bathroom, so that when I get on her case a little bit about but I haven't had to too much. Otherwise, their bathrooms, their rooms, those are their spaces, and that's up to them. And it's been amazing. Finally, it's been amazing to watch the pride that they take in a clean room, and how good they feel about doing their homework, or just their own mental health when their room is tidy. Both of my kids have come to that, after many years of me letting it go letting it go letting it go or saying like, Okay, time to clean your room, I'm happy to help or do you want to do it on your own right every once in a while, but really letting that go? It's been awesome to see that they actually value tidy room. And it's not just like I do this because my mom makes me. So that's exciting. Right? So balance, finding a balance, right, whatever that looks like for your family. The other thing is willingness. Right, engaging them, them being willing. And while I do love a good whiteboard system, I also appreciate when I can ask the kids to do something, and it gets done without a lot of pushback. Yesterday, for example, Ian was around. And the stairs were in dire need of a vacuuming and I said, Hey, will you vacuum the stairs real quick? And he did it. And it was awesome. Right? Not to say that that happens every time I asked like that. But it did yesterday. And it felt really good. And I made a point of saying like, hey, you know what, I asked you to do that, and you took care of it right away. And I really appreciate that. Thank you for that. So I made sure to point it out to him. So maybe this is the hurdle for you. Maybe it is the willingness maybe it's not that they have so many things to do, that they can't get to helping out maybe it's simply they seem unwilling. And I mentioned at the top of the pod that there are a few things that can get in the way. And the first thing is power struggles, right? If your child is in the midst of a mindset that the only way they feel a sense of belonging and significance is by telling you no, or the only way they feel like they can hold on to their dignity is by telling you no or doing their own thing or simply not doing what you want them to do. You're entrenched in a power struggle. And that is a tough place to squeeze contributions and chores out of it's a tough place to win them over into cooperation. You know, it could also look like a kid that moves really slow or avoids or just simply doesn't follow through power struggles. So some remedies around that if you feel like this is totally our problem. And you can tell if you're in a power struggle. And I just want to reference actually, the joyful courage, belief behind the behavior playlist JCP belief buying behavior if you look it up on Spotify, and we'll put the link in the show notes. I have all those episodes that I did, I think a year or two ago about beliefs behind behavior. And I've put them all together on a playlist on Spotify. And you can read listen to the different mistaken goals, the different beliefs behind behavior that get in the way of cooperation and connection. So when I talk about power struggles, I'm going to talk about revenge that those things are mistaken goals of behavior. And you can learn more on that playlist. So I'll make sure it's in the show notes. So you're in a power struggle. What are the remedies? Well, first of all, you own it, you pull the curtain back and say, Geez, we're in a massive power struggle here. Take responsibility for what you've brought to the dynamic. Where have you been overly controlling? Where have you not shared power? Right? Be curious with your kids around, you know, where they feel like they have control over their life where they feel like they don't? Listen, listen, listen, ask questions. And listen. This isn't about convincing them of anything. This isn't about lecturing them of anything. This is about getting them to the tip of the iceberg, finding out what's going on for them. And then you know, bringing it back to Okay, and we need your help. So what could it look like around the house? Right? Keep it real and authentic. Right? You hear me talk about this a lot teens have epic bullshit radars. They know when you have an agenda To so dropped the agenda. And if you have one, like, you know, I think it'd be honest to say, I want to hear what's going on for you, I want to own my stuff that I bring to our dynamic, because it's important that we all are contributing to the household. So that's ultimately where I want to get to. But before we can get to that, we need to clean some stuff up between the two of us. And I really want to learn how to be better for you. Right? And yeah, like, if you have an agenda be clear, I can't do it all. And it's important that you're practicing these two tools for when you truly are a roommate, and ask questions like, How do you feel about chores? What can we do to make it work? What do you think is a reasonable expectation, keep the conversation towards creating a win win, right? You want to create a win win, make a list of all the ways that they can help out and it could be picking up or dropping off siblings could be buying groceries, running errands. There's a lot of ways that our kids can help out around the house that aren't, you know, clean the toilets and empty the dishwasher, although that's very useful, right and have a conversation about what's reasonable. I mean, and be careful here, it's easy to want to list off all the things that you do, I know you do a lot, okay, because I do a shit ton too. And we feel like we need to point it out. And we feel you know, really good about ourselves. When we're like, listen, let me tell you everything I do. You can pick one thing. But this isn't useful. Like it's just not useful. It's not encouraging. It's not an inviting, it's not anything that your kids are going to be like, gosh, you know, thanks for spelling that out for me. I can get up and vacuum the living room like that's just yay, you. Thank you for everything you do. Yeah, me, thank me for everything I do. But we don't need to list it off for our kids. It's not guilting them into contribution is not what it's about. And sometimes the revenge cycle can get in the way. And again, you can listen to more about the mistaken goal of revenge. In the JCP belief behind behavior playlist on Spotify. It's different than a power struggle, right? Power Struggle, it's like you can't tell me what to do. I'm the boss, watch what I'm not going to do. Right? It's this power, grab a power struggle. So revenge is different than a power struggle. And the purpose of not helping out comes more from a child that's in a lot of pain, maybe feeling disrespected, and wants to pass that hurt around. So the power struggle can become revenge. But revenge is really like, you know, I'm over here, I'm hurt, you're getting on my case around making my bed or vacuuming or emptying the dishwasher. And you don't even see that I'm having a hard time and like, Screw you, I'm not gonna do it. You don't even care about me, right? That's just one way that revenge can show up. And it can feel like a punch to the gut, right? Like, that's how it feels. But when we dive deeper, and can connect, we get to find out what their pains about. So it's like that fishing hook, right? Like they cast the hook, which sounds and looks like screw chores. I'm not doing anything you want me to do. I hate you. And I don't care about our house or whatever. I'm not helping out and then we catch that hook. And we say, Oh, no young lady, you won't talk to me like that, get out of that room, you are going to help out. Right? And we miss this opportunity. We miss the actual bid, which is I'm having a hard time and I'm hurting and I need you. Right, we get all caught up in the tone and the defiance, and we missed the opportunity to connect in a meaningful way, and to grow relationship and help them help themselves. So yeah, I believe that helping out is important. And it's essential, actually. And there are so many roads to get to a place where everyone's in contribution. Sometimes there is debris to clean up along the way. You know what I mean? Debris being messy dynamics between us and our kids debris, meaning something in their life that they're struggling with that we're unaware of debris, meaning sharing power, right debris, meaning them just needing a little bit more training, and whatever it is, we're asking them to do being clear, and what our requests are. So yeah, sometimes there's some debris to clean up. But helping out is important. And we can get there. The other piece I wanted to be sure to mention has to do with again, being that confident authority, right? Like energetically, we can listen and sometimes parents are like, Oh man, yeah, they want to tell us all about their problems and then They're just avoiding doing the chores.
I'm gonna say, how about we don't hold them so small? How about we say, yeah, they might be avoiding doing chores because they're in pain because they want us to pay attention to them in the best possible way, because they want to share with us because they're hurting. Right? So competent authority means I'm going to check in with you. I'm going to see what's going on with you. I'm going to bring us back to the chores and contribution conversation when it feels right. But first, I want to connect with you and see you and know you, I get it could sound like I get it. Right. I'm hearing you. How can you help? Right? I know it's tough to make the time to do this. What can you do to get it done? Right? It isn't your favorite thing to help out around the house and I need your help. Where do you want to start? So I'm not giving you this language as a script. Because there's no magic wand, the magic actually exists in being in relationship with our kids. But your kids need to know that you get it. They want to feel seen and believed and heard. Versus you're standing there. You're asking the questions. You're listening, you're waiting for the moment that you can say, okay, great. Well, do you want to vacuum? Or do you want to sweep? Right? Like there's some like formulaic way of getting them to do what you want, they want you to see them and believe them, you need to see them and believe them and hear them and connect with them, and appreciate them and love them. Right. And you can also say, hey, you know what, let's fold laundry together. And you can tell me about what's happening at school. Or we can both rake the yard. And you can share about what's happening with your friends. Or how about we make dinner together tonight, and you can fill me in on how you're feeling about basketball, right. So you can also use these contributions as opportunities to be together and to connect in real and meaningful ways that works that counts. I think that sometimes we feel like unless they're checking the boxes and doing the things on their own, or somehow it doesn't count. As far as like getting chores done. And I'm here to say like some of the best conversations you might have, with your kiddos comes with a laundry basket or a rake in your hand. Or while you know, learning a new recipe, draw them in, connect with them, let go of what you think it should look like and make it work for your family. Don't be afraid to let things go or change things up. It's okay to have to ask your kids to do things. That's fine. And it's okay. That it's messy and imperfect. You've got this. And don't forget, I have a lot of shows about making agreements. Following through family meetings. I mentioned the belief behind behavior, we'll put a bunch of those shows in the show notes with links so that you can revisit some of those conversations that I've had before around being in communication around helping out contributions. But yeah, that's what I wanted to share with you, the sweet roommates of ours, our baby roommates, right learning how to be learning how to be and giving them space to kind of stretch into that a different dynamic around chores and helping out and being in contribution. It's a powerful thing. It's a powerful place. I hope that was useful to you. I am always so glad to be on the mic and speak directly into your ears. And yeah, I'll be back next Thursday. See you next week. Bye.
Thank you so much for listening in today. Thank you so much to my spreadable partners, Julieta and Alana as well as Danielle and Chris Mann and the team at pod shaper for all the support with getting this show out there and helping it to sound so good. Check out our offers for parents with kids of all ages and sign up for our newsletter to stay better connected at be at Sprout double.com tune back in on Monday for a brand new interview and I will be back solo with you next Thursday. Have a great day.